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The Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, D.C. (Photo: Marriott Corporation.)

No decision yet on Chamber train to Washington

COVID-19 could sideline 82-year-old New Jersey political tradition

By David Wildstein, September 08 2020 12:13 pm

There’s still no decision on the fate of one of the state’s most fabled political events.

The New Jersey Chamber of Commerce’s annual Walk to Washington and Congressional Dinner is scheduled to take place on February 27-28, but it’s uncertain if the coronavirus pandemic will force its cancellation.

“We are talking to Amtrak.  Obviously, there are issues.  We are talking to the hotel.  Obviously, there are issues there too,” said Tom Bracken, the group’s president and CEO.

The Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, the site of the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce Congressional Dinner, closed in mid-March after COVID-19 significantly curtailed their business.

A local radio station, WJLA, reported in June the hotel management advised the Unite Here Local 25 that the hotel may not reopen.

Bracken told the New Jersey Globe that the search for a new Washington hotel, if they event is to proceed, has not begun.

The Walk to Washington involves a chartered train where attendees are in extraordinarily close

Proximity to each other – almost the antithesis of social distancing.

“We’ll probably make a decision soon,” Bracken said.  “We have to take it one step at a time.”

The New Jersey Chamber of Commerce has sponsored this trip for the last 82 years.

The other big event of the year, the New Jersey League of Municipalities convention in Atlantic City, is going virtual this November.

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