The Fort Wayne experience was great! The playing room was often cold on my division's side, but the blower white noise probably drowned any possible distracting player talk. The lobby area's were cavernous and sunshiney with plenty of places to sit, strewn with Scrabble letter-embroidered pillows. From the giant Scrabble floor-board to decorative tile-filled jars in the restrooms, the Fort Wayne folks truly worked hard to add fun touches, making us feel welcome and hopefully some less nostalgic for the larger cities in which Nationals are usually held. It's perhaps not a city for the best downtown dining, but when you're with Scrabble friends, all meals are still great.
Overall, I hope more non-major metros get their shots at hosting us in the future. I'd still love to get to New Orleans in 2017, but I can't say I'm looking forward to paying 30% more for rooms and 5x the amount for parking.
From my parents' living room in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, here's your club stats and standings update from this past Sunday's games: