Amelia Island’s Ritz To Host RNC Meeting Jan. 6-8, 2021

The ladies and gentlemen at The Ritz-Carlton will showcase the best of Southern hospitality here at the coast.

The annual Republican National Committee winter meeting is scheduled to take place here on Amelia Island at the Florida-Georgia border January 6-8, 2021.

Back in early December, Politico had broken the news that the Republican National Committee (RNC) intended to hold a January 2021 winter meeting in Florida at The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island (pictured above on this peaceful winter evening).

Presidential Appearance?

According to various news reports on the topic (coverage of the RNC meeting by Politico, CBS News, and Fox News), President Donald Trump is anticipated to make an appearance at the meeting. VP Mike Pence will also potentially be here on this northeast barrier island, along with other notable invitees.

On the invitation list for the RNC meeting are some presidential hopefuls — those who may possibly run in 2024. Although, who ends up doing so depends on whether Trump runs for President again.

On December 16, 2020, CBS News reported “President Trump is expected to attend the Republican National Committee meeting in Florida next month and plans to make remarks,” while another source indicated President Trump is to “address the conference on the second day of the meeting.”

On the RNC’s winter meeting agenda is election of the national GOP leadership. Expectations are that the current Chairwoman, Ronna McDaniel, will be re-elected, plus Republicans will also choose vice-chairpersons.

Top Republicans Invited

Others invited to the RNC meeting (who may be speakers) include former UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley (the former South Carolina Governor), Senator Tim Scott (SC), Senator Ted Cruz (TX), Florida’s Governor, Ron DeSantis, along with Florida Senators, Rick Scott and Marco Rubio.

The list of potential Republican visitors to this island destination also includes Texas Governor Greg Abbott, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey, Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton, Missouri Senator Josh Hawley, and Iowa Senator Joni Ernst.

Thus, it appears the island’s Ritz-Carlton will be brimming with many of the Republican party’s biggest personalities, including those who may have designs on becoming President themselves in 2024.

Coquina, newest restaurant at Amelia Island's Ritz-Carlton, outdoor dining poolside. Photo by
Coquina At The Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island (Photo Nov. 28, 2020)

Perhaps some meeting attendees will enjoy the cuisine and cocktails at the Ritz-Carlton’s newest outdoor restaurant, Coquina, pictured above.

This won’t be the first time a sitting U.S. President and Vice President were here on Amelia Island together — that is, if both Trump and Pence actually do attend the meeting. The ladies and gentlemen at the Amelia Island Ritz-Carlton have hosted a U.S. President and VP before.

UPDATE: 1/6/2021“Vice President Pence will no longer speak at a Republican National Committee (RNC) meeting in Florida on Thursday, according to a person familiar with the plans…Pence’s appearance at the party’s winter meeting in Amelia Island, Fla., was never officially announced, though he was widely expected to attend,” reported The Hill. This update is in the aftermath of the events that unfolded in Washington D.C. during the afternoon of Wednesday, January 6, 2021. The RNC also released the following statement on January 6th:  
“The members of the Republican National Committee strongly condemn the violence in and around the United States Capitol Building today in Washington, DC. These violent scenes we have witnessed do not represent acts of patriotism, but an attack on our country and its founding principles. Our Founding Fathers established a nation of laws, not a nation of anarchy. We call for all those involved to listen to law enforcement officials and help restore order in our nation’s capital.”

FLASHBACK: Democratic National Committee’s Amelia Island “Autumn Retreat”

Back in the autumn of 1997, while both in office, President Bill Clinton and VP Al Gore attended a Democratic fundraising meeting here on Amelia Island, FL.  At that time, Air Force One, flew into Jacksonville International Airport.

“A $50,000 weekend Retreat With Clinton and Gore,” was the headline of a campaign finance article (October 22, 1997), by The Washington Post.

This Democratic National Committee “Autumn Retreat” weekend occurred October 31 – Nov. 2, 1997, and was also held at the Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island.  According to The Washington Post, “The retreat is also believed to be the first such event involving a sitting president and vice president.” The White House press corps stayed at another resort property here, at the Amelia Island Plantation.

“Clinton arrived in Jacksonville shortly after midnight, and went to Amelia Island for the Democratic National Committee’s $50,000-a-couple weekend Autumn Retreat. He will spend today speaking to contributors, attending policy discussion groups, eating a gourmet dinner of Chilean sea bass and possibly taking in some golf. The DNC, which billed the first-of-its-kind fund-raiser with Clinton and Vice President Al Gore as ‘open’, ‘transparent’ and ‘accessible,’ has so far declined to disclose the list of big contributors attending.”

SOURCE: Florida Times Union (November 1, 1997)
Pivotal Week In Politics

This first week of the new year 2021 is certainly a busy one. The story leading the news cycle in the last 24 hours has been the recorded conversation of the President speaking to Georgia’s Secretary of State. There’s also the Georgia Senate runoff election happening Tuesday, January 5, 2021. It will determine whether Republicans maintain the majority in the U.S. Senate, or if control shifts to the Democrats.

The Electoral College certification process is also happening this week in a joint session of the U.S. Congress on January 6, 2021. It’s anticipated that some members may object to Joe Biden’s Electoral votes in certain states.

Then, capping off the week is the Republican National Committee’s annual winter meeting here in northeast Florida, Jan. 6th through Friday, January 8, 2021. Considering all that’s looming this pivotal week in politics, there could be rather interesting “fireside chats” happening at Ritz fire pits like this one pictured below, poolside.

Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island outdoor pool fire pit. Photo by
Poolside Fire Pit, Ritz-Carlton (Photo Nov. 28, 2020)

While it’s a hectic week in national politics, in stark contrast is the tranquil seaside here at the Amelia Island shoreline, just a few days before Republican bigwigs are due to arrive.  The transition to our serene seascape here in Nassau County, FL should be a welcomed change for these travelers.  

Tidal Pool Tranquility
Seaside serenity -- tranquil tidal pools, Amelia Island shoreline January 4, 2021. Photo by
Tidal Pool Reflections, Amelia Island (Jan. 4. 2021)

Wintertime walks along the seashore on Amelia Island is a quiet setting of seaside serenity. Besides watching a beach sunrise, the last light of day is also a beautiful and peaceful time to be at the oceanfront. Pictured above, a pink pastel sky reflects in tidal pools along the beach around sundown on January 4, 2021.

As for the ladies and gentlemen at The Ritz-Carlton, no doubt they’re busy getting ready for their arrivals and will showcase the best of Southern hospitality here at the coast.