History part V – The Later Years
As the number of people attending the our Conferences increased, it became no longer possible to hold them in smaller communities because lodging and conference facilities were not large enough to hold the crowds. An interesting sidelight of the 1955 Fall Conference in Watsonville was that, because of insufficient housing in hotels and motels, the Watsonville Chamber of commerce persuaded non-alcoholic citizens to open their homes to AA members. This created situations which had never existed before nor have they existed since.
Probably in the late fifties or early sixties, since no December programs have been found for this period, discussions at the business meetings began to center on reducing the number of yearly conferences from four to three and to limiting the cities in which the conferences could be held to those cities having adequate hotel and convention facilities. After considerable discussion, the number of conferences was reduced to three each year; and it became policy that, when bidding for a future conference, the bidders must insure that the city does indeed have adequate facilities.
The last NCC Conference to be held in a smaller community was in 1975 in Santa Cruz. An amusing sidelight of this Conference was that the host hotel, where the Conference was being held, put on an additional bartender and two extra cocktail waitresses for the Saturday night dinner. After forty-five minutes without business, the bartenders closed the bar and the cocktail waitresses began to help serve dinner in the dining room.