Despite a winter storm that paralyzed much of the Great Plains region Thursday, almost 500 booksellers from all over the country succeeded in getting to the Westin Hotel Crown Center in downtown Kansas City for Winter Institute 8. 
The annual gathering of independent booksellers, publishers, and authors kicked off Friday evening with a reception hosted by Andrews McMeel at the historic Union Station. Oren Teicher, the ABA’s CEO, told PW at Sunday evening’s author reception that 95% of the booksellers from 270 stores that had registered actually attended; there were only about 40 cancellations related to the weather from approximately two dozen bookstores.

"It says something about these folks that they were resilient enough to get here," Teicher told PW, referring to the fact that the storm closed the Kansas City International Airport and transformed roads into sheets of ice. "They’re used to fighting to keep their stores open; they were fighting to get here," he said. Dan Cullen, ABA’s content officer, added that the obstacles presented by the weather “gave an extra energy and zest” to the institute, whose attendees traded travel horror stories with one another throughout the weekend, when they weren’t talking shop, that is.

Full report at PW