Category: Summit

Summit 2016 Local Attractions: The River Walk

January 14th, 2016 by

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The history of the River Walk begins back in the late 17th century when a group of Indians discovered this beautiful land and river area. As celebrations were in order, the Indians thought this was the perfect place to camp for “Saint Anthony’s day”, thus the name San Antonio. Fast-forwarding 250 years, past many deadly floods and The Alamo, a group of men eager to improve their city, control the flooding and provide for their community pitched their ideas for the River Walk to the authorities. On March 14, 1941, construction was complete and a river carnival and night parade were held in celebration of the newest, most exciting development in San Antonio. The River Walk has since become a local favorite and one of Texas’s most visited attractions.

Over the years many additions have been made such as exciting nightlife, a variety of shops, restaurants, and entertainment for all ages and interests. Come visit for yourself!

Did you know the 2016 Global TapRooT® Summit is being held in San Antonio on August 1-5? Registration opens soon, so gather your team and be apart of one of the best performance improvement conferences, network with a variety of colleagues and experts from around the world, and enjoy the beautiful city of San Antonio.



Summit 2016 Local Attractions: The Alamo

January 5th, 2016 by


The Alamo, an historical icon of the Texas Revolution located in none-other-than San Antonio, Texas. This old building made of limestone was the fortress and safe house for the Mexican army, but in the Battle of the Alamo in 1836, the Texas rebels forged their way in and gained control. Now it is one of the most popular tourist attractions in San Antonio and has inspired a blockbuster movie released in 2004.

Many have wondered where the name “The Alamo” originated, assuming it has a deep, cultural meaning. Surprisingly, “The Alamo” is translated to “cottonwood”, and many scholars believe that name was chosen because of the greenery surrounding the building. However, scholars are unsure as to why they chose “cottonwood”, and if there was a more significant meaning behind it than just simple trees. It’s always interesting to learn the small, fun facts about such iconic places.

Did you know that the 2016 Global TapRooT® Summit is being held in San Antonio August 1-5? The countdown begins and we are looking forward to sharing best practices, learning from keynote speakers, networking with our wonderful Friends and Experts and visiting the beautiful city of San Antonio and all it has to offer.


*Don’t forget about the group discount! Bring the whole team and save money.

Arc Flash Safety Talk at the 2016 Global TapRooT® Summit

December 29th, 2015 by

Yes, I know we are not quite into the new year yet, but we have been busy planning the next summit (August 1-5 in San Antonio TX).

As the coordinator of the safety track, I am really excited about the line-up we have for speakers. I will be posting information about the track and the different sessions on the blog as the date nears.

One session I am very excited about is a talk on Arc Flash Safety by Scott King and Terry Butler from Hallam-ICS. With relatively new NFPA guidelines, this is a hot (no pun intended) topic from a compliance standpoint. More importantly, it is a major consideration from a safety standpoint, so whether your country complies with NFPA 70E or not, this is a talk you will not want to miss. The talk is scheduled for Thursday, August 4th at 1:50. We hope to see you there.

In the meantime, if you are interested in getting some of your people trained in this important topic, here is a link to an upcoming event Hallam-ICS is holding in February:

Thanks for reading the blog and we look forward to seeing you in San Antonio!


What will YOU do to make 2016 better than 2015?

December 2nd, 2015 by


Did you make your New Year’s resolutions? Your ideas to improve your performance next year?

In many companies, you are expected to have plans to improve performance Better production performance, quality, equipment reliability, safety, process safety, and financial performance are all expected parts of the normal year to year improvement process. If you are leading any of these improvement efforts, you better have a plan.

What if you could do something to both improve your personal performance and your company’s performance? Would that be interesting?

The first idea I have for people who have never attended a TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis Course is to ATTEND a COURSE!

What are you waiting for? TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis is proven by leading companies around the world to help them find and fix the root causes of performance problems. And the TapRooT® System can be used proactively to stop problems before major incidents happen. This can lead to improved financial performance in addition to improved safety, quality, equipment reliability, and production performance.

But beyond that, you will be adding an advanced skill to your toolbox that you can use for the rest of your career. Think of it as a magic problem solving wand that you can use to astound others by the improvement initiatives you will lead. This can lead to promotions and personal financial gain. Sounds like a great personal improvement program.

If you already have attended a 2-Day TapRooT® Root Cause Analysis Course, you can take the next step to improving your performance improvement skills. Attend a 5-Day TapRooT® Course and make improvements happen even faster.


What else can you do? Attend the Global TapRooT® Summit in San Antonio on August 1-5. What will attending the Summit do for you and your company?

First, you will meet industry leaders from around the world. This networking may be the key to your next job or the next great hire for your company.

Second, the knowledge shared across disciplines and across industries is second to none. If you need new ideas to improve your company’s performance, The Global TapRooT® Summit and we guarantee you will take home ideas that will save your company much more money than the cost of your attendance.

Third, the knowledge you share will help others and make the world a better place. What goes around comes around. Surely your efforts to help others will bring good luck to your efforts to improve personally and professionally.

Finally, you will have a great time. In addition to being invaluable place to learn new improvement skills, the Global TapRooT® Summit is fun. Why? Because every year we learn new ways to make the Summit more fun. And we’ve been improving the experience since 1993.

Now is the time to make your plans for 2016. Get your courses and your Summit attendance scheduled. Get ready too make your skills better and your company a better place to work.

Cross Industry/Cross Discipline Benchmarking for Performance Improvement

November 19th, 2015 by

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Had an interesting discussion today about cross industry / cross discipline performance improvement benchmarking.

It seems that many people benchmark inside their industry. Oil industry people benchmark with oil industry people. Heathcare with Healthcare. Nuclear with Nuclear. The list goes on and on.

Also, safety people go to safety conferences. Quality people go to quality conferences. Maintenance and reliability people go to maintenance and reliability conference.

So, I had someone ask me where they could do cross industry/cross discipline benchmarking. Nuclear safety people with Pharmaceutical Quality folks. Aviation safety folks with healthcare quality people. Refining process safety folks with Aviation safety people.

The answer? Plan on attending the 2016 Global TapRooT® Summit on August 1-5 in San Antonio.

We don’t have the final schedule out yet but it will be out soon. But I can guarantee that there will be sessions from all sorts of experts and people attending from all sorts of industries and disciplines. That’s what is so special about the TapRooT® Summit. We make a special effort to get people from different industries and different disciplines together to meet, make friends, and benchmark their improvement initiatives.

So start planning to attend.

There will be people there from all over the world.

And consider bringing a team from your company that includes people from safety, process safety, quality, operations, and maintenance. Contact us by clicking HERE for information about group discounts.

Hope to see someone from every TapRooT® User company (and some folks who are only thinking about using TapRooT®) there!

TapRooT® Summit – Get Amped Up in the Investigator Track!

October 28th, 2015 by


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Join us in San Antonio, Texas August 1 – 5, 2016 for the Global TapRooT® Summit!


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Ken Reed

Our 2016 Global TapRooT® Summit is just around the corner, and I’m REALLY excited about the session line-up we’ve set up for you. I’m the track leader in the TapRooT® Investigator Track, and we’ve got some excellent sessions planned to help you become a better investigator:

We’re going to start off with a session that lets our TapRooT® Users Share Best Practices with you. What better way to learn about best practice ideas than to get them directly from other users who are successfully implementing at their company? This session is always one of the most useful, hands-on sessions at our Summit.

Are your investigations any good? Mark Paradies is going to run a session on how to properly Grade Your Investigations. He’ll give you industry best-practice ideas on what really matters in an investigation. This isn’t just a high-level thought experiment; you’ll walk away with a grading sheet that you can customize for your company that will allow you to put an actual number grade on each investigation. This is a great way to improve each and every investigation.

Are you ready to implement TapRooT® at your company, but not sure how to get started? Ed Skompski will be leading a session on How to do a New Implementation of TapRooT®. We’ve helped many companies figure out what they need to do for a successful, long-term TapRooT® implementation, and he’s ready to share those ideas with you. Wouldn’t you love to have an implementation checklist?!

Barb Phillips is going to have a couple of sessions on individual investigator techniques. Interviewing Behaviors and Body Language will help you learn advanced skills to perform more effective interviews. The Investigation Team Leader session will give you pointers on how to lead more complex investigations from the perspective of the lead facilitator. These are both going to be terrific sessions for all TapRooT® investigators.

Wouldn’t it be nice to ask all the right questions at your very first interview? In addition to Barb’s topic on body language, we’re going to look even more deeply at how to use The 15 Questions To Identify Interview Topics. This will help you better plan your interviews to ensure you minimize the number of follow-up interviews required during your investigations.

We’ve had many requests to speak in more detail about the intricacies of a few of the Root Cause Tree® Basic Cause Categories. This year, we are going to Deep Dive into Procedures and Management Systems. We’ll show you where some of these root causes come from, and how to recognize them during your investigations.

I’m really excited about my track this year. If you are a TapRooT® investigator, you will not want to miss these sessions. Plan on being in San Antonio next year; don’t miss out on this opportunity!!

Learn more:

Monday Accident & Lessons Learned: Go To the 2016 Global TapRooT® Summit

August 3rd, 2015 by


The 2016 Global TapRooT® Summit has been scheduled for San Antonio, Texas, on August 1-5.

Why is this in the Monday Accident & Lessons Learned section?

Because we share lessons learned (and best practices) from around the world at the TapRooT® Summit!

If you are interested in learning from others, BE AT THE SUMMIT!

The registration has not been opened BUT you should put the dates in your schedule to make sure you keep the dates open to attend.

See you there!



August 3rd, 2015 by


The 2016 Global TapRooT® Summit is on the schedule! Save the date, August 1-5, 2016 in San Antonio, Texas.  Stay updated about our global event by subscribing to our weekly eNewsletter.  Just send an e-mail to with the subject line “subscribe.”

Are You Comfortable With Just Getting By?

June 15th, 2015 by

Getting comfortable with just getting by, accepting failure, accepting broken rules … these attitudes all contribute to an unhealthy workplace culture that allows major and minor accidents. How do we get back on track?

We livestreamed Mark Paradies’ empowering talk, “How to Stop Normalization of Deviation,” at the 2015 Global TapRooT® Summit in Las Vegas. View the recorded session below and learn how to improve the work culture at your facility.

Broadcast live streaming video on Ustream

Amazing Summit!

June 5th, 2015 by


Today I’m looking forward to Captain Richard Phillips talk. But I already know this has been the best Summit ever.

The keynotes were amazing. From Dan Quiggle to Walter Bond to Dr. Beverly Chiodo to Mhorvan Sherret and Alan Smith … they were all amazing! They influence people’s lives, gave great take-aways, and left us motivated to improve our workplaces.

I’m already starting to plan for the 2016 Global TapRooT® Summit with excellent ideas from this year’s participants and a few of my own. Start planning now to attend in San Antonio on August 1-5.

See you there.




Report from Las Vegas

June 3rd, 2015 by

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I didn’t get a chance to report during the day, but at the reception tonight, many people told me that this was the best Summit ever and by far the best conference they ever attended.

Thanks to Walter Bond and Dan Quiggle for their contribution to a great fist day!

Dan Quiggle Shares Lessons on Leadership

June 3rd, 2015 by

We were privileged to hear Dan Quiggle speak on leadership today at the 2015 Global TapRooT® Summit in Las Vegas.

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Dan Quiggle (left) Mark Paradies (right)



Best Practice Session 8- 2015 Global TapRooT® Summit

June 1st, 2015 by

Here are the presentations and handouts received thus far for:

Best Practice Session 8
Friday, June 5, 2015
9:00 a.m. to 9:50 a.m.

Presentations will be uploaded as they are received. If the presentation you are looking for is not available, check back later. If you have any questions, please e-mail Barb.


Performance Improvement Program – Gap Analysis 

Best Practice Session 7 – 2015 Global TapRooT® Summit

June 1st, 2015 by

Here are the presentations and handouts received thus far for:

Best Practice Session 7
Thursday, June 4, 2015
2:55 p.m. to 3:45 p.m.

Presentations will be uploaded as they are received. If the presentation you are looking for is not available, check back later. If you have any questions, please e-mail Barb.


Improve Your Instructor Skills Using Reflective Practice Tools (Ralph Brickey)


The Foundations of Equifactor®, part 2 (Heinz Bloch)


Failure to Recognize a Sentinel Event (John T. James, Ph.D)


Pike River Mine Accident (Ken Scott)


Performance Excellence Workshop (Kevin McManus, Chris Vallee)


Process Safety Management Benchmark: Comparing Seveso 3 to OSHA PSM (Frank Verschueren)


Investigating Using the Optional Techniques in the TapRooT® V5 Software (Ken Reed)

Best Practice Session 6- 2015 Global TapRooT® Summit

June 1st, 2015 by

Here are the presentations and handouts received thus far for:

Best Practice Session 6
Thursday, June 4, 2015
1:50 p.m. to 2:40 p.m.

Presentations will be uploaded as they are received. If the presentation you are looking for is not available, check back later. If you have any questions, please e-mail Barb.


Stopping Human Error with Type 4 Corrective Actions (Joel Haight)


The Foundations of Equifactor® (Heinz Bloch) 


Performance Excellence Criteria- Its Not Just Your QMS (Kevin McManus)


Praising the 49 Character Traits (Dr. Beverly Chiodo)


The TapRooT® Software Advisory Board (Dan Verlinde, Matt Irving)

Best Practice Session 5- 2015 Global TapRooT® Summit

June 1st, 2015 by

Here are the presentations and handouts received thus far for:

Best Practice Session 5
Thursday, June 4, 2015
12:45 p.m. – 1:35 p.m.

Presentations will be uploaded as they are received. If the presentation you are looking for is not available, check back later. If you have any questions, please e-mail Barb.


Applying NSP to Interviewing (Jim Whiting)


The Business End of Equipment Reliability, Part 2 (Heinz Bloch)


How to Stop Normalization of Deviance (Mark Paradies)


How to Find Generic Causes Using Extent of Condition / Extent of Cause (Steve Swarthout)


Daily Tracking of Errors and Defects/Wastes (Kevin McManus)


How We Implemented the TapRooT® Enterprise Software (Jennifer Herget, Scott Gunderson)

Best Practice Session 4- 2015 Global TapRooT® Summit

June 1st, 2015 by

Here are the presentations and handouts received thus far for:

Best Practice Session 4
Thursday, June 4, 2015
10:15 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.

Presentations will be uploaded as they are received. If the presentation you are looking for is not available, check back later. If you have any questions, please e-mail Barb.


Certified TapRooT® Instructor Recertification Workshop (Linda Unger, Michelle Wishoun) Note: This is a closed session and will not be made available for digital download.


The Business End of Equipment Reliability (Heinz Bloch)


Developing Proactive Performance Measure  (Mark Paradies)


Finding Causal Factors Using Safeguards and the 5 Questions (Ken Reed)


Process Quality Best Practices (Chris Vallee, Alethea Arnold, Pat Fortune and Frank Verschueren)

(Generic Causes- Frank Verschueren)

(Organizational Issues- Pat Fortune)

(Quality Workshop on Audits & Preventative Action- Chris Vallee & Alethea Arnold)


The TapRooT® Software Sandbox (Dan Verlinde, Matt Irving)

Best Practice Session 3- 2015 Global TapRooT® Summit

June 1st, 2015 by

Here are the presentations and handouts received thus far for:

Best Practice Session 3
Wednesday, June 3, 2015
2:45 p.m. to 3:45 p.m.

Presentations will be uploaded as they are received from the presenters. If you have any questions, please e-mail Barb.


What’s New In the TapRooT® Software (Dan Verlinde)


Proactive Equipment Reliability Tools (Mark Olson)


Digging Deeper into Work Direction Causes (Dave Janney)

Digging Deeper into Human Engineering Causes (Chris Vallee)


RCA of Multiple Similar Events (Michelle Lindsay)


The New International Standard for OHS Management Systems- ISO 45001 (Jim Whiting)

Best Practice Session 2- 2015 Global TapRooT® Summit

June 1st, 2015 by

Here are the presentations and handouts received thus far for:

Best Practice Session 2
Wednesday, June 3, 2015
1:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

Presentations will be uploaded as they are received. If the presentation you are looking for is not available, check back later. If you have any questions, please e-mail Barb.


Grading Your Investigations (Mark Paradies)


Policy Considerations for Evidence Collection (Mhorvan Sherret)


Strange Way to Live (Carl Dixon)


Procedures Talk- Checklist Manifesto (Randy Bennett)


Why the 5 Whys Fail & Find Causal Factors for Quality Events (Chris Vallee, Kevin McManus)

(Find Causal Factors for Quality Events – Kevin McManus)

(Why the 5 Whys Fail- Alethea Arnold)


Communicating Safety (Clare Solomon, Mark Ormond)

Best Practice Session 1- 2015 Global TapRooT® Summit

June 1st, 2015 by

Here are the presentations and handouts received thus far for:

Best Practice Session 1
Wednesday, June 3, 2015
10:30 a.m. – noon

Presentations will be uploaded as they are received. If the presentation you are looking for is not available, check back later. If you have any questions, please e-mail Barb.


TapRooT® Users Share Best Practices (Linda Unger, Benna Dortch and Michelle Wishoun) (Presentation will be uploaded when received from presenter.)


Equipment Reliability Best Practices (Ralph Brickey)


Kaizen Event Using TapRooT® and the RCT (Amy Bratkovic)

Pre-Summit TapRooT® Courses are Underway!

June 1st, 2015 by

Took a picture of each class being held before the TapRooT® Summit. Here’s the students and instructors working hard to learn how to apply new things to improve performance.

TapRooT® Software Course:

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Interviewing & Investigation Basics:

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Advanced Trending:

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Equifactor® Equipment Troubleshooting & Root Cause Analysis:

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Hazard Recognition:

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2-Day TapRooT® Incident Investigation & Root Cause Analysis:

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Understanding & Stopping Human Error:

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Analyzing & Fixing Safety Culture Issues:

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TapRooT® Quality/Six Sigma/Lean Advanced Root Cause Analysis Training:

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Proactive Use of TapRooT®:

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Risk Assessment & Management Best Practices:

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Fighting Fatigue:

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Advanced Causal Factor Development:

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Start planning to attend the 2016 Global TapRooT® Summit in San Antonio, Texas, on August 1-5.

2015 Global TapRooT® Summit After Hours: Downtown Vegas!

May 25th, 2015 by

Are you getting packed for Vegas? Do you have one or two fun things on your list for after hours fun?

On our visit to downtown Vegas, we chatted with one of the locals who told us downtown is where it’s at!  It’s less expensive for a night out on the town, and in his opinion, more fun because it’s old-style Vegas glam!


Hugo’s Cellar at the Four Queens Hotel and Casino is known for classic Las Vegas dining.  Ladies will be greeted with a long stemmed rose.


Adventure seekers will love the thrill of ziplining through downtown.  Click this photo to view an exciting zipline video!


The Golden Nugget and Binion’s sit right across from each other! Binion’s penthouse restaurant offers breathtaking views; and The Golden Nugget was named “Best Downtown Hotel” in 2014!

Last but not least, The Gold Spike has a giant living room and backyard where there is a ton of fun to be had on a warm summer night!


The living room at the Gold Pike is equipped with games and comfy furniture (click to view another photo of the living room.


Judy and I played life-size chess in the backyard of The Gold Spike! Click this image to see the cornhole games and comfy seating!

We’ve listed some more ideas on our Hotel & Travel page (scroll down the page to view the list).

Still haven’t signed up?  We’ll take your registration for a few more days!  Go to this link now:

Summit Attendees: Must Know Information Before You Arrive in Vegas!

May 21st, 2015 by

Performance Improvement

When you attend the 2015 Global TapRooT® Summit, there is information you must know before you travel to Las Vegas.

1. PREPARATION: Review your current performance improvement program and find gaps that you would like to improve in the next 12 months. There is a diagram of improvement program elements above to get you thinking about your plan and potential gaps. Also, read Chapter 6 of your black TapRooT® Book. Hopefully, the sessions you chose to attend will help you learn valuable information that will take your improvement efforts to the next level.

2. NETWORK: Come prepared to network. BRING BUSINESS CARDS

3. DRESS: Pack the right cloths. Dress will be business casual for attendees and business for speakers. Also, if you are often cold, bring a light jacket or sweater. Hotel conference facilities are usually kept cool to keep attendees awake!

4. FOOD: Breakfast and lunch are supplied at the Summit and at the Pre-Summit courses. There will also be food and drink at the Wednesday night reception.

5. RECEPTION: Plan to attend the Wednesday night TapRooT® Summit Reception at Margaritaville. There will be live music, food, and drinks. It is a great place to meet and make friends. Your spouse is invited too.

6. BE ON TIME: Don’t miss the OPENING WELCOME at 8 AM on Wednesday. You will have three people looking to meet you during THE NAME GAME and a reward for completing the game. Also, you will get a ticket for a prize drawing whenever you are on time for a session.

7. CONSIDER BRINGING A LAPTOP: Some sessions have exercises that may require a laptop or tablet. Also, you will be able to log into the new software at the Thursday morning breakfast.

8. KNOW ANYONE WHO SHOULD ATTEND? There’s barely enough time to register but if someone really needs to improve their improvement efforts, they should attend the 2015 Global TapRooT® Summit. Recommend it to them and send them this link for more information:

9. BREAKFAST ACTIVITIES: Breakfast on Thursday and Friday is from 8 to 9. On Thursday, the breakfast activity will be a Version 6 TapRooT® Software trial. If you want to learn more about the TapRooT® Software, come to breakfast at 8 AM. On Friday, there will be breakfast table discussions about a variety of topics. Arrive at 8 AM to pick your table/topic and participate in the discussion/networking event.

10. DON’T LEAVE EARLY! Friday is an important day at the Summit. The Gap Analysis Session will help you design the improvement to your improvement program in 2015/2016. And the final speaker is Captain Richard Phillips. (The real guy, not the movie actor who played him in the hit movie.) Don’t schedule your flight until the afternoon. Or stay until Saturday and have time to meet and talk with Captain Phillips after his presentation.

11. QUESTIONS? Drop us a note at

Thanks for reading these brief instructions. Look for more details in the meeting instructions you will get from our meeting planner.

Looking forward to seeing you at the 2015 Global TapRooT® Summit …

Room Block Extended for the 2015 Global TapRooT® Summit!

May 14th, 2015 by copy

Our room block has been extended!  Friday, May 22, 2015, is your last opportunity to book a room in the 2015 Global TapRooT® Summit Hotel Block.

By staying at the conference hotel, you will enjoy the value, convenience and perks of residing at the conference venue, including:

  • Room block rates starting at just $129.00.
  • Excellent location (the Flamingo wasn’t built on the Strip, the Strip was build around the Flamingo)
  • Saving time – relax – have one more cup of coffee before the conference begins – your room is conveniently located in the conference host hotel.
  • Bars and nightlife, dining, entertainment, casino, salon and spa, shopping and a wildlife habitat – all onsite!
  • Step right out the door and onto the fabulous LINQ Promenade!

There’s no better place to stay during Summit week than the Flamingo Las Vegas!

For more information, visit:

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