MARYLAND TOURISM DEVELOPMENT BOARD BUSINESS MEETING MINUTES
THURSDAY, JUNE 23, 2011
VISIT BALTIMORE, BALTIMORE, MD
CALL TO ORDER/ROLL CALL
MTDB: Paul Bales, Delegate Pam Beidle, Delegate Wendell Beitzel, Adolph Ebersberger, John Fieseler, Mike Haynie, Senator Nancy Jacobs, John Jenkins, Dave Meloy, Sam Parker, Khaled Said, Chris Schardt, Kathy Sher, Greg Shockley, Vic Sulin, Matt Taylor, Linda Westgate; EDC: Roy Littlefield, Regina McCarthy, David Reel, Tom Riford; MDMO: Rachelina Bonacci, Sam Rogers, Sandy Turner; DBED: Hannah Byron, Margot Amelia, Lucy Chittenden, Kat Evans, Liz Fitzsimmons, Rebecca Goldman, Coleen Lamont, Bill Pencek, Marci Ross, Shilpa Shah, Denise Reed.
Board Chair Greg Shockley welcomed all in attendance and introduced guest speaker.
GUEST SPEAKER – SAM ROGERS, EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT AND CHIEF MARKETING OFFICER, VISIT BALTIMORE
Updated board on current Visit Baltimore projects - Currently working on campaign with the theme “expect the unexpected” to highlight all the great things that Baltimore has to offer, e.g., history and heritage, arts & culture, family fun/activities. Working with OTD and Bicentennial Commission on various upcoming commemorations. Installed displays at the Baltimore Visitor Center that focus on various commemorations, not only in Baltimore but events throughout the state. Advertising and promoting the Civil War in Maryland, including a “Civil War Experience” package which can be coupled with hotel packages. Beginning to focus on the War of 1812 bicentennial. Launching summer promotion with destination page on Travelzoo, Baltimore Grand Prix.
Margot encouraged everyone to stop in at the Baltimore Visitor Center to check out the exhibit.
Chair Greg Shockley introduced our newest Board member, Delegate Pamela Beidle, appointed by Speaker of the House Michael Busch. He proceeded to invite remaining board members in attendance to report out.
BOARD MEMBER COMMENTS/HIGHLIGHTS (NOT ALL INCLUSIVE)
- Matt Taylor – ASCI will host 2014 Canoe Slalom World Championships which will be held September 16-21, 2014
- Linda Westgate – Hilton hosted the U.S. Conference of Mayors – 200 mayors from around the country were in attendance – very positive feedback on the city of Baltimore. Noted that most of the major hotel chains are represented at AIBTM. • John Fieseler – the new Frederick Visitor center is now open. Lots of events going on in Frederick. Smith Travel numbers reflect that hotel occupancy is up this calendar year.
- Khaled Said – cruise industry/cruise packages having a positive impact on hotels in Baltimore. Good news is that more cruises are scheduled to be added in the future.
- Paul Bales – OTD’s Southern Maryland/Tri-county presentation was a great success. Currently exploring possibility of establishing a ferry system which would depart from Ft. Belvoir with potential stops in Virginia/Southern Maryland.
- Hannah Byron – Gave update on the 9/11 Memorial, being constructed in front of the World Trade Center, honoring the 67 Marylanders who lost their lives on 9/11. There will be a luncheon held for family members of the victims and VIPs, (including the Governor and Mayor of Baltimore). At 3:00pm, there will be a ceremony which will include the unveiling of artifacts salvaged from all three sites including 22 ft. steel beams from the twin towers in New York. Etched in the marble base are the names of all 67 victims from Maryland.
- Mike Haynie – interesting to see hospitality industry starting to bounce back. Banks are funding hotel projects and restaurants again. Parkway Management submitted a contract to acquire a property in one county which seems to be recovering very well. Expressed appreciation to OTD for their astute marketing efforts.
- Dave Meloy – commented on the ongoing government perdiem issue indicating that that the methodology used by the government to calculate perdiem rates is flawed and, until that methodology is changed, it will continue to have a very negative impact on the hotel industry. He also indicated that the increase in fees: i.e., a 3% tax increase on beer, wine and liquor (effective July 1) along with a 400% increase in tolls also have a very negative impact on hospitality industry businesses located on the Eastern Shore and Ocean City.
- Kathy Sher – National Aquarium will celebrate their 30th anniversary in August. Mr. John Raconnelli hired as the new CEO of the National Aquarium Institute (NAI). He will oversee the NAI's aquariums in Baltimore and Washington DC, as well as the National Aquarium Conservation Center (NACC), the Center for Aquatic Life and Conservation (CALC), and the National Aquarium Foundation. • Chris Schardt – Harborplace business up about 4%. Opened flagship store H&M, and Lenny’s Deli. Signed deal with Bubba Gump Shrimp (scheduled to open prior to Memorial Day in 2012).
- Wendell Beitzel – Discussed Marcellus Shale/search for natural gas in Western Maryland. Concerns have been raised regarding the negative impact on tourism and water pollution. Wind turbines are in operation in Western MD producing alternative energy for state. Working to get access to Maryland television stations in Garrett County and indicated that any help they can get in that area would be greatly appreciated.
- John Jenkins – things are going well in National Harbor with Tanger Outlets scheduled to be built in the area by the end of the year. Several new restaurants have opened. A new Walmart to be built closeby with construction scheduled to begin in early 2012.
- Bunky Ebersberger – Has been involved in the planning of an intermodal/CSX project which will directly affect tourism in the state. Currently looking at an 80 acre site in AA county for this project.
- Sam Parker - county has made a commitment for a Visitors Center to be located at Bladensburg Waterfront Park in anticipation of the War of 1812 Bicentennial.
- Greg Shockley – Pleasantly surprised with business in Ocean City so far this year due to events such as the Air Show, Fireman’s Convention, upcoming MML and Dew Tour. July and August reservations are encouraging – looking forward to a great summer season in O.C.
Chair Shockley emphasized the importance of contacting your legislators in support of tourism funding and getting our tourism message out to protect our funding in the future. He then introduced Ms. Coleen Lamont from DBED’s Office of the Attorney General who was in attendance. Margot worked closely with Ms. Lamont on the updated MTDB Bylaws. Margot referred to the draft copy of the bylaws included in the meeting folders. The bylaws, which have not been updated since 1993, reflect what has been passed in the General Assembly over the course of the last several years including the 2007 addition of 3 DMO representatives to the Board, as well as 2 additional appointees by the Senate President and 2 additional appointees by the House Speaker. The updates also include the Tourism Promotion Act of 2008 and the ability for MTDB to qualify for additional funding based upon how codes, determined by the Comptroller and the Secretary, actually performed vs. the prior year. Approval of Bylaws A motion was made and seconded to approve the updated Bylaws.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES
A motion was made and seconded to approve the February 25, 2011 meeting minutes.
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S REPORT
Executive Director Amelia mentioned that three board members’ terms expire June 30, 2011 as follows: Mike Haynie, Peggy Maher and Debbi Dodson. Mike Haynie and Peggy Maher will continue to serve until their replacement has been selected/appointed.
Margot gave an overview of AIBTM and how thousands of meeting planners were in attendance. Margot then detailed OTD’s 2012 Budget and recommended budget allocations.
She proceeded to go over the latest performance metrics, tourism monitor data, April Smith Travel Research hotel performance numbers, 2010 visitor data from D.K. Shifflett and program updates – copies of which are included in the MTDB Meeting binders.
Liz Fitzsimmons – Communications and Marketing Unit is in process of producing Maryland scenic byways guidebook and companion map.
Bill Pencek – Pride Sail – left memorial weekend on a 4-5 month tour promoting the upcoming bi-centennial period. Funding commemoration with non-taxpayer dollars.
Tall Ship Festival – June 13-19, 2012 – partnering with Baltimore and city of Annapolis and estimating more than 1.5 million visitors to ships based on numbers from Op Sail 2000. Blue Angels air show June 16th and 17th featuring a 2 hour long high precision airshow over middle branch. 19th parade of sail, led by the Pride of Baltimore II exiting the harbor.
Working to finalize U.S. Mint coins – need to raise 16.5 million dollars – Info brochures were passed out.
Marci Ross - Cycle Maryland – working with Governor’s office to showcase wonderful cycling opportunities across Maryland. Kick off in Queen Anne’s County – 5 others across the state. - In partnership with SHA, doing online survey to find out various types of cycling groups and determine how they want their information - - will assist with development of new cycling map.
Executive Director’s Council
Regina McCarthy, Maryland Wineries - just wrapped up Maryland Wine Week incorporating local restaurants/wine shops around entire state. It was “small” first year but it was a success. This year’s “Wine in the Woods” was a record breaker with 40,000 in attendance. Wineries are preparing for a series of new “farmers market style” events with the theme “Eat, Drink, Go Local” with first event to be held in Frederick County.
Roy Littlefield, WMDA Service & Auto Repair Association – gave a brief overview of WMDA and introduced his son, Roy Littlefield, Jr. who accompanied him to the meeting and is working as a summer intern at his company.
David Reel, MTC/MHLA – Introduced himself as the new President/CEO of MTC/MHLA. His main focus will be lobbying with lawmakers/decision makers in Annapolis and his message is simple: “Tourism works for Maryland.”.
Tom Riford – There is a new airline in Hagerstown providing flight service to Florida. Tom mentioned several events held or scheduled in the future in the Washington County/Hagerstown area. To name a few: Multi-day/multi-state bicycle race held in Hagerstown – 300 racers from across the U.S. participated. Hosting another cycling event, the Greenbrier Challenge, in Washington County where cyclists have an opportunity to possibly qualify for a slot on the US Olympic Mountain Bike team by winning a state or regional championship. Washington County is also hosting the “Miss Maryland” beauty pageant this week which brings in about $500,000 to the local economy.
FUTURE 2011 MTDB MEETINGS
Wednesday, September 14, 2011 Strategic Planning Session, Hanover, MD Wednesday, December 7, 2011 (Final 2011 MTDB Quarterly Mtg. - Location TBD)
There being no further business to come before the meeting, upon a motion duly made, seconded and unanimously approved, the meeting was declared adjourned.