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January 2017

In This Issue

Maryland Visitor Economic Impact Report 2015 Released

Tourism Day in Annapolis is Friday, March 3, 2017

St. Mary's County Tourism & Hospitality Master Plan Presented to Commissioners of St. Mary's County

Visitor Guide Updated and 2017 Calendar of Events

Carolyn Laray, Long-Time St. Mary's County Tourism Advocate, Retires from County Government

New Look, Functionality for Tourism Website Coming Soon

Maryland Distillers Guild to hold Winter Showcase in St. Mary's County

Add Your Events to the VisitMaryland.org Calendar

Cherry Cove Hospitality Welcomes Mike McCarthy as New Vice President of Hotel Operations

Sotterley Commemorates the Legacy of Trustee Emeritus Agnes Kane Callum

Ongoing Industry Meetings

 

St. Mary’s Chamber of Commerce Tourism & Hospitality Advisory Council

Fourth Thursday of the month, 8 AM
St. Mary’s County Chamber of Commerce Office, California
Meeting of Council Members. Open to industry stakeholders.
Contact Chamber Office for more information: 301-737-3001


Leonardtown Business Association Meeting

Second Friday of the month, 8:30 AM
Various Leonardtown locations
Businesses, organizations and other corporate entities located in Leonardtown meet to discuss ways to promote the Town. For membership and meeting information, contact admin@thelba.org


St. Mary’s County Hotels Meeting

Third Tuesday of the month, 1:30 PM
Location varies
St. Mary’s County hotels meet with SMCT to discuss industry topics, programs and marketing initiatives. Contact SMCT for meeting info and location at 301-475-4200 ext. 1404.

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Maryland Visitor Economic Impact Report 2015 Released 

The Maryland Office of Tourism released its latest Maryland Visitor Economic Impact Report (2015), and the results for St. Mary's County were encouraging. Visitation within St. Mary's County rose by 15.9% and industry sales rose by 8.7% over the prior year. To read more and to see the report, Click Here.

 






 

Tourism Day in Annapolis is Friday, March 3, 2017

Each year, the Maryland Tourism Coalition (MTC) and the Maryland Association of Destination Marketing Organizations (MDMO) bring together tourism stakeholders from across the state to carry the tourism message to Annapolis: Tourism supports jobs for more than 131,000 Marylanders and generates more than $2 billion in state and local taxes. To register, Click Here. To find out more about attending with your Southern Maryland partners, contact Tourism Coordinator Andrew Ponti.











2016 Tourism Day attendees.

St. Mary's County Tourism & Hospitality Master Plan Presented to Commissioners of St. Mary's County

At the regular meeting of the Commissioners of St. Mary's County on Tuesday, January 10, the St. Mary's County Tourism & Hospitality Master Plan (THMP) was presented for the first time to the Commissioners. This plan lays out a comprehensive short, mid and long-range strategy to guide the development of tourism and hospitality in the foreseeable future for St. Mary's County. This was the first tourism master plan St. Mary’s County has ever undertaken and involved the participation and input from hundreds of industry stakeholders. The plan is part of the Department of Economic Development (DED) and the Economic Development Commission's (EDC) efforts to create a more diverse local economy. The plan includes an action plan to “kick-start” tourism in South County. Master Plan consultants from Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) led the presentation. DED expects work on implementation to begin shortly. For more info, Click Here.

Visitor Guide Update and 2017 Calendar of Events

We've recently refreshed our visitors’ guide with updated listings and information. The 2017 Calendar of Events will be published and available in February. Look for the St. Mary's County Discover Guide and the 2017 Calendar of Events at state and regional welcome centers, hotels, local sites and attractions, and businesses. If you'd like to display either of these publications, please contact Tourism Coordinator Andrew Ponti.
 

Carolyn Laray, Long-Time St. Mary's County Tourism Advocate, Retires from County Government

Carolyn Laray, Tourism Manager for St. Mary's County Division of Tourism, retired at the end of December 2016 after nearly 15 years on the job. During her tenure, Carolyn worked to build a cohesive tourism and hospitality industry based on partnerships and culminating in work on the St. Mary's County Tourism & Hospitality Master Plan (THMP). Among countless other initiatives, she expanded the scope of tourism activities, strengthened the County’s presence in advertising, marketing, and public relations, and made St. Mary's County Tourism what it is today. Thank you, Carolyn, for your many years of passion and dedication - you will be missed!

 
















Carolyn Laray

New Look, Functionality for Tourism Website Coming Soon

To stay competitive in the ever-changing landscape of online media, SMCT has been hard at work over the past year giving the St. Mary's County Travel & Tourism website a fresh new look and enhanced functionality. The site will have the most up-to-date mobile capabilities along with streamlined site navigation, new page designs, and lots of photos. SMCT's objective is to push even more visitors to sites, attractions, restaurants, lodgings, and other tourism and hospitality partners throughout St. Mary's County. Look for these updates by the start of February. To visit the current tourism website, Click Here














Screenshot preview of the refreshed "See & Do" landing page.

Maryland Distillers Guild to hold Winter Showcase in St. Mary's County

Starting in February 2017, the Maryland Distillers Guild will hold a yearly Distilled Spirits Showcase in St. Mary's County called "Spirits of Maryland: Southern MD" at the Patuxent River Naval Air Museum. The showcase will allow attendees to sample from over a dozen Maryland distilleries amidst the museum's grand collections recounting the past, present, and future of naval aviation. The showcase is being made possible by a partnership of the Maryland Distiller's Guild, St. Mary's County Department of Economic Development, Tourism Division, and the St. Mary's County Chamber of Commerce. For more information, Click Here.
 

Add your Events to the VisitMaryland.org Calendar

SMCT adds major events listed on the County’s Travel & Tourism Website to the state’s tourism calendar. However, SMCT does not add all events, so please check the VisitMaryland.org website and add your events if they are not posted there. It’s easy: 1) Visit http://visitmaryland.org/events-calendar; 2) click “Add Event”; 3) create an account/enter log-in information; 4) enter your information and click “Save”! If you are unsure if your event is already entered on the VisitMaryland.org website, please contact Tourism Coordinator Andrew Ponti at andrew.ponti@stmarysmd.com. ​

Cherry Cove Hospitality Welcomes Mike McCarthy as New Vice President of Hotel Operations

Mike McCarthy, Cherry Cove's new Vice President of Hotel Operations, brings with him a background rooted in the multifaceted world of both hotel operations and Sales & Marketing. Mr. McCarthy started on the front lines of operations early in his career and has worked with a number of major brands as well as a diverse collection of independent boutique hotels in a variety of managerial positions, serving predominately as General Manager. Following his operational achievements, Mr. McCarthy successfully led IHG’s efforts in the greater Washington, DC area as the Director of Upscale Brands and Major Market Director driving Guest Satisfaction, enhancing revenues, and shifting market share of a large portfolio of hotels for over 18 years. Mr. McCarthy attended the University of Maryland, College Park receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree. Cherry Cove Hospitality operates several hotel properties in St. Mary's County, including Home2 Suites & Fairfield Inn in Lexington Park. For more information on Cherry Cove, Click Here.

Sotterley Commemorates the Legacy of Trustee Emeritus Agnes Kane Callum

Historic Sotterley Plantation will celebrate the legacy of Agnes Kane Callum, a Sotterley Trustee Emeritus who passed away in 2015, with multiple events in 2017, including the opening of the Slave Cabin Exhibit in April. Agnes dedicated tireless research not only into her own family’s history, but also many others who were enslaved at Sotterley, in Maryland, and throughout our nation. Her oral histories and aforementioned research helped develop Sotterley's rich educational programs and enhance our understanding about the slave cabin. The first event will be a presentation at the Lexington Park Library on February 9, 2017 called "Remembering Agnes Kane Callum: Her Mission’s Relevance for Today". This event will be the precursor to the dedication ceremony to commemorate the opening of the Slave Cabin Exhibit in Agnes' memory on Friday, April 21, 2017 at 10:30 AM. At the ceremony, Agnes’ family and friends, important members of the community and the public will gather on Historic Sotterley’s grounds for this dedication and exhibit opening. To learn more about Historic Sotterley, Click Here.
 
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