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PGC TOURISM NEWS & NOTES 
MARCH 2015
Prince George's County Tourism News & Notes is presented by the Prince George's County Conference & Visitors Bureau (CVB), the official Destination Marketing Organization of Prince George's County.
SPRING FORWARD WITH SUPERIOR APP-TITUDE: EXPERIENCE, EXPAND, EXPLORE PRINCE GEORGE'S
Mobile tourism app provides easy access to dining options, attractions, events, hotels, and more...
 
The CVB's ExplorePGC app puts Prince George's County at your fingertips with quick and easy access to the many amenities that make Prince George's a wonderful place to visit, live, work, play, and do business. Experience attractions, events, dining, and hotels at your fingertips. The FREE ExplorePGC mobile app is available on
ON 150TH ANNIVERSARY OF PRESIDENT LINCOLN'S ASSASSINATION, KILLER'S TRAIL RUNS THRU SURRATT
Surratt House Museum presents popular Booth Escape Route Tours throughout the month... 
April 14 marks the 150th anniversary of the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln. Uniquely connected to one of the greatest crimes of the 19th century is the Surratt House in Clinton.
    
After the fatal shooting of President Lincoln at Ford's Theatre in 1865, assassin John Wilkes Booth fled into Maryland, stopping at Surratt House & Tavern to retrieve a cache of weapons and supplies that had been hidden there earlier.
  
Surmised by federal authorities to be party to the plot (a claim she vehemently denied), house/tavern owner Mary Surratt would be arrested, tried, and convicted of conspiracy. In a monumental and highly controversial case (which inspired the Robert Redford-directed film "The Conspirator"), she became the first woman to be executed by the United States government. 
 
Throughout the month, the Surratt House Museum will present it's John Wilkes Booth Escape Route Tours on consecutive Saturdays (April 11, 18, 25 & May 2). These day-long, fully-narrated bus tours take you on a scenic, historical and fascinating journey along the escape route of an assassin - from Ford's Theatre in DC to Booth's death by gunfire near Port Royal, VA.  
THE DMV'S OFFICIAL THEME PARK REOPENS FOR SPRING, FANTASTIC NEW RIDE ON TAP FOR SUMMER
Six Flags America opens this weekend for the 2015 season...    
With the often unpredictable and cold weather in the rear view, time for a little family fun. Six Flags America - the only theme park in the Washington DC/Baltimore metroplex - officially opens its gates for the season this weekend.
   
Beginning April 2nd, SFA is open weekends thru May. The park opens daily Memorial Day thru August 23, plus August 29-30, Labor Day weekend, and weekends in Fall including Fright Fest.
 
Debuting this summer will be the park's newest thrill ride, the Bourbon Street Fireball  - a seven-story, chaotic looping roller coaster. 
HOTEL ALONG LANHAM/GREENBELT/GLENN DALE CORRIDOR FINALLY MOVING TOWARD COMPLETION 
Staybridge Suites at Eastgate Shopping Center set to open early fall...      
Quick update on a long awaited hotel that's been on the books for quite awhile - say pre-2007. The Staybridge Suites Lanham-Greenbelt at Eastgate Shopping Center is again under construction and finally moving toward completion. Located at the shopping center's far west side directly off Lanham-Severn Road, the 4-story, 122 room prop has been on a treadmill for several years (due to the stalled economy and other factors). There were starts, stops, re-starts and lengthy bouts of construction inactivity.  
 
Now, crews have been working delegently over the past 8 months to get the prop in gear. Exterior is nearly complete and interior work is underway. Projected opening date is September 2015. We'll keep you posted.
DC TOURISM VET TRADES CITY LIGHTS FOR RIVERFRONT VIEWS AS NEW HEAD OF NH MARKETING
Bruce Gudenberg start his duties as National Harbor Director of Marketing this month...    
Bruce Gudenberg, formerly VP of Partnerships & Alliances for Destination DC has been hired as the new Director of Marketing for the National Harbor. Bruce joins fellow tourism vet Josh Winston, NH's Director of Tourism, to program, formulate and position NH as the premiere destination to current and expanding audiences.
 
As new DoM, Bruce will be responsible for strategic marketing, communications program, and promotion of National Harbor assets, activities and partnerships. This also includes increasing awareness of and visitation to NH. In addition, duties include (but are not limited to) tapping domestic and international tourists markets, and continuing strong outreach to the local and regional markets.  
ICONIC THEATRE RENNO ALMOST DONE, SET TO RE-OPEN THIS MONTH AS CENTERPIECE OF HISTORIC G-TOWN
The Old Greenbelt Theatre will bring an exciting mix of visual programming to the area...  

Historic Old Greenbelt is one of only three Roosevelt New Deal Era "Greentowns" in the country. And, its famed Greenbelt Theatre is one of the few surviving film houses of a bygone era. The first screening took place on September 21, 1938, was Little Miss Broadway, a musical drama starring Shirley Temple.

 

The theatre is currently completing the final phase of renovations and is preparing to re-open this month. A soft opening is scheduled for mid-April with a Grand Opening in May. Now operated by the Friends of Greenbelt Theatre group, the film house will specialize in offering independent, art house, repertory, and educational programing.

 

To learn more about Historic Greenbelt, visit the Greenbelt Museum.  

MARLBOROUGH DAY FESTIVAL OFFICIALLY UNPLUGGED FOR 2015
Organizers of the annual town fest doubtful of return in its current form...    
It has been a consistent item our county events calendar for decades, but its time appears to be at an end.
 
According to recent announcements, there will not be a 38th Marlborough Day Festival for 2015. Organizers have decided to pull the plug on this year's event, which is normally held the Saturday after Mother's Day.
  
Possible resuscitation for next year (and beyond) seem doubtful.
WHEN IT COMES TO BASEBALL, MAJOR LEAGUE FUN AND EXCITEMENT IS IN THE MINORS
Baysox begin 2015 season with Family FunFest on April 4...     Baysox logo
April 16 is Opening Night Baseball for our hometown team, the Bowie Baysox, as they take on the Erie SeaWolves at Prince George's Stadium in Bowie. Game time is 6:35 pm with an array of opening night activities for the entire family.  
  
AND, the unofficial kick-off of the season is the 16th annual Baysox Family FunFest. This free event will be held April 4, 10 am to 2 pm at Prince George's Stadium. The event features free rides and games in Louie's Kids Park, music and activities on the concourse and displays from local businesses and organizations.
 
"Each spring we try to provide a fun experience for our fans and their families at FunFest to help kick off the baseball season in style," says Baysox Marketing Director Brandan Kaiser. "This year we have a ton of fun displays and activities the entire family can enjoy at the ballpark during our unofficial season opening event."
GM CELEBRATES 1K CONSTRUCTION HIRES, BUILDS ONWARD AND UPWARD FOR 2016 OPENING
Despite disruptive weather, resort/casino on track to open in third quarter next year...    
Recently, MGM National Harbor celebrated the resort's 1000th  construction hire. In the brick-n-mortar world, that's quite an accomplishment considering current hyper-level of construction throughout the DMV, all competing for resources.
 
Just 15 months ago, MGM was awarded the license to operate the state's sixth casino. Roughly eight months ago, the project gain the appropriate permits to build. Now, its all hands on deck for one of the most anticipated projects in the Mid-Atlantic. 
 
The $1.2 billion resort will include a 23-floor, 300-room luxury hotel, a casino featuring 3,600 slots and 160 table games (including poker), a 3,000 seat theater, 18,000 square feet of highend branded retail, 27,000 square feet of meeting space, 4,800 parking spaces, and restaurants from renowned local and national chefs.
 
Pictured from left to right is MGM Resorts International Chairman/CEO Jim Murren, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, Essex Construction Labor Foreman Thomas Turner, and Prince George's County Executive Rushern Baker.
DINNER TABLE SET FOR 4-DIAMOND LUX HOTEL AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND 
Upscale "Franklins" concept hits ground floor as signature dine spot...      
Franklins' brew will gain a sibling groove. Recently, the owner of the popular (and homegrown) Hyattsville hot spot, Frankins Restaurant, Brewery &  General Store, entered into an agreement to develop a "signature" fine-dining establishment for the The Hotel at The University of Maryland.
 
Franklins Grill & Oyster Bar (as it is currently being titled) will join Potomac Pizza and Bagels & Grinds as menu mates at the 297-room, 4-dime luxury prop and conference center. The hotel, located directly off the Route 1 main campus entrance, is projected to open early 2017.   
HOLIDAY INN EXPRESS IN LARGO COMPLETES MILLION DOLLAR RENNO
Prop set to have open house for corporate clientele on April 14...   
Holiday Inn Express I-95 Capital Beltway in Largo has undergone a Million  Dollar renovation. Modern-era upgrades and interior enhancements include a total makeover of the hotel's lobby and corridors. Public spaces and guest rooms are also upgraded with new fixtures, decor, and furniture. A new Sundry shop has been enhanced with refrigerated foods, drinks, snacks and a variety of toiletries for guests' convenience. In addition, the fitness center now houses state-of-the-art fitness equipment for the fitness guru to novice.
  
The prop is owned and operated by Patriot Hospitality. "We feel optimistic that our investment in this market will be worthwhile as the area is growing substantially with corporate developments all around the area." said Shuneda Sterrett, VP of Sales & Marketing for Patriot Hospitality.
  
Holiday Inn Express I-95 Capital Beltway is scheduled to have an Open House for corporate clients on April 14, noon-7 pm. For additional info, call 301-636-6090.
WINNERS OF HARBOR'S FIRST-EVER DESTINATION WEDDING GIVEAWAY TO BE ANNOUNCED & WED THIS MONTH
One lucky couple will win a $50k waterfront wedding of a lifetime...    
Just in time for nuptial spring, the winning couple in National  Harbor's first-ever Destination Wedding Giveaway will be announced on April 16. The prize giveaway, a $50K wedding (with all the trimmings), will be held on April 26.
  
Co-sponsored by WeddingWire and 94.7 Fresh FM, this fabulous wedding weekend at National Harbor includes bachelor and bachelorette parties, rehearsal brunch on the National Elite yacht, a wedding ceremony at the Sunset Room by Wolfgang Puck, a reception on the Pier, photography, day at the spa, a wedding gown and tuxedo by House JonLei Atelier, and more.
 

"National Harbor has been a destination wedding location for years - from shopping for the dress to the rehearsal dinner to the wedding itself - we're thrilled to promote this all in one destination with such a monumental giveaway for one local couple," says Deborah Topcik, Marketing Manager at National Harbor.

BY THE NUMBERS: TOURISM'S IMPACT IN PGC
Prince George's County Tourism's impact - thru visitation and taxes generated - runs across every aspect of development including lodging, food & beverage, retail, recreation, major events, transportation, and transportation-related services.
  • Visitors - Over 6 Million
  • Total Tourism Employment - Over 31,000
  • Total Tourism Tax Receipts (combined Federal, State/Local, Hotel) - $565,700,000
  • Admission/Amusement Taxes Collected - $15,860,936
  • Room Taxes Collected - $20,573,759
  • Tourism Promotion Act State Sales Taxes - $52,408,296
  • Total Direct Consumer Tax Impact - $88,842,991

Source: Tourism Economics, December 2014
EXCITING EVENTS ON THE DECK THIS MONTH IN PRINCE GEORGE'S

Extraordinary things are happening every day in Prince George's. Here's a taste. Click each for details and visit us online (or on app) for more. 

 

apr 2 Six Flags America Opening Day - Upper Marlboro

apr 4 Bowie Baysox Family FunFest - Prince George's Stadium

apr 9 Jazz of Tia Fuller - The Clarice

apr 10-11 Freddy Cole Quartet - Montpelier Arts Center

apr 11 Glenn Leonard's Temptations Review - Harmony Hall Regional Center

apr 11 Tavern Night - Riversdale House Museum

apr 10-12 Commerford Zoo - Show Place Arena

apr 16 Bowie Baysox Opening Night - Prince George's Stadium

apr 17 Cafe Groove Dance Competition - Publick Playhouse

apr 18-19 Marching Through Time - Marietta House Museum

apr 24-26 Dallas Black Dance Theatre - Publick Playhouse

apr 25 Maryland Day: Explore Our World - University of MD

apr 25 Montpelier Festival of Herbs, Tea & The Arts - Montpelier Mansion

 

There's more...find hundreds of events online>>>
   
9200 Basil Court, Suite 101

Largo, MD 20774

301.925.8300 | visitorinfo@co.pg.md.us

 

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