From Harford County Government:
(Bel Air, MD) – – Harford County Executive David R. Craig, joined by Donald C. Fry, President and CEO of the Greater Baltimore Committee and Jim Richardson, Director of the Office of Economic Development for Harford County and Eric McLauchlin, Chair of the Economic Development Advisory Board have announced the release of “2012 Harford County – Destination Market Study.” The study was conducted by C. H. Johnson Consulting, Inc. of Chicago, Illinois for the Greater Baltimore Committee in conjunction with the Office of Economic Development.
The report provided an analysis of the current tourism situation with respect to economic and demographic indicators, tourism products, and current tourism promotional efforts. Key observations and issues were identified during interviews with various local organizations, as well as state officials. Additionally, key characteristics of mid-size sports facilities and convention centers were cited along with recommendations for ensuring the ongoing tourism growth for Harford County in both 3 year and 8 – 10 year intervals.
The report revealed the existing museums and attractions, as well as dining, do not provide a core base of activity that encourage multiple day stays for tourist visiting Harford.
“Harford County’s tourism profile is changing and there is a market share that can be captured even during austere times,” remarked County Executive David R. Craig. “Harford County is at a pivotal point in the tourism industry and working with our partners in the business community and neighbors at APG, we must develop a vision that will help create additional opportunities for tourism at a higher economic impact level,” Craig remarked.
With the growth of Aberdeen Proving Ground, the role and opportunities for tourism in Harford County is changing. Until now, Harford County has experienced the benefits of the tourism industry with a relatively small investment. The primary benefit of implementing the recommend changes will be a substantial increase in the economic impact of the tourism industry on Harford County.
The following are the recommendations from the C. H. Johnson Consulting, Inc., regarding the “2012 Harford County – Destination Market Study”:
–The current impact from tourism stems from sporting events, leisure market, and meetings hosted in the county, however the APG conversion has changed the profile and opportunities for the county.
–The existing museums and attractions along with dining do not provide a core base of activity options that would encourage multiple days’ stay. It is important to note that most of these recommendations are not stand alone action steps, but would need to work in concert for a successful destination strategy.
–Targeting meeting, conference and sporting event business will move the industry forward generating higher economic impact.
–Establish a full service conference and visitors bureau (CVB) to give the county one strong voice to actively market tourism products, gain market share- and attract investment.
–Based on Johnson’s assessment Harford County can support a mid-market sized convention center and recommends the county pursue strategies to attract private investment. Three case studies regarding this recommendation can be found in the report.
–First phase of the facility would be a 12,000 square foot ballroom, 8,000 square foot meeting space and 30,000 square foot exhibit hall which could host approximately 288 events within five years.
–Implement a lodging tax that is dedicated to tourism marketing and development.
“It is fairly easy to mount a local tourism effort, however, to move to the next level, a resource base must evolve that allows marketing as well as bricks and mortar projects to advance the county,” the County Executive stated.
Commenting on the study, Donald Fry, of the Greater Baltimore Committee stated, “Harford County has tremendous assets and has the potential to grow the economic impact brought about by the tourism industry. This report provides some key suggestions of how Harford County can maximize its tourism potential and become a significant player in the regional tourism market.”
To see the complete study, visit the Greater Baltimore Committee website at www.gbc.org.
Just what we need in this county another burden for the tax payers to support.
What The? says
We built a stadium in Aberdeen based on the exact same logic. Aberdeen is broke, and Ripken profits. Who will be the real winner this time?
Hmm,,,,I know…we can up the property tax !!! Gosh is that all we need to do is spend , spend, spend???? How about giving us a break for a year or so??????? Yeah,,, love the Ripken Stadium,,,,lets do another project like that.. :0)
Just the titles of the 4 guys involved made my head swim. Lets see,your typical family has a choice for vacation. They can go to the capitol of the United States, New York City, Western MD, Ocean City, Atlantic City or Harford County. Decisions, decisions. My bet is Harford Co. loses. Not because it isn’t a great place but because there is already to many other things to do. I’m sure the facts won’t deter the above mentioned gentlemen from spending more of OUR HARD EARNED MONEY. Let’s get rid of these nitwits.
There’s nothing wrong with developing some plans. That’s the kind of proactive intelligent things growing Counties should be doing. Go ahead and make all the plans you want.
But let’s not spend a dime on it just yet.
You may want to be poised to come out on top when/if the boom times ever return, and some kind of events center would be a good step. But in times like this, nobody should be spending any money on this kind of thing.
The ideal place would probably be on the water along a stretch of US40 that needs to be redeveloped anyway. I have the feeling the size of the facility they are talkiing about above is a bit much.
Anyway, I personally think the main reason it’s even getting talked about is just saying this is a good idea is another feather in Craig’s cap toward the next step he’s leaning toward. “Look my County is doing so well we need a convention center”
I agree that planning is good, however, it is seldom cheap. I wonder how much “the study by C. H. Johnson Consulting of Chicago Inc” cost us taxpayers. I guess there weren’t any consulting firms in Harford Co. or in Maryland for that matter.
Says above it was done “for” the GBC “in conjunction with” the HC EconDev office, which hopefully means Harford County didn’t pay anything, or hardly anything.
What The? says
We need a stop the convention center campaign!!!!!I don’t want my paycheck funding this!
David A. Porter says
Has anyone considered the facilities that are already present that do not require building?
one more former student says
Funny, we were supposed to have a nice conference center that could hold large groups, business meetings and have a hotel with it. It was part of the 2nd 18 hole course at Bulle Rock. But then clarkie Turner got involved with his friend David Craig and we got houses….
When completed, the new arena will be the largest indoor venue in Northeastern Maryland, able to accommodate approximately 3,300 people. In addition to being home to three of HCC’s Fighting Owl athletic teams, it will be used for commencements, concerts, special events, conferences, trade shows and more.
The Susquahanna Center at Harford Community College, also on the Dagger
Motivated Planner says
First of all ‘Pie in the Sky” I am sorry to say there is not enough hotels in the area, some are a mess ‘Health Department” should be called.Ripkin refuses business, yes they do, In the event of a game.
You have a hotel that couldn’t take care of that of 30 rooms booked for a week for a event that took place in there own “Hotel”
You have lots of site already they don’t even return calls to get booking when they could be making money, as it then would trickle down to other business in the area.
But that is ok, your local governments can keep giving your tax dollars to them, when they could be making money. But they choose not. I have been to your fair area many times. My staff seems to find that your area doesn’t really want the business. But our clients do. But you choose not to do so.