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Prime Outlets wins travel award

December 05, 1998|By JULIE E. GREENE

Prime Outlets was among the recipients for the first annual Washington County Travel Awards this week.

The Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau recognized Prime Outlets as its 1998 Member of the Year during an awards luncheon on Thursday at the Four Points Sheraton Hotel.

Prime Outlets has 76 stores open so far with a third phase of more than 20 stores expected to open next summer, outlet officials said.

"I was thrilled. On behalf of the center we were very, very excited," said Alice Rosen, assistant general manager and marketing director for the outlets.

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Rosen said the award was more than a pleasant surprise given the outlets have been open less than a year. A grand opening for the first phase of the outlets was held on Aug. 7. The second phase opened last month.

The $40 million outlet center's sales during for its first year are expected to be around $60 million, said Brian Lewbart, spokesman for Baltimore-based Prime Retail, which owns the village-style center.

The tourism bureau has a satellite visitors center at the outlet center, which is off Sharpsburg Pike south of Hagerstown.

According to the tourism office, other Travel Award winners are:

* Libby Early was named Volunteer of the Year. Early has been an active member of the Washington County Historical Society's board of directors for nine years, serves on the millennium committee, conducts walking tours downtown and volunteers in other community activities, such as the League of Women Voters.

* Janice Baker, the ballroom banquet manager at the Venice Inn, was named Front Line Employee of the Year.

* The Sharpsburg Heritage Society is the nonprofit organization of the year.

* The Western Maryland Blues Fest was the special event of the year.

* Maryland Sen. Don Munson and Del. D. Bruce Poole were named Elected Officials of the Year for helping the tourism bureau revamp from focusing on services to concentrating on marketing, promotion and sales.

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