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Washington County getting G-8 spillover

May 12, 2012|By ANDREW SCHOTZ | andrews@herald-mail.com

The influx of visitors connected to the G-8 Summit in Frederick County, Md., is being felt in Washington County, too.

Thomas B. Riford, president and chief executive officer of the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau, said local hotels are listed on a Frederick County tourism website that guides out-of-towners to available lodging.

Riford said Thursday that he thinks three Hagerstown-area hotels have reported that they’re booked next weekend, either partly or largely because of the G-8 Summit.

A press pool from Germany is staying at one Hagerstown hotel. Riford said it wasn’t a coincidence they chose Hagerstown, the home of the Schmankerl Stube, a well-known Bavarian restaurant.

Journalists and the diplomatic corps from another country also are staying in Washington County. It is not a G-8 country, but Riford said he was asked not to disclose specific information.

The Tourism Council of Frederick County’s Camp David G8 Summit website is at www.campdavidg8summit.com.

It includes information about the area, along with photos and background video footage, known as B-roll, journalists can use. Michelle Kershner, the council’s marketing and communications manager, said all of the material was around, but was quickly assembled in one place.

The council’s website links to a Frederick County G-8 Summit information web page, www.frederickcountymd.gov/index.aspx?NID=4914.

That site lists information about other summit details, such as road and park closures.

Thurmont posted its own website of town history, photos and amenities for the summit, www.g8thurmont.com.

Stacie Zelenka, chairwoman of the town’s Economic Development Commission, said the Secret Service asked businesses in the county not to hold any special events, especially outside.

But Thurmont has created a special reusable shopping bag in time for the summit. It says “Thurmont Maryland, pretty nice” and features the work of a local artist, Zelenka said. The bags will sell for $3 apiece.

The Hagerstown-Washington County CVB has prepared packets for G-8 Summit visitors, including journalists, in case they want to use Washington County and its history as part of their reporting or they’re drawn to the county’s amenities, such as shopping centers, Riford said.

Several other events will be going on in or around Hagerstown during the same time period, including the Independent Order of Odd Fellows’ annual state convention.

Elsewhere in the region, three colleges — McDaniel, Hood and Gettysburg — are holding their graduations.

“All this is a shot in the arm to the tourism industry on a very busy weekend,” Riford said.

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