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NEWS
March 30, 2013
The Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau has released its April-through-September edition of its calendar of events. The calendar contains scores of events, partly because of all the Civil War sesquicentennial observances and commemorations. The new brochure has a photo of Burnside's Bridge on the cover and Union re-enactors advancing across a field. Included in all of the days and dates covered by the brochure are more than 300 Washington County events.
LIFESTYLE
August 8, 2012
The Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau has created an interactive sports venue and facilities guide. The online database can be searched, and is set up to assist sports teams and tournaments in their search for sites. Betsy De Vore, director of sales for the CVB, said the CVB worked with Washington County's Department of Parks and Facilities, the city of Hagerstown, Hagerstown Community College, Washington County Public Schools, local national and state parks, several private facilities, the state's Office of Sports Marketing, DH Web Inc. on web design, and also with Washington County Commissioner Ruth Anne Callaham.
NEWS
November 7, 2003
Elsewhere on this page is a letter from Ron Vitkun, chairman of the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention & Visitors Bureau, commenting on the recent forced resignation of the group's executive director. Vitkun makes the case that the review mechanism in place worked, uncovering problems with finances that are now the subject of a police investigation. He also asserts that the CVB does more than benefit its member businesses - the hotels, motels and other attractions of Washington County.
NEWS
by GREGORY T. SIMMONS | January 6, 2004
gregs@herald-mail.com A search committee will begin this week narrowing down a list of more than 30 candidates who have applied to be the new president of the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau. The Convention and Visitors Bureau's former president, Ben Hart, was forced to resign on Oct. 27 amid allegations that money was taken from the nonprofit organization's coffers. Hart was formally charged in December with one count of felony theft of more than $15,000.
NEWS
November 14, 2009
The Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) recently released the newest versions of its local dining and shopping guides. The guides, designed by High Rock Interactive Inc., are fold-out brochures with an address, telephone number and Web site, if applicable, for each CVB member business included. Both brochures include a map of Washington County and downtown Hagerstown, with the businesses marked on the map. The shopping guide includes listings for antique shops, art galleries, bookstores, farmer's markets, jewelers, shopping centers and specialty shops.
NEWS
by LAURA ERNDE | November 21, 2003
laurae@herald-mail.com The Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau, the executive director of which recently was forced to resign amid allegations of misappropriation of agency money, needs closer oversight, state lawmakers said Thursday. Convention and Visitors Bureau board Chairman Ron Vitkun has said Ben Hart was asked to resign Oct. 27 after an internal investigation into the matter. Hagerstown Police launched an investigation at the request of the bureau.
NEWS
By RICHARD F. BELISLE | October 15, 2009
BOLIVAR, W.Va. -- Working under a canopy of umbrellas Thursday afternoon, West Virginia Gov. Joe Manchin cut a ribbon officially opening the new headquarters for the Jefferson County Convention and Visitors Bureau off U.S. 340. More significant is the fact that after years of operating out of a small trailer, which bureau and local officials said was a West Virginia eyesore, the agency moved next door into a spacious, two-story, modern cedar-frame chalet....
NEWS
November 3, 2003
The forced resignation of Ben Hart, executive director of the Washington County Convention & Visitors' Bureau has brought some disturbing things to light. Though the agency gets 45 percent of the county's room rent taxes - about $514,000 in tax dollars 2002 - the county commissioners don't have a representative on the board. Nor do they get an annual report of what CVB has accomplished, even though the county's General Assembly delegation does. It gets worse. City and county officials don't even have a copy of CVB's budget or a list of its board members.
NEWS
May 24, 2006
The Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau will host a training session Thursday for frontline tourism staffers called "Washington County On The Road. " The free "familiarization tour" is an annual event. It assists hotels, restaurants and other tourism-related businesses by educating their employees about Hagerstown and Washington County. "This helps the frontline staff person to relay accurate information to visitors, and it often leads to guests to our community staying extra nights," said Betsy De Vore, director of sales for the CVB. "This event has been helpful for anyone coming into contact with visitors.
NEWS
November 20, 2003
When the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau gives its annual report to the county's General Assembly delegation today, some lawmakers may be tempted to make speeches about the wise use of taxpayers' money. That's okay with us, as long as they're looking in the mirror when they do that. The CVB, which recently forced its executive director to resign over alleged financial irregularities, this week refused, at least temporarily, The Herald-Mail's request for information on the salary, expense account and benefits given to Ben Hart, its former executive director.
ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | matthewu@herald-mail.com | August 31, 2013
The Berkeley County Historical Society's museum in Martinsburg is expected to be open daily thanks to a new partnership with the Martinsburg-Berkeley County Convention & Visitors Bureau. The CVB's visitors center will move to the museum at 126 E. Race St. no later than Dec. 1, said Laura Gassler, executive director of the CVB. The move comes at the end of a three-year lease for the visitors center's current location at 115 N. Queen St., Gassler said. “For the CVB, it will save a considerable amount of money on rent, which we can then put into other tourism projects,” Gassler said.
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NEWS
By MATTHEW UMSTEAD | matthewu@herald-mail.com | August 28, 2013
A newly launched geocaching trail in Berkeley County has attracted people from as far away as North Carolina and New Jersey. About 100 people have successfully completed The Villages of Berkeley County, an Internet-based treasure hunt, since it was launched Saturday afternoon by the Martinsburg-Berkeley County Convention & Visitors Bureau, Executive Director Laura Gassler said Wednesday. “The trail is definitely doing what we hoped it would do to bring people in,” Gassler said.
OPINION
June 26, 2013
Each year the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau selects a bobblehead to give away at a Hagerstown Suns game. Past winners have included both historical figures such as Clara Barton and Ulric Dahlgren, as well as contemporaries like Nora Roberts and Elizabeth Schulze. So far so good. This year, however, the CVB chose Brigadier Gen. George Armstrong Custer for its annual bobblehead giveaway at Saturday's Hagerstown Suns game. Certainly Custer has connections with Hagerstown - he was here as the Union cavalry dogged retreating Confederate soldiers after the Battle of Gettysburg.
NEWS
March 30, 2013
The Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau has released its April-through-September edition of its calendar of events. The calendar contains scores of events, partly because of all the Civil War sesquicentennial observances and commemorations. The new brochure has a photo of Burnside's Bridge on the cover and Union re-enactors advancing across a field. Included in all of the days and dates covered by the brochure are more than 300 Washington County events.
NEWS
By DAN DEARTH | dan.dearth@herald-mail.com | December 12, 2012
The Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau gets about 82 percent of its $1 million annual revenue from the hotel-motel tax, the organization's president and CEO Tom Riford said. Riford said Wednesday during a breakfast attended by about 125 CVB members that the remaining 18 percent, or roughly $180,000, of the CVB's revenues, comes from grants, dues, gift shop proceeds and other sources. “We bring people here, they spend money, and they leave, and that's a good thing because they leave with wonderful memories about what a great place Washington County is,” Riford said.
LIFESTYLE
August 8, 2012
The Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau has created an interactive sports venue and facilities guide. The online database can be searched, and is set up to assist sports teams and tournaments in their search for sites. Betsy De Vore, director of sales for the CVB, said the CVB worked with Washington County's Department of Parks and Facilities, the city of Hagerstown, Hagerstown Community College, Washington County Public Schools, local national and state parks, several private facilities, the state's Office of Sports Marketing, DH Web Inc. on web design, and also with Washington County Commissioner Ruth Anne Callaham.
BUSINESS
January 1, 2012
The Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau has produced a new Destination Planning Guide. “This publication serves as valuable resource for potential bus groups and any volume visitor business,” said Director of Sales Betsy De Vore. The 48-page guide provides information about what Washington County has to offer for business meetings and convention services, venues and accommodations, points of interest, attractions and recreation, as well as shopping and dining.
NEWS
By ANDREW SCHOTZ | andrews@herald-mail.com | December 7, 2011
Efforts by Washington County's tourism organization to reach and attract visitors to the area continue to grow, the group's leader said Wednesday. Thomas B. Riford, the president and chief executive officer of the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau, described the organization as "strong. " The CVB is anticipating about $1.05 million in revenue in 2012, up about $85,000 from 2011, Riford said. The group's promotional spending is up 80 percent since 2005, according to a PowerPoint presentation Riford made Wednesday at the CVB's annual meeting in Hagerstown.
LIFESTYLE
May 6, 2011
The Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB) has just released a new Bicycle Tours map and brochure for Washington County. The new printed bike map and brochure now features the Maryland State Highway signed bicycle routes. The entire project is also online at  http://biketours.marylandmemories.org. Tom Riford, president of the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau, said that the bike map works hand-in-hand with the City of Hagerstown's new bike map and brochure, of which the CVB was the primary financial sponsor.
NEWS
By KATE S. ALEXANDER | kate.alexander@herald-mail.com | December 2, 2010
Leaders of the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau said Thursday that the tourism agency could break even or even end 2010 in the black after three straight years of revenue decline. In addition, if lodging continues to rebound, financial projections for 2011 show the agency with balanced spending and no debt, they said. The CVB held its annual membership meeting Thursday morning at the Washington County Museum of Fine Arts in Hagerstown to brief members and the public on its finances and projections for the future.
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