December 6, 1997
Suns owner named to tourism board Hagerstown Suns owner Winston Blenckstone joined the local tourism bureau's board of directors on Friday, said Executive Director Ben Hart. Blenckstone's nomination was approved by members of the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau on Friday morning, Hart said. The terms of the 15 board members hasn't been determined yet, Hart said. That will be decided now that new bylaws have been approved, he said. Tourism officials said 23 bureau members attended Friday's meeting.
February 28, 1998
Tourism board chooses to use two logos The Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau has decided on two tourism logos, one of which is specifically targeted to Civil War tourism, the executive director said. "I think it was a great compromise. It gives us some flexibility," said Executive Director Ben R. Hart. The bureau will keep the logo featuring a banner patterned after the state flag, Hart said. A second logo will be similar, but feature the silhouette of a Civil War cannon in the center, he said.
July 31, 1997
By JULIE E. GREENE Staff Writer New Washington County tourism board members gave three of the bureau's former board members a vote of confidence on Thursday by re-electing them as officers. The former board had come under fire in recent months from some Washington County Commissioners and members of the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau, who said they thought the short-term board had overstepped its bounds by closing information centers and laying off employees.
June 27, 1997
By JULIE E. GREENE Staff Writer Members of the Washington County tourism board that will decide the fate of nine remaining tourism employees and the Breezewood, Pa., information center, will be elected on July 31, tourism officials said Thursday. Members of the temporary board of directors for the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau hosted a meeting Thursday morning at the Ramada Inn to bring the bureau's roughly 130 members up to date on restructuring moves intended to direct more money toward marketing efforts than toward salaries.
June 23, 1997
The volunteer transition team designed to reform the Washington County's tourism agency isn't perfect. It's taken some debatable leaps of authority, formulated some debatable strategies toward tourism and handled the Convention and Visitor Bureau's staff with debatable compassion. It's operated in the dark and failed to keep the membership informed. That's a pretty heavy indictment. But despite the transition team's shortcomings, as one local business woman said during a tourism meeting this week, "we have to move on. " At this point, the transition team led by Ron Stansbury is Washington County tourism's best chance of moving on. In fact, the team has done what most governmental and pseudo-governmental groups locally find so reprehensible: Taken tough, unpopular stands in the name of the greater good.
November 21, 1996
By JULIE E. GREENE Staff Writer A panel was appointed Thursday to study and make recommendations on whether, and how, the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau should be restructured. The panel will study whether the tourism board should be private, public, or a not-for-profit group, said Tom Earley, co-chairman of the panel. Earley also is chairman of the Hagerstown-Washington County Chamber of Commerce's tourism task force. About 37 local government and tourism industry officials met Thursday morning at the Ramada Inn in a follow-up to an Oct. 30 tourism round table to discuss how the tourism board should be structured.
June 21, 1997
By JULIE E. GREENE Staff Writer Washington County tourism employees whose last day on the job was to have been June 30 have gotten a temporary reprieve with the help of the County Commissioners. Leroy R. Burtner, executive director of the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau, will still be replaced by Ben R. Hart, who was offered the post by the temporary tourism board of directors, officials said Friday. The county will pick up the tab for keeping the remaining employees in the downtown office and Breezewood, Pa., information center until a new board of directors can be elected by the bureau's membership, officials said.
July 8, 1997
Hagerstown City Council members said Tuesday they would extend the Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau a $75,000 line of credit. The credit is needed to pay expenses, including payroll and rent for the downtown office, that have been accumulating since July 1, said Ron Stansbury, president of the tourism board. "But, right now we're broke," Stansbury said. The tourism board isn't expecting its next check from the hotel-motel room tax, which helps fund the tourism bureau, until late July, he said.
March 6, 1997
By JULIE E. GREENE and GUY FLETCHER Staff Writers Intervention by state legislators to revamp the embattled Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau might not be necessary because local tourism officials took steps Wednesday to restructure the bureau on their own. New bylaws, approved at a Wednesday tourism bureau meeting in the County Administration Building, replaces the tourism board with a transition team...
January 23, 1997
By GUY FLETCHER Staff Writer ANNAPOLIS - Hagerstown Mayor Steve Sager told lawmakers Wednesday that the most recent snag in the restructuring of the embattled Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau can be overcome without legislation. But members of Washington County's legislative delegation, having heard such assurances before, said they want to have a bill drafted just in case. "I just want to make sure that we're not still talking about this this time next year," said Del. Bruce Poole, D-Washington.