The Baltimore Buzz [Meetings Edition] - Summer/Fall 2017

The Dish on Baltimore’s Culinary Scene

Baltimore has a reputation for fresh seafood, especially its Maryland blue crabs, but the city’s culinary scene has transformed into a must-visit destination with high-end inventive eateries opening throughout all of its neighborhoods.

Visit Baltimore recently ran a two-page advertising spread highlighting our amazing culinary scene in the New York Times' T Magazine Summer Travel issue and in the Baltimore, D.C and Philadelphia June issues of Travel + Leisure, Food & Wine and Real Simple

This culinary ad is one element of a larger integrated culinary campaign, created and implemented to promote Baltimore as a travel-worthy culinary destination, capturing the flavors from a wide range of neighborhoods—Mount Vernon, Fell’s Point, Woodberry, Hampden, and more. The campaign aims to feature the Chesapeake specialties we’ve always been known for, but also highlight our booming restaurant renaissance led by award-winning chefs, innovative food halls, artisanal neighborhood eateries, unique breweries and more. Essentially, there are more culinary experiences and creative chefs, brewers, and sommeliers in Baltimore than ever before, and this campaign is committed to telling that story.

Visitors looking to experience Baltimore’s food scene can enjoy varied options for groups of any size at our food halls, an immersive experience in our brewing history with cutting-edge craft beer, and outdoor dining in historic buildings or along the waterfront. 

Food Halls: Further proof that Baltimore’s food scene is on the cutting edge are the recent growing number of food halls, including R. House and Mount Vernon Marketplace, adding to the classics like the iconic Lexington Market, the oldest continually operating public market in America.

R. House in Remington is creating a new launch pad for Baltimore’s most exciting chefs. Set inside a rehabbed historic auto shop, the 50,000-square-foot space features 15-foot tall windows with roll-up garage doors, 12,000 square feet of open seating and 10 chef-driven food and drink concepts so guests can get a taste of the best bites in Baltimore. Mount Vernon Marketplace offers freshly prepared artisanal foods in Baltimore’s historic Mount Vernon district. With over 14 purveyors offering everything from gourmet cheese, artisan sandwiches & charcuterie, fresh local oysters & seafood, noodles & dumplings. Take a public market photo tour on our website.

Brewing: Baltimore has a rich beer history, dating back to the first German immigrants setting up breweries and leafy beer gardens. Today, the city is home to craft beer breweries big and small, award-winning gypsy brewers, beer-mixologists, tap houses and sports bars all serving the best of local ales, pills, IPAs and stouts. In 2016, The Brewer’s Association named Baltimore/Washington D.C. one of the top five fastest growing markets for craft beer sales. Explore Baltimore’s craft beer scene on our website.

Al fresco dining: Visitors can take group dining to the next level with an al fresco atmosphere. Whether you’re looking for a patio with a waterfront view, a hidden oasis, or a lively terrace, Baltimore has the perfect outdoor dining spot for you. Click here to find options for delicious food and fun with shuffleboard, sculpture gardens, live music and more.


Baltimore Welcomes Conference Direct’s Annual Partner Meeting

APM logoBaltimore hosted Conference Direct’s Annual Partner Meeting April 30 through May 3, welcoming approximately 220 associates and 709 partners to Charm City. Beyond the conference itinerary, Visit Baltimore’s sales and services team showcased the city’s culinary scene including a leadership dinner at the newly opened authentic Argentinian style restaurant Bar Vasquez along with beverage stations featuring Baltimore owned and produced Sagamore Spirit Rye Whiskey and Heavy Seas beers. All attendees were also treated to an item of their choosing from a Bmore Local amenity booth curated with local goods from Baltimore’s top makers and artists.


Meet Local

Visit Baltimore and our hospitality partners invited local meeting planners to learn more about why they should plan their meeting in Baltimore during this year’s Meet Local Educational Forum and Tradeshow held at the Baltimore Museum of Art on April 25. The forum featured a panel of local executives and thought leaders working to drive innovation and transformational change across a variety of Baltimore’s top industries, in turn, leave a lasting positive impact on our community:

BLocal • Calvin Bulter, CEO, BGE
Healthcare • Dr. Leana Wen, Baltimore City Health Commissioner
Technology • Jen Meyer, CEO, Betamore
Arts & Culture • Jeannie Howe, Executive Director, Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance
Development • William H. Cole, President and CEO, Baltimore Development Corporation

Following the panel, attendees experienced an example of a Baltimore-style reception among world-class art in a reserved section of the museum.


What’s New: Development Details

There’s more to see, do and explore in Baltimore than ever before. Baltimore has experienced one of the largest millennial booms in the nation and the resurgence is vibrantly visible in the city’s eclectic neighborhoods, marked by new food halls, breweries, and boutiques popping up around every corner. The centerpiece of downtown Baltimore has always been the world-famous Inner Harbor, but 2017 brings new developments and experiences to the waterfront including the opening of the new Sagamore Pendry Hotel in Fell’s Point, the Sagamore Spirit distillery in Port Covington and the Sandlot bringing “beachfront” dining to Harbor Point. This urban renaissance combined with Baltimore’s rich history, architecture and world-class museums makes for an incredibly authentic, yet new, visitor experience.

Sagamore Pendry Baltimore opened its doors to the public on March 25, making it the Pendry brand’s first East Coast hotel. Developed as a joint venture with Sagamore Development Company, Sagamore Pendry Baltimore sits atop the iconic Recreation Pier overlooking the Inner Harbor in the city’s historic Fell’s Point neighborhood. The neighborhood is recognized as one of the best-preserved historical areas in the country. Built in 1914, the Fell’s Point Recreation Pier was originally a dance hall and social and educational hub for Baltimore immigrants. The building once housed the harbormaster’s office and served as a working pier for ships bring in deliveries from Europe. Today the hotel’s 129-room luxury boutique hotel embodies the city’s rich history, vibrant personality and idyllic harbor setting with character, inspiration and style.

The Sandlot’s harbor-front oasis opened in May 2017—encompassing 30,000 square feet of open space for outdoor dining, recreation, live performances, family-friendly games, and community outreach events. The site is part of a 4.5 acre peninsula that separates the Inner Harbor basin from the Outer Harbor and features sweeping views in both directions.

At least one major Port Covington milestone has opened in 2017: the Sagamore Spirit Distillery. The five-acre complex offers a closer look at how the rye whiskey is made. The 22,000-square-foot distillery building houses the production equipment, including a 6,000-gallon cooker and nine 6,500-gallon fermentors. Next door is a 27,000-square-foot ‘welcome and processing’ center with two tasting rooms. The project also includes a two-story restaurant that will house a concept by James Beard Award-winning chef Andrew Carmellini of New York. The venue is estimated to draw 100,000 visitors annually for tours and tastings, and offers an impressive new waterfront event destination. Each tour can accommodate up to 24 people of all ages and lasts around 45 minutes. 


Visit Baltimore Welcomes its Inaugural Diversity Apprentice

Visit Baltimore and the Visit Baltimore Education & Training Foundation are pleased to announce a first-of-its-kind diversity apprenticeship program providing one recent student graduate unparalleled on-the-job experience followed by guaranteed employment. Visit Baltimore was selected as one of approximately seven apprenticeship cities for 2017 by Destinations International. Destinations International, in partnership with the Destination & Travel Foundation, piloted the diversity apprenticeship in two cities last year with the founding goal of creating a culturally progressive and socially reflective tourism industry by exposing talented individuals from traditionally underrepresented communities to the vast scope of career opportunities available as well as positioning those individuals for success in a leadership capacity. Click here to read our full Q&A with our apprentice, Deedra Mills.


Business Buzz

Baltimore Meetings Continue to See Attendance Growth 

Meetings and Conventions taking place in Baltimore this fiscal year continue to exceed attendance expectations. Some recent attendee milestones include:

  • Global United Fellowship
  • National Urban League
  • Palm Beach Show Group
  • New Hope Network
  • US Lacrosse
  • Association of College & Research Libraries
  • Alliance for Academic Internal Medicine
  • American Organization of Nurse Executives
  • American Distilling Institute
  • National Postal Forum

Baltimore In the News

Free Crab Feast 

As a thank you for booking in Baltimore, we’re combining our charming hospitality with the Chesapeake’s tastiest catch. The first 10 meeting planners to book a 2017-2018 meeting with over 3,000 total room nights will be treated to a free crab feast for up to 200 people (or value up to $10,000)*. See our website for a list of available Hot Dates, and when you're ready to book, call 800-343-3468 or contact the convention sales team online. Just indicate the dates you're interested in and a team member will be in touch.