The Baltimore Buzz [Meetings Edition] - Fall 2014

October 2014

Horseshoe Casino Baltimore Opens with New, Exciting Meeting Spaces

The new, full-service Horseshoe Casino—conveniently located steps from the Camden Yards sports complex and M&T Bank Stadium in downtown Baltimore—is now open. The casino features approximately 6,500 square feet of flexible, indoor meeting space, as well as an outdoor entertainment plaza that can accommodate hundreds of guests. And there's plenty to do when the meeting is over, from a huge gaming floor with more than 100 table games, to thousands of the hottest slots and video lottery terminals (VLTs) and a 25-table “World Series of Poker” room. If drinks, dining and dancing are on the agenda, head to one of Horseshoe Baltimore’s four nightlife venues, including the three-level, feature bar, 14Forty, or the “Baltimore Marketplace,” featuring a sophisticated mix of one-of-a-kind food outlets, restaurants, bars and lounges from Food Network Star Guy Fieri, celebrity chefs John Besh and Aarón Sánchez and more.


Visit Baltimore Launches Synchronicities Partnership with San Antonio and Anaheim

Visit Baltimore, the Anaheim/Orange County Visitor & Convention Bureau, and the San Antonio Convention & Visitors Bureau have joined forces to create Synchronicities, a tri-city sales partnership designed to assist meeting professionals in maximizing return on investment by offering customizable options when booking multi-year deals. The geographic diversity of the three cities, seamless knowledge transfer, and united services and marketing platforms make the partnership a natural fit for planners who rotate their events to different parts of the country. The partnership assists professionals in achieving their specific business objectives by offering customizable options based on the needs of individual meetings.

Synchronicities has already seen success with the National Postal Forum, which selected Anaheim, Baltimore and San Antonio to host their annual conference in 2015, 2017 and 2018, respectively.


Technology Jobs are Booming in Baltimore

The CBRE report recently ranked Baltimore ahead of Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C. in terms of technology jobs growth. The city saw a 10 percent increase in high-tech jobs between 2011 and 2013. Due to Baltimore’s close ties and proximity to the federal government, as well as its top-notch bioscience and healthcare industries, the high-tech industry (including many health IT companies) continues to grow. For example, Frederick, Md.-based pharmaceutical firm Vaccinogen just announced its upcoming move to Baltimore, and based its decision highly on Baltimore’s population of biotech firms and proximity to BWI Airport. The third annual Baltimore Innovation Week also took place September 12 through 20, and consisted of a series of community events highlighting the technology and innovation work happening locally.



Baltimore in the News

This summer, Baltimore received many accolades from the meetings and conventions trade media, as well as travel & leisure magazines.

  • Fodor’s Travel named Baltimore one of the 15 Best Waterfront Cities, in a list that included destinations like Venice, Italy and Sydney, Australia.
  • Prevue Magazine nominated Baltimore’s meeting planner app InSite for a Visionary Award for industry innovation.
  • The Center for World University Rankings ranked Johns Hopkins University No. 19 in its third annual list of the top 1,000 global institutions of higher learning.   


New Venue – Penguin Coast at the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore

  • The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore’s brand new Penguin Coast exhibit, opened on September 27, will take guests closer to penguins than ever before with an underwater viewing zone, a dynamic dump tank, and a blowhole in one of the largest penguin habitats in North America. The Penguin Coast education center is the ideal indoor space for a creative meeting location that could also extend to the outdoor space around the exhibit.


Hotel Renovations and Re-Openings

  • The new Hyatt Place Baltimore Inner Harbor East will open in November 2014. Located in trendy Harbor East, this new hotel will have 208 guest rooms, complimentary daily breakfast, an on-site fitness center, complimentary Wi-Fi, an indoor pool with an adjacent outdoor sitting area and 2,500-square-feet of flexible meeting space with a pre-function foyer.
  • This September, the Hampton Inn Baltimore Downtown Convention Center completed a renovation in which it revamped its sports-themed lobby and refreshed its 126 guest rooms.
  • The Ivy Hotel, the new premiere luxury hotel in historic Mt. Vernon, is scheduled to open in early 2015. The Ivy’s 18 guest accommodations — 9 suites and 9 rooms — will each have a fireplace and private bathroom. The hotel’s relaxed and informal fine-dining restaurant, Magdalena, led by acclaimed Executive Chef Mark Levy, will serve refined, modern American cuisine in the original mansion’s treasury and wine cellar.


Visit Baltimore Achieves APEX Certification

Visit Baltimore achieved Level One certification to the ASTM Standard pertaining to the Evaluation and Selection of Destinations for Environmentally Sustainable Meetings, Events, Trade Shows, and Conferences (APEX/ASTM) – a new international sustainability standard.  This destination standard is one of nine introduced in 2012 by the meetings, conventions, exhibitions and events industry to provide event planners and suppliers with specifications for producing more sustainable events. 


Uber Transportation App Offerings Expand with United Airlines and UberXL in Baltimore

United Airlines, one of several airlines that offers hundreds of daily domestic flights to and from Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, is the first to offer customers Uber transportation services via its mobile app. Travelers with iOS or Android mobile devices can access Uber ground transportation information – including types of available vehicles, wait times and prices – in the United app’s menu or in the “My Reservations” area with a current reservation.  For a limited time, those who sign up for Uber via the United app and complete their first transaction will receive 1,000 MileagePlus award miles through the airline.

Uber has also expanded its service in downtown Baltimore by introducing its larger fleet of vehicles – uberXL – to its current lineup. UberXL vehicles are typically SUVs or vans with more space (for up to six passengers). Although these trips cost more than those in standard uberX vehicles, they offer a great option for groups traveling throughout the city. 


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