Make Pittsburgh Your 2014 Summer Destination. Great promotional video from VisitPittsburgh.
Arts district: Check.
Convention Center: Check.
Sixteen years after business leaders tried to revive Lancaster city with an economic development plan, many of the plan’s major components have come to pass.
Lancaster is a very different city than it was in 1998.
The tourism industry contributed $2.5 billion to the Lancaster County economy in 2013, supporting nearly 23,700 jobs here, according to a report released Friday by the Pennsylvania Dutch Convention & Visitors Bureau.
Without tourism, and the revenue it generates, Lancaster County residents would have to pay an additional $924 in taxes per household to maintain current levels of government services, the bureau said.
The report, prepared by international firm Tourism Economics, was released Friday (with an accompanying video) at a legislative breakfast the bureau hosted at Eden Resort.
It paints a picture of a vital local industry — and one that depends on a coordinated ongoing marketing effort to thrive.
The members of the iconic Beach Haven Marlin & Tuna Club were determined to open their new building before the start of summer, the second since Hurricane Sandy washed out their former home.
They got their certificate of occupancy Friday afternoon, just in time for a planned grand opening the next day, coinciding with an annual striper fishing tournament known as the LBI Cup.
On Sunday morning, the day after 500 people flooded the club’s new three-story headquarters, Vice Commodore Tim Irons walked around the bare rooms, proudly showing off the bathroom tiling and the views from the top floor.
“It’s completely paid off,” he said. “We just don’t have any furniture yet.”
PLAINS TOWNSHIP, PA — More people are moving into the region than leaving.
Migration into Luzerne and Lackawanna counties is on the rise and much of the immigration is coming from New York, New Jersey and elsewhere in Pennsylvania, according to the 2014 Indicators Report from the Institute for Public Policy and Economic Development at Wilkes University.
The report, unveiled Thursday morning to business and civic leaders who filled the convention center at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, analyzed 120 indicators in areas such as demographics, population and migration, jobs and the economy. It was the ninth year for the event, said Teri Ooms, executive director of the institute.
Ooms highlighted the 2010 Census, which shows a growing population for the first time since the 1950s. Some are from the low- to moderate-income demographic and some earn a middle- to upper-middle income, the report showed.
Click here for the 2014 Pennsylvania Fair Guide: http://www.agriculture.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/gateway/PTARGS_0_2_24476_10297_0_43/AgWebsite/Files/Publications/FairGuide.pdf
Olympic hopefuls, furry friends and an internationally acclaimed salsa band are just a few of the attractions projected to draw tourists to Pittsburgh this summer.
VisitPittsburgh, a tourism industry nonprofit, gathered business professionals Thursday at the Sheraton Station Square Hotel to coordinate this summer’s events.
Craig Davis, VisitPittsburgh’s president and CEO, said the idea of the third annual luncheon is to get those in the hospitality industry on the same page.
“When we bring it and put it all on one script, you get into a situation where — perennial favorites coupled with big conventions and Buccos baseball — these are reasons for people to come into town,” Mr. Davis said.
WILKES-BARRE, PA — Larry Newman, executive director of the Diamond City Partnership, Friday released limited details of an online survey that asked respondents to assess the downtown.
While Newman wouldn’t give specifics, citing an unfinished analysis of the data, he did say he was pleased with what he has seen so far and that was good news for the Downtown Wilkes-Barre Business Association.
“We’re thrilled with the results,” Newman told about 50 members of the association at a breakfast meeting at the Westmoreland Club. “We received thoughtful opinions and insights and we learned what it takes to bring people to the downtown — their likes and dislikes.”
Newman said the success of the downtown is like a four-legged chair — organization, design, promotion and economic restructuring. He said the downtown business group is the promotional leg that offers events and activities to draw people.
Easton officials hope to ease the city’s rising parking problems by introducing a trolley to the Downtown area purchased through a Northampton County grant.
Mayor Sal Panto Jr. said today that the city plans to buy a used trolley sometime this month and have it up and running through the Downtown area this summer. With the city’s new parking garage not due for completion until autumn, the city will rely on the trolley to connect distant parking lots to popular tourist spots, Panto said.
“We can’t invent parking, so I think it’s the next best idea,” Panto said.
County Executive John Brown said the $42,000 grant from the Northampton County Gaming and Economic Redevelopment Authority is part of the county’s outreach to regional partners. The county will also allow the city to use the Northampton County Courthouse’s parking lots for the Easton Farmers’ Market and other large events, he said.
A website launched by the Nazareth Economic Development Commission aims to fill empty storefronts and attract more visitors downtown.
The website,www.nazarethnow.org, was launched last week.
Those navigating through it will see a video about the Nazareth area, highlighting the borough’s downtown, Moravian history, Martin Guitar and a tour of the home of race car legend Mario Andretti. There are tabs about food and shopping destinations, a monthly calendar of events and how to get more involved.
CARBONDALE, PA – An investment in Carbondale’s rich history, a new hotel and improvements to sidewalks and streetlights downtown helped the city garner top honors from a nonprofit dedicated to promoting tourism along historic Route 6.
The PA Route 6 Alliance named Carbondale as the Heritage Community of the Year, making it No. 1 among more than 20 heritage communities that stretch along the 427 miles of Route 6 in Pennsylvania.
“It’s nice to be recognized for working so hard,” Carbondale Mayor Justin Taylor said.
Carbondale began working toward a Route 6 Heritage Community designation in 2003, Mr. Taylor said. The Route 6 Alliance is a nonprofit organization that promotes tourism and economic development along the Route 6 corridor in Pennsylvania.
Center City, Philadelphia’s engine for growth for the last decade or more, is showing signs of distress, according to statistics compiled by the Center City District for its annual “State of Center City” report.
From office rental rates to visits to tourist attractions and the number of major conventions on the horizon, a variety of measures of the health of the city’s core suggest it might not be quite as vibrant as hoped.
For instance, while Center City’s population inches higher, office rental rates run stubbornly below national averages, an indication of a city’s weakness in attracting new employers.
Employment in health care and education – the city’s biggest job creators – has been flattening and, in the first time in a decade, declined in 2013.
The Colebrookdale Railroad will benefit from $1.4 million in funding made possible by a PennDOT grant aimed at repairing and upgrading the line’s rails, equipment and infrastructure.
“Seventy percent of the funding was provided by the state and we had to raise the other 30 percent,” said Nathaniel Guest, president of the non-profit Colebrookdale Railroad Restoration Trust, which oversees the line.
The non-profit group has a for-profit subsidiary, Eastern Berks Gateway Railroad, which oversees the freight traffic and was the recipient of the grant.
Three major tourism businesses and their properties in eastern Lancaster County are for sale, it was announced Wednesday.
The businesses are Miller’s Smorgasbord, Plain & Fancy Farm and the AmishView Inn & Suites.
They employ a combined 280 people and post annual revenues exceeding $12 million.
“There will be a transition, but it doesn’t have to happen tomorrow,” said Al Duncan of Thomas E. Strauss Inc., which owns the businesses.
There is something to be said for speaking in one voice.
Key promoters of the city and region certainly think so, having all agreed to adopt a new marketing tagline – PHL: Here for the Making.
In the coming days, you can expect to see it in ads and promotions by the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau (PHLCVB), Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, Select Greater Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Convention Center, Philadelphia Industrial Development Corp. and Greater Philadelphia Hotel Association.
The goal, according to Jack Ferguson, president of PHLCVB, is to leverage the marketing clout of those groups by adopting a single, focused slogan that will resonate with es, conventions and travelers who might be interested in coming here.
A sky-high crane dangles over a corner of Franklin Mills Mall these days, but it is more than a towering construction tool: It is a symbol of how necessity is the mother of reinvention at this once-legendary shopping mall.
A Walmart Supercenter is taking shape at the once-pioneering complex, which opened nearly 25 years ago with theme-park anticipation as among the first outlet malls, and the outright largest, ever built. The splashy development, unveiled in 1989, was a gamble befitting its locale, a onetime Northeast Philadelphia racetrack. And early on, its unmatched offerings paid off with packed corridors.
The mall flaunted a 1.2-mile-long, zigzag-shaped concourse, and more than 200 stores hawking discount designer goods, at a time when such wares were available only at out-of-the-way old-factory outlets. Its 1.7 million square feet of bargain buys, right off I-95, was a tourist draw and local sensation.
But the megamall’s early monopoly on outlet shopping has come to an end, forcing Franklin Mills to alter its once-irresistible identity. The Walmart is one of many tenants that now make the monolith, well, a bit more ordinary. And this is by design.
BOYERTOWN, PA — A relic from the golden age of Pennsylvania’s railroading past is coming home.
Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR) cabin car (known as a “caboose” on other railroads) #477768 was built in Altoona in 1941.
For the last six years, members of the Rivanna Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society (NRHS) have been restoring it at a location in Virginia, far from the car’s home.
Now it is being donated to the non-profit Colebrookdale Railroad Preservation Trust in Boyertown. There it will be maintained and kept in operation on The Secret Valley Line tourist trains that will begin running on the eight mile track between Boyertown and Pottstown in the fall of 2014.
BELLEFONTE, PA — Dressed as Rudolph this weekend, Mike Hawbaker made his way through the train cars of the Santa Express.
During one of the 11 trips, Hawbaker approached a small child, who gave the costume-clad volunteer a small piece of paper. The child had hand drawn a little picture of the reindeer and wanted to give it to the red-nosed Christmas staple.
“That’s why we do this,” Hawbaker said, smiling as he looked at the drawing.
The annual event is a joint effort among the SEDA-COG Joint Rail Authority, the Nittany and Bald Eagle Railroad and the Bellefonte Historical Railroad Society, train owner Jeff Pontius said. He also organizes similar events in Williamsport, Bloomsburg and Sunbury.