Wicomico County’s Tourism Division recognized its strongest partners during a reception and awards ceremony on Tuesday, May 20 at the Wicomico County Visitor’s Center. Held annually since 2000, the reception recognizes community members and businesses who have dedicated themselves to supporting tourism initiatives in Wicomico County.
In fiscal year 2015, Wicomico County’s tourism efforts have continued to grow. The division has sold or held 49 events, 7 of which were of a regional or national caliber. These events required 32,000 hotel room nights, attracted 114,000 visitors and generated an estimated economic impact of $47.5 million. This success would not be possible if it were not for tourism’s many community partners. These partners help the County recruit new events, retain and grow current events and welcome event attendees into the community. 2015 tourism award recipients included:
Hospitality Award: Anne Webster of Country Inn & Suites, Microtel & Holiday Inn Express Delmar
Through her role in the hospitality industry, Webster gives a strong welcome to Wicomico County’s visitors. Her emphasis on quality customer service not only generates repeat business for the hotels she manages but helps ensure event attendees look forward to returning to Wicomico County.
Tourism Business of the Year: Hampton Inn Salisbury, accepted by General Manager Jenifer Prokofiew
As a key hotel partner, the Hampton Inn Salisbury participated in 35 tourism events and served as a ‘host hotel’ for five major events including the United States Specialty Sports Association (USSSA) Eastern World Series, Mid-Atlantic Wrestling Association’s (MAWA) South Regionals and Eastern Nationals, the ISSSA Senior Softball Regional and the Potomac Youth Religious Conference.
Tourism Partner of the Year: DMV Elite, accepted by Mitch Northam
Injecting energy, enthusiasm and social-media prowess into the annual Governor’s Challenge High School Basketball Tournament, DMV Elite transformed this once local event into the largest high school holiday basketball tournament on the east coast. In 2014, the tournament grew to a record 53 teams from 6 different states. As a result of this new partnership, 70 teams have already committed to the 2015 event.
Tourism Person of the Year (Betty K. Gardner Award): Barbara Furbush
As an accomplished dog show organizer, breeder, handler and judge, Furbush has utilized her expertise to bring new shows to Wicomico County and helped current shows flourish. Furbush was instrumental in bringing the International Poodle Club of America Show to the County in 2004, and has helped the County to retain it since then. It is estimated that the 2015 event generated an economic impact of $1.8 million.
518: From L to R: Tourism Manager Steve Miller, Tourism Advisory Board President Mike Delano, County Councilman John Hall and DMV Elite Representative Mich Northam
521: From L to R: Business of the Year recipient Jennifer Prokofiew, Hospitality Award recipient Anne Webster, Tourism Person of the Year recipient Barbara Furbush and Tourism Manager Steve Miller