WE NEED YOU AT TOURISM DAY IN ANNAPOLIS Tourism Day in Annapolis sponsored by the Maryland Tourism Council and the Maryland Association of Destination Marketing Organizations is Friday February 8, 2013. A registration form with a schedule of proceedings for this very important and FREE event is available at www.mdtourism.org. NEW DBED SECRETARY TO SPEAK AT TOURISM DAY IN ANNAPOLIS Dominick Murray, recently promoted to serve as Secretary of the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED), will be a special guest speaker at Tourism Day at Annapolis, Details on additional top flight speakers for this event will be announced as they are confirmed. NO SPECIAL SESSIONS EXPECTED THIS YEAR The 2013 Session of the Maryland General Assembly is now well underway. Unlike last year, the range of "hot" issues is relatively small. Accordingly there is little expectation that any Special Sessions will be called after the 90 day Regular Session adjourns in April. TOP ISSUES IN THE SESSION Governor O'Malley has 3 initiatives that are likely to consume most of the General Assembly's attention this year. They are gun control, abolishing the death penalty and tax incentives for offshore wind power. Others key issues include passage of the state budget and transportation finding options. MARK YOUR CALENDAR FOR TASTE OF MARYLAND The Restaurant Association of Maryland in conjunction with The Maryland Tourism Council and Maryland Association of Destination Marketing Organizations will host the 23rd annual Taste of Maryland Legislative Reception on January 21 from 5 to 7:30 p.m. at the Loews Annapolis. STARS OF THE INDUSTRY AWARDS LUNCHEON SET FOR END OF FEBRUARY Join us at MH&LA's 2013 Stars of the Industry Awards Luncheon where the industry's top employees, programs and lodging property achievements are recognized The luncheon is Wednesday, February 27 at the Loews Annapolis Hotel immediately following our Allied Member Expo. More details to follow soon. OCEAN CITY HOTEL-MOTEL-RESTUARANT ASSOCIATION TRADE EXPO IS NOW REGIONAL Planning is underway to transform the 39th Annual Ocean City Hotel-Motel-Restaurant Association Trade Expo from a local expo into a regional expo. The 2013 event will be held on March 3 and 4, 2013 at the Ocean City Convention Center. For all the details, check out www.oceancitytradeexpo.com. AAA PREDICTS GAS WILL COST SLIGHTLY LESS IN 2013 AAA projects the peak national average gas price will be not exceed $3.80 per gallon in 2013 versus a $3.94 per gallon peak in 2012. AAA projects gas prices will go up through April or early May, but at a slower pace than 2012. After a late-spring peak, prices will drop during the first half of the summer to between $3.20-$3.40 a gallon before rising again. Year end will see low or near-low averages for 2013. MARK YOUR CALENDAR FOR AN MH&LA HAPPY HOUR AT MARYLAND LIVE! A happy hour for MH&LA members is set for 5 to 7 PM on February 5 at the new Prime Rib Lounge at Maryland Live! Casino. The free event will feature complimentary beer and wine (2 drink tickets per person), plus a sampling of steak and seafood items from the award-winning Prime Rib Lounge menu.