WE NEED YOU AT TOURISM DAY IN ANNAPOLIS Tourism Day in Annapolis is Friday February 8. To register for this FREE and very important grassroots roots lobbying effort go to www.mdtourism.org. Tourism Day is sponsored by the Maryland Tourism Council and the Maryland Association of Destination Marketing Organizations. SPECIAL GUEST SPEAKERS LINED UP FOR TOURISM DAY Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller, Senate Minority Leader E.J. Pipkin, House Majority Leader Kumar Barve, House Minority Leader Anthony O'Donnell, Senate Finance Committee Vice Chair John Astle and DBED Secretary Dominick Murray are all expected to speak at Tourism Day. BE THERE! STARS OF THE INDUSTRY AWARDS AND ALLIED MEMBER TRADE EXPO IS FEBRUARY 27 MH&LA's 2013 Stars of the Industry Awards Luncheon is Wednesday February 27 at the Loews Annapolis Hotel immediately following our Allied Member Expo. More information, including Award Nomination forms, is available by clicking on the events tab at mdlodging.org. THE MHLA WEBSITE IS BACK!!! The new and greatly improved MH&LA website is live! Check it out at www.mdlodging.org. Comments and suggestions for even more improvements are always welcome and should be directed to Amy Winston Rohrer at email@example.com. DECEMBER 2012 STR REPORT IS AVAILABLE ON THE NEW MH&LA WEBSITE The December 2012 STR report is now available on the MH&LA website at mdlodging.org. To view the report, click on Members - Statistics and Research and look for Maryland Monthly Statistics December 2012. This report is an MH&LA member service and requires member log in to access. GOVERNOR PROPOSES MORE STATE FUNDING FOR TOURISM PROMOTION Governor O'Malley's FY14 budget proposes increased funding over FY13 for the Maryland Tourism Development Board and the Office of Tourism Development. The proposal has $2.5 million for the County Cooperative Grant Program, $2.5 million for advertising, web marketing and electronic/printed publications, and $2 million to assist with matching grants through the Star-Spangled 200 Grant Program. GOVERNOR'S BUDGET ALSO HAS INCREASED FUNDING FOR SPECIAL COMMEMORATIONS The proposed budget has $2 million for the War of 1812 bicentennial commemoration which recognizes a unique, time-sensitive opportunity to promote Maryland during the Civil War Sesquicentennial, the Harriet Tubman Centennial as well as the War of 1812 Bicentennial. MOODY'S ANALYTICS WEIGHS IN ON MARYLAND'S TAX POLICIES In recent remarks before the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee, Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody's Analytics gave Maryland senators an upbeat analysis of the economy but also noted that Maryland needs to "make your tax code fair, simple and competitive." 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.