Transitional Shelter Assistance (TSA) Program for Hurricane Survivors
FEMA has made a request for every hotel and motel to register with the Transitional Shelter Assistance (TSA) program at https://ela.corplodging.com/ to help survivors of Hurricane Irma. Under this TSA program FEMA helps applicants who are unable to return to their pre-disaster primary residence because their home is either uninhabitable or inaccessible due to a Presidentially-declared disaster. Click here for more information.
Ocean City Businesses Fear Losing Seasonal Workforce
Source: U.S. News
Many businesses in Ocean City, Maryland fear they may soon lose much of their seasonal workforce if the Trump administration cancels the J-1 visa program. The White House may be considering reducing the J-1 visa exchange visitor program, which brings in more than 100,000 students from foreign countries to the U.S. each summer, often to work in tourist destinations like Ocean City. President Trump is considering reducing the J-1 program as part of this “Buy American and Hire American” executive order he issued in April, which calls for a review of U.S. immigration rules to make sure that the interests of American workers are protected. Local business owners agree that without the international students, Ocean City would struggle to operate. READ MORE
MHLA NEWS & EVENTS
MHLA Board Member Named General Manager of the Year
Congratulations to MHLA Board Member Jason Curtis who was recognized as Best of the Best General Manager of the Year for the Hotel Indigo brand! Two of his team members were also recognized - Kathleen Dombrowski for Director of Sales and Marketing and Benny Guzman for Team Member of the Year.
July 2017 STR Report
Smith Travel Research data for Maryland shows occupancy is up slightly, ADR has increased 2.2%, and RevPAR is up 2.7% YTD through July 2017 compared to the same period last year. Maryland data is provided monthly to MHLA by Smith Travel Research. Members may view the full report online. Go to https://mdlodging.org/members/ and select "Industry Statistics and Research." (Member log-in required.)
2017 MHLA Annual Golf Tournament
Wednesday, October 4, 2017
Whiskey Creek Golf Club
This year's outing has already set a record for how quickly golf sold out! This is an event not to be missed and just two sponsorship opportunities remain: Golf Ball ($1,500) and one Hole Sponsor ($500).
A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Maryland Tourism Education Foundation for scholarships and MHLA determines the criteria for awards. This year three MHLA Member hotel employees each received $1,500 to further their education and advance their careers in our industry. You can be a part of increasing funds for the future by supporting this event.
Thanks go out to EcoLab, who is returning as our Title Sponsor for the 3rd year and Live! Casino & Hotel / Live! Lofts, who is our Presenting Sponsor for the 2nd year in a row.
INDUSTRY NEWS & INFORMATION
First Annual Maryland Tourism Veterans Appreciation Month
The Maryland Office of Tourism is in the process of partnering with sister agencies, corporations, organizations and associations to turn Welcome Centers across the state into destination locations that will allow visitors to book reservations, purchase tickets and receive discounts before they leave the property. They are producing their first Welcome Center event this November to honor our veterans. Currently, there are several components in development:
Veterans Day Weekend Program - An official one-hour program with speakers from the Governor's office, agency Secretaries office, corporate partners and the military held for teh media and special guests
Official "Veterans Tour Maryland" Passport - Passport holders will have access to special deals and discounts on attractions, food and beverage throughout the state during the month of November.
"Veterans Tour Maryland" Road Rally and Honor Ride - Veterans, locals and tourists alike meet in the vehicle of their choice at any of the eight Welcome Centers to be given a self-guided tour map with points of interest honoring veterans and ending back at a Welcome Center with food, drink and entertainment.
If you would like to participate in any of the Veterans Appreciation activities, please contact Cynthia Miller, CynthiaD.Miller@Maryland.gov, 410-767-6266
MGM National Harbor grows market as revenues drop at Live and Horseshoe
Source: The Baltimore Sun
Nine-month-old MGM National Harbor continued to grow the state’s casino market in August while also taking away business from some of its largest Maryland competitors. MGM National Harbor’s $52.8 million in monthly revenue in August was more than any of the state’s other five casinos. Minus MGM, the other five casinos saw revenue decrease 15.7 percent. The biggest monthly declines were recorded by MGM’s biggest and closest Maryland competitors – Live Casino & Hotel in Hanover and Horseshoe Casino Baltimore. READ MORE
DHS Expands Human Trafficking Training Resources
The Blue Campaign is the unified voice for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) efforts to combat human trafficking. They offer a variety of free resources available for the hospitality industry and their popular hospitality toolkit is now available in Spanish and will be available in French shortly. The toolkit is geared towards all employees and shows indicators of human trafficking and how to respond to suspicious activities.