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Old May 2nd, 2007, 11:58 AM   #3301
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Bookings surge at convention headquarters hotel
Baltimore Business Journal - 12:49 PM EDT Tuesday, May 1, 2007by Julekha DashStaff

The sales staff at the Baltimore convention headquarters hotel has booked 100,000 room nights from 2008 through 2015 as of mid-April.

That is three times as many room nights as the hotel booked in December, said Matthew Dykstra, director of sales for Hilton Hotels Corp. The bookings represent 50 groups and $18 million in revenue, he said.


Dykstra presented the results at an April 20 Baltimore Hotel Corp. board meeting, at which time he said he anticipated booking another 24,000 rooms over the next several weeks.

A common metric used in the hotel industry, room nights for a meeting is equivalent to the number of attendees multiplied by the number of days the group stays. A 500-person meeting staying for three nights would result in 1,500 room nights to the city. The Baltimore Area Convention and Visitors Association sets an annual target of booking 360,000 room nights per year.

Hilton is targeting conventions with a maximum of 600 rooms needed on peak nights for the hotel. Hilton does not identify the groups for privacy reasons, Dykstra said.

The first business groups will stay at the hotel in September or October, said Irene Van Sant, project analyst director at Baltimore Development Corp. said.

The hotel company has hired two additional sales staff to sell the Baltimore convention headquarters hotel, which brings the total sales staff to four.

Nearly 70 hotels are under construction or in the planning stages in the Baltimore area -- primarily Baltimore City and Anne Arundel County -- over the next several years, according to Smith Travel Research Inc. in Hendersonville, Tenn. That includes about 10 Hilton (NYSE: HLT) brand properties, two of which are slated to open at Harbor East this summer.
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Old May 2nd, 2007, 03:11 PM   #3302
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Originally Posted by gohorns View Post
Forget the whole "granting licenses/ID to illegals" issue, my beef is with their attitude. Think about this: If you are in any client-serving position (I am), you know how important it is to do a good job making sure you take good care of that client. You do your best to keep them happy within your limitations so they like you and you keep up the relationship your firm has with the client. When I have client personnel come see me for something, I don't keep talking to a co-worker about something that happened the evening before or decide that is exactly when I want to go on a long coffee break and keep the person waiting.

The MVA should treat us like customers/clients and value our business more. Truth be told, MVA services are expensive these days (at least it was for me when I registered my car here and got everything transferred). For that kind of money, the service is very very poor. There are some windows at the MVA where they only provide certain services. There aren't many people waiting there. In fact most of the time you can just walk up to those windows. Yet they keep you waiting while they chat. How about taking a break from the chatting to help us out?

Of course there are windows where they see people all day and I can understand if those people are talking a little while we're waiting or talking while working. That's because they don't get much time off to talk and we all need to sometimes...just to take a break.

Anyway, enough ranting...I just hope I don't have to go back there in a long long time
Yeah thats my whole gripe with the MVA. Its a govt institution which means, we are their bosses if you ask me. And at the very least we are their clients yet they can treat us like crap because we have no choice but to use them. I cant say Im going to take my business elsewhere.

And as for the comment about do we want to pay tolls to use roads.. using the MVA isnt free. Thats why I feel it should be privatized because unlike somethings like roads where everyones paying for them through taxes whether they use them or not, for the most part, the you pay for each individual service separately at the MVA and if you don't use the particular service you don't pay for it.

I do know that its almost impossible to privatize it though, because you can't have multiple companies running the thing probably, and I would imagine it would be hard to turn a profit... or would it????
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Old May 2nd, 2007, 03:17 PM   #3303
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I think to get it back on track though, my whole point is the government has shown that it doesn't know how to run a business. So where it is possible, say BWI for instance, it is likely better to let business people run the business side of things.
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Old May 2nd, 2007, 04:19 PM   #3304
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Originally Posted by StevenW View Post
Bookings surge at convention headquarters hotel
Baltimore Business Journal - 12:49 PM EDT Tuesday, May 1, 2007by Julekha DashStaff

The sales staff at the Baltimore convention headquarters hotel has booked 100,000 room nights from 2008 through 2015 as of mid-April.

That is three times as many room nights as the hotel booked in December, said Matthew Dykstra, director of sales for Hilton Hotels Corp. The bookings represent 50 groups and $18 million in revenue, he said.


Dykstra presented the results at an April 20 Baltimore Hotel Corp. board meeting, at which time he said he anticipated booking another 24,000 rooms over the next several weeks.

A common metric used in the hotel industry, room nights for a meeting is equivalent to the number of attendees multiplied by the number of days the group stays. A 500-person meeting staying for three nights would result in 1,500 room nights to the city. The Baltimore Area Convention and Visitors Association sets an annual target of booking 360,000 room nights per year.

Hilton is targeting conventions with a maximum of 600 rooms needed on peak nights for the hotel. Hilton does not identify the groups for privacy reasons, Dykstra said.

The first business groups will stay at the hotel in September or October, said Irene Van Sant, project analyst director at Baltimore Development Corp. said.

The hotel company has hired two additional sales staff to sell the Baltimore convention headquarters hotel, which brings the total sales staff to four.

Nearly 70 hotels are under construction or in the planning stages in the Baltimore area -- primarily Baltimore City and Anne Arundel County -- over the next several years, according to Smith Travel Research Inc. in Hendersonville, Tenn. That includes about 10 Hilton (NYSE: HLT) brand properties, two of which are slated to open at Harbor East this summer.
Excellent news, I was under the impression that bookings were down.

As far as Legg Mason, I am pretty certain that the all of the undergound work will be joint with Legg Mason and the 4 seasons, so it can be said that they are both being built.
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Old May 2nd, 2007, 04:30 PM   #3305
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Originally Posted by House3780 View Post
Yeah thats my whole gripe with the MVA. Its a govt institution which means, we are their bosses if you ask me. And at the very least we are their clients yet they can treat us like crap because we have no choice but to use them. I cant say Im going to take my business elsewhere.

And as for the comment about do we want to pay tolls to use roads.. using the MVA isnt free. Thats why I feel it should be privatized because unlike somethings like roads where everyones paying for them through taxes whether they use them or not, for the most part, the you pay for each individual service separately at the MVA and if you don't use the particular service you don't pay for it.
Think about what you wrote, the MVA in private hands would still be a monopoly, you can't go anywhere else, only now they would have a motovation to make a profit. Do you want poor service or do you want poor service (what incentive is there) and be price gouged.

And to answer my own question , are airports privately run:

Quote:
Chicago and a handful of other cities have pursued putting airports in private hands under a 1996 federal pilot program allowing up to five U.S. airports to be leased. Chicago, which began the process at least a year ago, has applied to the Federal Aviation Administration but has not been approved yet, said Robert Poole, transportation studies director for the Reason Foundation, a libertarian think tank. Under that program, a city can't lease its airport to a private company unless the FAA and 65 percent of airlines using the airport agree.

Airlines in the U.S. generally have been leery about privatization, fearing increased costs and less sway over airport expansion.

One airport, Stewart International Airport, north of New York, went private in 1999 under that program. But Poole said the British company that leased the airport decided last year to put its long-term lease on the market. Ironically, the latest buyer was a government entity, the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey.

Overseas, airport privatization has become the rule rather than the exception in recent years. According to an analysis by Poole, most large United Kingdom airports have gone private, along with airports in Hamburg and Frankfurt, Germany; Rome; Naples, Italy; Sydney, Australia; and Brussels, Belgium. Paris airport authorities have sold off a minority stake in the city's two major airports.

The Rome airport went for about 2.7 billion Euros, or about $3.5 billion at today's exchange rate.
from here: http://www.statesman.com/news/conten...21airport.html

Anywho this is off topic to development.

Last edited by Maudibjr; May 2nd, 2007 at 04:32 PM. Reason: added site
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Old May 2nd, 2007, 04:58 PM   #3306
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Another BWI article...with numbers off somewhat and just continuing speculation

BWI Calling on Ryanair
The Irish Times
via NewsEdge Corporation
4/30/2007

One More Thing: Having failed recently to land Aer Lingus with a package of incentives worth $11 million, Baltimore Washington International (BWI) now has Ryanair on its radar after Michael O'Leary said he was pondering the launch of transatlantic services.

A meeting between the two sides has been pencilled in for late May to discuss potential opportunities. "We're excited for sure," said James Walsh, BWI's deputy executive director.

"We believe we're the right airport for this type of service and that we can offer an attractive package to Ryanair."

BWI was one of the airports mentioned by O'Leary recently as a possible destination for Ryanair's transatlantic services from Europe. "We have begun working on a plan.We're going to be sitting down with Ryanair staff in late May and we'll look at what markets are feasible and at cost structures," Walsh said.

BWI handles about 21 million passengers a year, putting it on a par with Dublin airport. This traffic is predominantly domestic, however, with just one million passengers a year using international flights. The airport estimated that Aer Lingus could have carried about 100,000 passengers a year.

Aer Lingus quit the airport in late 2004 and recently decided to operate instead from nearby Washington Dulles as part of its Open Skies expansion in the United States.

Its loss could be O'Leary's gain. It might also throw up the mouth-watering prospect of Ryanair going head-to-head with Southwest Airlines, the original low-cost airline whose model was copied by O'Leary.

Baltimore is a major hub for Southwest, which accounts for roughly half the airport's annual traffic. The city could be the launch pad for the US airline's own transatlantic services, which are likely to take flight in 2009.

If so, it would be a heavyweight contest of Ali-Foreman proportions.

<<The Irish Times -- 04/30/07>>
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Old May 2nd, 2007, 06:37 PM   #3307
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maudibjr View Post
Think about what you wrote, the MVA in private hands would still be a monopoly, you can't go anywhere else, only now they would have a motovation to make a profit. Do you want poor service or do you want poor service (what incentive is there) and be price gouged.

And to answer my own question , are airports privately run:



from here: http://www.statesman.com/news/conten...21airport.html

Anywho this is off topic to development.
I guess you didnt read the whole thing?? Not trying to be rude but f you are going to rebut, then you have to take the persons entire thought into consideration... not just copying and pasting whats convenient.

"I do know that its almost impossible to privatize it though, because you can't have multiple companies running the thing probably, and I would imagine it would be hard to turn a profit... or would it????"

In this Im saying, you dont want more than one company handling this type of information, and because you only want one company handling everything, it would still be a monopoly. But I still think its possible to get a better situation.

I would suggest performance based govt contracts but Ive seen how those can be just as inefficient. Also how competition can be taken out of the equation in the bidding which will end up with the same result.. an Im gonna get paid anyway attitude so why should I try hard.

Last edited by House3780; May 2nd, 2007 at 09:05 PM.
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Old May 3rd, 2007, 02:22 PM   #3308
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Wonderful 360 Day and Night views from the top of the Zenith. Click on 360o Views, then click See It Yourself.

http://www.zenithapts.com/

And another site I've never seen before:

http://www.presidentialpartnersllc.com/projects.html

Last edited by 30 Floors Up; May 3rd, 2007 at 02:48 PM.
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Old May 3rd, 2007, 03:15 PM   #3309
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Volvo race casting Maryland adrift
With no bay entry, global yacht race sailing to Boston
By Candus Thomson
Sun reporter
Originally published May 3, 2007



After successfully playing host to the Volvo Ocean Race for three voyages, Baltimore and Annapolis will be left high and dry during the 2008-2009 sailing event.




Race officials are scheduled to announce tomorrow that Boston will be the North American stopover for the around-the-world race, according to a spokeswoman for the Massachusetts economic development office.

More than a sailboat race, the Volvo was a financial force in the region. A study conducted by state, regional and local economic development and tourism agencies estimated that a Maryland stopover generated $40 million.

The reason for being set adrift has nothing to do with a lack of hospitality or any mishaps during the 21-day stopover last April. Simply put, Boston will have a boat in the race and Baltimore and Annapolis will not.

"I'm not surprised," said Gregory Barnhill, chairman of Ocean Race Chesapeake, the local organizing committee. "The boats determine the race course. Given all the things we did right, we just didn't have that one element."

For all its nautical history and extensive maritime industry, the Chesapeake region does not have an individual or company willing to pay the equivalent of four or five years of stadium naming rights to be part of the eight-month around-the-world race.

"It is unfortunate, but it's not easy to find a sponsor with $20 million," said Hannah Byron, assistant secretary for tourism, film and the arts in the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development.

Puma, the outdoor clothing company with international public relations offices in Boston, agreed to sponsor a boat in return for the clothing and gear contract for the competition. The company, based in Germany, has hired Ken Reed, a Volvo race veteran and top-flight skipper, to lead its campaign.

The announcement on Boston's waterfront is expected to draw Boston's mayor and state officials, along with Reed, Puma executives and Glenn Bourke, chief executive officer of the Volvo Ocean Race.

"We're excited it's coming to town," said Kofi Jones, a spokeswoman for the Massachusetts Executive Office of Housing and Economic Development. "The governor is thrilled we've been invited to participate. Obviously, it's going to mean a lot as far as tourism and travel dollars are concerned."

But Massachusetts will learn what Maryland did: It's not all free money. Each visit, Ocean Race Chesapeake has had to raise $1.2 million in cash and $1 million in in-kind services to turn Baltimore's Inner Harbor into a race village. In addition, Annapolis spent $600,000 last year to dredge the harbor so that the 70-foot sailboats could tie up at City Dock.

"We're disappointed, but we're glad to have had it for three years," said Tracy Baskerville of the Baltimore Office of Promotion and the Arts. "It is an economic loss for the city and state, but maybe someday it will come back."

Barnhill said he began to feel that the Volvo was sailing away not long after the boats left the Chesapeake Bay last May for a pit stop in New York before returning to Europe for the finish. As discussions with Bourke continued, the outcome became more apparent.

"We nibbled around the edge of the cookie a lot," Barnhill said. "We've done this successfully three times. When you've had a partnership like that and you know each other so well, they knew what we could offer. It wasn't like we could produce a fourth-quarter 'Hail Mary.'"

Seeking to tap new markets, race organizers hope to add stops in the Middle East, Southeast Asia and India, and two ports in China to the 38,650-nautical-mile course that begins in Alicante, Spain. That might mean dropping other ports that can't find a $20 million sponsor.

In the 32-year history of the race, more than two dozen cities around the world have served as ports. The United States was ignored until the 1989-1990 edition, when Fort Lauderdale, Fla., was added. It was replaced for one year by Miami, which was dropped because of poor visibility and low attendance.

Baltimore and Annapolis gained entree to the 1997-1998 race, then known as the Whitbread, when local businessman George Collins agreed to finance Chessie Racing, which eventually finished sixth. Four years later, the Chesapeake region got the nod without a local boat, because it was clear the new Volvo team valued the stability of returning to a known port.

Before the 2005-2006 race, two attempts to establish a local syndicate failed to gain financial support. However, Baltimore and Annapolis were chosen again on the strength of the organizing skills of Ocean Race Chesapeake and contributions from businesses such as Constellation Energy and Comcast that kept the stopover deficit-free. By comparison, Volvo had to foot the bill for the New York stop last May.

Annapolis Mayor Ellen O. Moyer said that without a local boat, the outcome "was expected."

"This is about marketing and selling cars," she said. "They needed to expand their market and got all they could out of here. I understand that. We're sorry to lose the Volvo. It's a nice, shiny thing to have - good for merchants, good for prestige, good for bragging rights. But we'll turn our efforts to other things, and we'll continue to showcase other regattas."

All is not lost, Moyer said. Annapolis, with its $155 million-a-year maritime industry, will get a piece of the Volvo economic pie in designing and outfitting some of the boats.

It does not appear likely that the Volvo race will make two East Coast stops as it has the past three outings. The race schedule on the Volvo Web site lists just one, beginning about May 16, 2009.

However, Volvo sources said yesterday that talks continue "with East Coast cities" about a one-day pit stop, as occurred in New York last year.

While Maryland would like to have the race back, said Byron, the state also is looking to attract more events like the NCAA lacrosse championships and the Army-Navy football game.

"It's a competitive business," she said. "We're going to continue to go after these high-caliber events."

this is extremely sad news for baltimore.
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Old May 3rd, 2007, 04:10 PM   #3310
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I stiched together images from that pano view at the top of the Zenith. Can we PLEASE submit this so we can get a banner???

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Old May 3rd, 2007, 04:52 PM   #3311
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I submitted a Baltimore banner before. There actually is/was a SSC thread on which you post them. This one is to big. They have to conform to the dementions which are specified on page 1 of the thread.

It has been so long ago that I don't remember where the thread is located. Perhaps if you PM one of the moderators they will know.
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Old May 3rd, 2007, 05:07 PM   #3312
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 30 Floors Up View Post
Wonderful 360 Day and Night views from the top of the Zenith. Click on 360o Views, then click See It Yourself.

http://www.zenithapts.com/

And another site I've never seen before:

http://www.presidentialpartnersllc.com/projects.html
That shot into camden yards is the money shot. that is nice.
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Old May 3rd, 2007, 06:08 PM   #3313
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 30 Floors Up View Post
Wonderful 360 Day and Night views from the top of the Zenith. Click on 360o Views, then click See It Yourself.

http://www.zenithapts.com/

And another site I've never seen before:

http://www.presidentialpartnersllc.com/projects.html
Bozzuto. who is manageing the Zenith is also building the condo's on Burke and York in Towson, among there many projects. In case anyone was wondering what all those boarded up houses were going to be..
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Old May 3rd, 2007, 08:41 PM   #3314
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That shot into camden yards is the money shot. that is nice.
I agree. That, and the view down Pratt Street. It's a shame that when the Hilton is finished, it will be taller than the Zenith and will infringe on both views. Caveat Emptor!

BTW, I think that the 400,000 sq. foot figure for Under Armor's office needs came from the fact that they are at tenant at Tide Point. Tide Point is 400,000 sq feet large now. Four or five other companies share that space though. The sq. foot figure came from an article in the BBJ, which states that Tide Point may be expanded in the near future to include retail and more offices.

Last edited by 30 Floors Up; May 3rd, 2007 at 08:49 PM.
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Old May 3rd, 2007, 08:42 PM   #3315
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I just had lunch with a guy who works for a large bBaltimore Construction Company and they have been asked to prepare budgets to demolish Towson Commons and buidl another high rise in it's place.
That's kind of interesting. The Investment Building might be on it's way out too since it hasn't been able to shake it's "sick building" label.
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Old May 3rd, 2007, 09:27 PM   #3316
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I just had lunch with a guy who works for a large bBaltimore Construction Company and they have been asked to prepare budgets to demolish Towson Commons and buidl another high rise in it's place.
That's kind of interesting. The Investment Building might be on it's way out too since it hasn't been able to shake it's "sick building" label.
No more movie theater in Towson????
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Old May 3rd, 2007, 10:27 PM   #3317
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Pic from today...

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Old May 3rd, 2007, 10:29 PM   #3318
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DemolitionDave View Post
I just had lunch with a guy who works for a large bBaltimore Construction Company and they have been asked to prepare budgets to demolish Towson Commons and buidl another high rise in it's place.
That's kind of interesting. The Investment Building might be on it's way out too since it hasn't been able to shake it's "sick building" label.
Thats what I heard too, that they wanted to build office condo's. I can only assume they mean to demolish the old retail portion since the office part is almost rented out.

I guess the investment building isin't such a great investment anymore

It sits on a prime spot however, and sits right on one of the highest spots in Baltimore Co., making whatever goes there very visable.
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Old May 3rd, 2007, 10:40 PM   #3319
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I heard the woners bought the buildings next door. I haven't been to Towson Commons since Borders left. As for going to the movies, I got tired of having to walkj through all the strange looking preteens. I watched parents drop off car loads of them. I guess they expect someone else to babysit them.
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Old May 3rd, 2007, 11:32 PM   #3320
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Kinda surprised the Zenith is just apartments. I'm looking for a place (I mean obviously I couldn't afford that) but would never consider renting. I'd like to buy a place right from the get go even if it puts me in a bit of a hole at the start. I'd love a place in the city, but I think the property taxes would be too much.
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