Hotel Buzz

Look at all the buzz my little blog post stirred up.  Thanks to CitySide for stirring the pot.  I like how the people running for office are some of the first to chime in.  This post cracks me up:

I certainly like the potentials of getting some sort of convention center and hotel associated with downtown proximity, but I think the economics are far off and the evidence points to outlying and auto intensive marketing of rooms – does downtown have the nightlife and attrcations to support it, doubtful today – it takes a lot more than a few fredneck pickup bars to get there and a Weinberg and ballpark games – the smaller market for historical conventions, etc. are pretty well covered by a variety of group event outlets – lots of smoke signals, no fire imo –

Yeah, ’cause Frederick is known for it’s “few fredneck pickup bars” and “a Weinberg and ballpark games”.

Dude, there’s way more to Frederick than that and I think the idea of a small downtown hotel is a good one.  I mentioned a few posts ago that I went to a wedding in Gainesville, Fla. and we (my daughter and I)  had no car.  There wasn’t much in walking distance from the hotel and we were at the mercy of other wedding guests who had cars.  With all the promotion Frederick does of its Clustered Spires and the potential of wedding guests at those churches, I’d think that there could be a big demand for a hotel in walking distance of Church Street.

As CitySide pointed out, something like this would be pretty cool in downtown Frederick.

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Directed to eat local

I had a great weekend.  I went to Gainesville, Florida with my daughter to her friend’s wedding.  Before I left though, I was hanging out at Barley and Hops (again, there’s sound if you click on that link) and struck up a conversation with a woman who was visiting from St. Louis and staying at the Hampton Inn.  Her name was Dina and she looked like a tourist, complete with a book to read at the bar, which was enough for me to ask her why she was in town.  After getting through the small talk, I asked her how she ended up at Barley and Hops.  She was a very  friendly woman, in town on business for one night only.

She apparently asked the front desk at the hotel for a local place to eat and they tried to direct her to Macaroni Grill and the various other chains that are down by Hampton Inn.  She again asked for more referrals to something she couldn’t get at home and the only place they could refer her to was May’s.  May’s for sure would have given her a taste of local flavor, but she drove past the crowded parking lot and kept on going until she found the Hops.

I was stunned.  I asked her if they even thought to direct her to head to downtown Frederick, a very easy drive from the Hampton.  She told me no, they hadn’t mentioned anything about a downtown and when I described to her all the options that she could have had going downtown, she was surprised that the hotel had not even tried to send her there.  Odd, since she specifically asked for recomendations for local food that she couldn’t get at home.

So I’m wondering, why aren’t the local hotels directing out-of-towners downtown?  Do they have a deal with the local chains restaurants to direct their guests to them?  Or is it that the downtown restaurants don’t advertise at the hotels on the outskirts of town?  If you were in town for a few days, wouldn’t you like to be directed to downtown Frederick, just so you could get an idea of the local flavor?

Why don’t the hotels promote the downtown?

Crazy weather

We live in the southern part of the county and that tornado yesterday just missed our property.  Don’t get me wrong.  We had some damage and the storm itself was brief but very frightening, but nothing compared to what a neighboring farm withstood and then also some properties on Mussetter Rd.  If there are any doubters that it really was a tornado, here’s a preliminary report from the National Weather Service that  states there were actually two separate tornados yesterday (Sorry.  That link is to a site that constantly changes.  I’ll have to look for another link that reports on what I read regarding the two separate tornados.) OK, here is another link to what I read.  Hopefully that one won’t change as well!

Our power went out for several hours, as did the power in the entire region.  The bars and restaurants around FSK Mall were filled with people who had stories to tell about the damage to their properties as they waited for their power to be restored.  Quite frankly, I have to give major kudos to Allegheny Power for getting the power back as quickly as they did.  Jim and I drove around the area today to survey the damage and it is extensive.  The pictures on the FNP link above do not do justice to the amount of property damage, especially on Ball and Mussetter Roads.  We saw whole buildings destroyed, whole tree lines uprooted, evidence of trees that had been cleared off roads and a lot of people out cleaning up their yards.  Thankfully as far as we know, no one was hurt.

Speaking of crazy weather, my friend Eric sent me this picture taken with his cell phone from inside Brewer’s Alley last Thursday, 7/23.  That was the night we got a ton of rain, roughtly 4 inches in a half  hour/45 minute period, about 10:00 at night.  You can tell from the picture that Market Street was completely flooded.  By all accounts, the water was off the street about a half hour after it stopped raining.  Good to know the flood control project at Carroll Creek works.

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Reggae Festival leads to traffic nightmare

I spent all last week shopping for and helping my daughter move into her first apartment.  Three loads later, on Saturday we finally finished taking the last of our old stuff to her house in Baltimore.  After we got back from that last trip, we decided to head over to Barley and Hops (there’s a bit of sound on that website so turn down your speakers if you don’t want to hear it) for a beer.  That was when we heard the first of several horror stories from people who were trying to get over to Linganore Winecellars for their Reggae Festival that was held over the weekend.

Most of what we heard was about the horrendous wait along Route 75 and Glissans Mill Road.  One story we heard was from someone who waited four hours sitting in traffic, only to be turned away when the winery had to stop letting people in.  We really wanted to go on Sunday but couldn’t make it (for reasons other than the fear of traffic).  Now I see a little blurb about it in the FNP.  I don’t know what the answer is to the problem, but I do know that the roads to Linganore Winecellars can’t handle that kind of traffic.   From the FNP:

The Frederick County Sheriff’s Office received multiple calls involving the 2009 Reggae Festival at Linganore Winecellars-Berrywine Plantations Saturday and Sunday.The sheriff’s office received complaints when traffic was bumper to bumper on Glissans Mill Road, said Cpl. Jennifer Bailey. Deputies cleared the traffic and only residents were allowed to go through at one point.

“The roads aren’t designed to handle that much traffic,” she said.

While there was security at the festival, a plan to control the large traffic flow was not in place, she said. The sheriff’s office will be working with the county’s permit office to make sure a plan is ready before next year’s festival. Three people were charged with driving under the influence on Sunday and a man was charged with disorderly conducted after he refused to obey a deputy’s commands Saturday, Bailey said. A purse and GPS were also stolen out of a vehicle.

Did anyone go?  I’m really sorry we missed it.

My conundrum.

My family and I were taking a nice walk downtown this evening when my son asked if he could take a closer look at the water. As we watched the chunks of algae float by I pulled out my chap stick to freshen my lips (I’m somewhat of a chap stick addict, I always have one in my pocket). I went to put the lid back on, fumbled it, and dropped it in Carroll Creek.

Did I mention it was a brand new stick? And there it floated right by the edge; taunting me. Not wanting to be a litterer I quickly plucked the stick from the stagnant water.

So what would you do: keep it or chuck?

The End Is Near?

And no, I am not making reference to the disturbing news coming from Frederick News-Post this morning (upon which I will not elaborate), I am talking about the new span of the 70 overpass on 355 finally being open. I just noticed this morning, but it may have been open a couple of days now.

Often sighted on the South side of town

Often sighted on the South side of town

They were busy paving along Costco/Walser Dr. and Market Street. I think this intersection has been under construction for the past 10 years. Does anyone want to start a “baby pool” for when it might finally be done?

Friday Free-For-All:Fill in the Blank

I’ve wracked my brain and all my resources this week and still,  I have nothing to offer.  It bugs me when there is nothing new to post about for this many days in a row, so I am asking you.  What do you want to talk about?  Do you have anything to plug? Anything to vent about?  Anything you are wondering about?  Any hot tips that you want us to know about?  Leave a  comment and let us know what you are up to these days.

I’ll start with a bit of a rant.  The Gazette is reporting that a new shopping center is going to open in Urbana without an anchor grocery store.  Those of us who live in the area know that the last thing we need in this area is:

Buffalo Wild Wings, a Rite Aid Pharmacy, Bank of America, Georgetown Valet dry cleaner, Ledo Pizza, and The Fractured Prune.

A bit of competition for Giant grocery store might be nice but the rest I can do without.  I’d rather have those trees and a less confusing traffic pattern back.