Annual evening of honors & accolades rally local tourism partners for the region’s approaching prime time summer tourism season.
HARRISBURG, PA (March 30, 2017) — Tourism Officials with the Hershey Harrisburg Regional Visitors Bureau (HHRVB) recognized individuals and local Partner organizations for their outstanding achievements in tourism in the past year during the Annual "Partners In Tourism Awards" held tonight at the Sheraton Harrisburg Hershey Hotel.
Approximately 150 bureau Partners and tourism supporters attended the event that bureau officials say has become the unofficial launch of the region’s prime tourism season.
“We look forward to this annual event as a time to recognize bureau Partners and honor local tourism stakeholders who have made great strides in the past year,” said Mary Smith, President and CEO of HHRVB. “And it has become an evening of celebration for our Partners who are all ramping up for another busy tourism season.”
Over the years, Partners have expressed to bureau officials how this annual event in the spring offers the rare opportunity for those in the busy tourism industry to reunite with their friends and network with fellow tourism professionals within the Hershey Harrisburg Region.
The evening began with the bureau recognizing eight (8) businesses with “Keepin’ It Fresh” certificates for those who completed or initiated renovations, expansions and improvements this past year.
The bureau also recognized nine (9) Partners with “New Biz On the Block” certificates for opening a tourism-related business within the region in 2016.
The evening’s main event was the announcement of the ten (10) “Partners In Tourism Awards” which recognized a variety of individuals, organizations, and events for their outstanding accomplishments in 2016.
Each award winner in this category was honored with a short video produced by the bureau to highlight their achievement.
See a complete list of winners below with photos and links to their Tourism Award Video.
KEEPIN’ IT FRESH CERTIFICATES 2016
ABOVE: Armstrong Valley Vineyard & Winery – Keeping It Fresh with their Expanded Wine Tasting Area & Renovations that have greatly enhanced the tasting experience for guests.
ABOVE: HERSHEY Lodge – For their new 30,000 square-foot Indoor Water Works Pool Complex for Lodge Guests, featuring Twizzlers Twists Water Slides & Reese's Water Walk.
ABOVE: Hershey's Chocolate World Attraction – For their Re-imagined Chocolate Tour attraction with NEW photo & queuing experience, updated storytelling, state-of-the-art animated figures, and a NEW Social Media-Enhanced Finale.
ABOVE: Historic Acres of Hershey – For the completion of their 6,000-Square-Foot All-Season Pavilion and Renovations to Expand Event Space in Their Large Rustic Barn.
ABOVE: Holiday Inn Harrisburg East – For Keeping It Fresh with their Complete Hotel Renovations and NEW On-Site Full-Service Restaurant “IKE’s.”
ABOVE: The Millworks – For their NEW Small-Batch Brewery & Rooftop Biergarten, providing a gorgeous view of the city skyline while also doubling the seating capacity of the indoor dining area.
ABOVE: Tröegs Independent Brewing – For their NEW Splinter Cellar wood-aging dream space and the New “Art of Tröegs” Gallery.
The Boro Bar & Grill Riverview – For their Riverfront Expansion which enclosed their patio area, creating an all-season dining space with scenic views of the Susquehanna River.
NEW BUSINESS CERTIFICATES 2016
ABOVE: Boneshire Brew Works – This is a brand-new brewery along Derry Street in Swatara Township with a tasting room featuring an open view of the brew house.
ABOVE: Greystone Public House – A new dining experience serving a sophisticated yet familiar menu within the completely renovated 18th Century Historic fieldstone home previously occupied by the Mount Hill Tavern along Colonial Road in Lower Paxton Township.
ABOVE: Outside the Box Escape Room – Harrisburg’s New Escape Room Complex on North 2nd Street has challengers cracking codes, seeking for hidden clues, and working in teams to solve puzzles to escape one of several themed rooms.
ABOVE: South Mountain Carriage Company On City Island – The newest addition to Harrisburg’s City Island Entertainment Complex offers Elegant Horse-Drawn Carriage Rides on the Island or along Harrisburg's Riverfront Park.
ABOVE: The Lost Pint: Pub Crawl through History – A new guided tour service or “Mobile Classroom” pours over local history, literally, for anyone wanting to learn about the area.
ABOVE: Walnut Grove Smorgasbord – This family-friendly All-You-Care-To-Eat Restaurant, with seating for up to 240 guest, takes pride in serving dishes “made from scratch” daily.
ABOVE: Hershey Perplex Escape Rooms – This NEW Escape Room Experience in Hershey can be customized to any customer’s skill level – from the novice beginner to the expert escape artist.
Black Horse Tavern – This new Hometown Tavern in historic Middletown has a menu to match almost every appetite, and a signature Bloody Mary & Beer concoction that is sure to cure whatever ails you.
Escape Room Hershey AND Hershey Biergarten – This new experience in Hershey is the ultimate in interactive fun with Multiple Themed Escape Rooms & Craft Biergarten.
PARTNERS IN TOURISM AWARDS 2016
Above & Beyond Award
Ralph Vartan, Vartan Group/Cafe 1500
The Above and Beyond Award says - you are not 9-5. It says when your day job is done, you’re first in line to volunteer your personal time, resources and skills to develop, advance and improve local tourism in the Hershey Harrisburg Region.
V.I.P – Very Involved Partner Award
Nancy Gates, Antique Auto Museum
The V.I.P. award says you network like a champion. It says if it’s tourism-related – You. Are. There. It says we can count on you to be active and engaged in HHRVB events and seminars. That your hand is in the air to volunteer at bureau-sponsored booths or exhibits, comp visiting media and assist with sales familiarization tours and client visits in the Hershey Harrisburg Region.
Bring It Home Award
Colette Silvestri – USA Memory Challenge Championship
The Bring It Home Award says you know it’s silly to travel to your organization’s yearly meetings when we have the best facilities right here. It says you’ve played a critical role in securing a new annual - or one-time meeting, convention, sporting event, special event or group that has a significant economic impact on the Hershey Harrisburg Region.
Kipona Festival – 100th Anniversary
The Milestone Award says this accomplishment deserves to be recognized. And the positive impact you will continue to have on the Hershey Harrisburg Region is worthy of celebration. Pictured above is Devin Drebik & Megan Roby accepting Milestone Award on behalf of the City of Harrisburg.
John Harris-Simon Cameron Mansion – 250th Anniversary
The Milestone Award says this accomplishment deserves to be recognized. And the positive impact you will continue to have on the Hershey Harrisburg Region is worthy of celebration.
Excellence In Programming Award
Spring Gate Vineyard
The Excellence in Programming Award says you're an innovator. You’ve shown exceptional effort in programming events that educate, entertain, and enhance the visitor experience in the Hershey Harrisburg Region.
Best New Event Award
The Best New Event Award says you ran with an idea, swung for the fences, and hit it out of the park with a new annual or one-time event that brought significant economic impact to the Hershey Harrisburg Region.
New Business of the Year Award
Tattered Flag Brewery & Still Works
The New Tourism Business of the Year Award says you've made an impression. It says, that your investment in our region deserves to be recognized and that your continued success is important to the tourism industry in the Hershey Harrisburg Region.
New Attraction of the Year Award
Milton & Catherine Hershey Conservatory at Hershey Gardens
The New Attraction of the Year Award says you've created something special, something unique, something to see & do. It says you embrace the power of progress and that you're clearly committed to the future of tourism in the Hershey Harrisburg Region.
Tourism Business of the Year Award
Harrisburg Midtown Arts Center (H*MAC)
John Traynor - Owner
ABOVE: (L-R) Harrisburg Midtown Arts Center (H*MAC) owner John Traynor with State Representative Patty Kim.
The Tourism Business of the Year Award says you've earned a loyal following of visitors and locals alike. It says your business contributes significantly to our area as a tourism destination while also enhancing the quality of life for the residents of the Hershey Harrisburg Region.
ABOUT THE HERSHEY HARRISBURG REGIONAL VISITORS BUREAU
The HHRVB is the official non-profit partnership-based Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) leading economic growth for Pennsylvania’s Hershey & Harrisburg Region through destination marketing and tourism development. The organization, accredited by Destination Marketing Association International (DMAI) since 2010, is committed to actively marketing the tourism assets in Dauphin & Perry County to business and leisure travelers both domestic & international. The bureau also leads regional sales efforts to attract meeting & event organizers, sporting event producers, and group tour leaders. For more information go to VisitHersheyHarrisburg.org or call 877-727-8573. Media can use #HHRVB and #HHRVB4Media when tagging stories and social media posts related to the region.