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Representatives headed to Baltimore to showcase Connellsville's attributes

Nancy Henry | For the Daily Courier
Downtown Connellsville, a program of Fayette County Cultural Trust, is sponsoring representatives to attend the Mid-Atlantic Innkeepers Trade Show and Conference this month to represent and showcase Connellsville. Brad Geyer, left, Connellsville City councilman, will be attending the conference. Michael Edwards, right, is president of the Fayette County Cultural Trust.

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By Nancy Henry
Thursday, March 7, 2013, 6:00 p.m.

Connellsville is sending representatives to the Mid-Atlantic Innkeepers Trade Show and Conference in hopes of creating interest from the lodging industry in locating in the city.

The conference is being held Sunday through Tuesday at Hunt Valley Inn, near Baltimore.

Representing the city will be Connellsville City Councilman Brad Geyer, Allegheny Trail Alliance representative Emma Strong and Jeff Wallace of West Apple Tours.

Representatives from the Pennsylvania Association of Bed and Breakfast Inns, Authentic Bed and Breakfasts of Lancaster County, West Virginia Bed and Breakfast Association, Empire State Bed and Breakfast Association, Bed and Breakfast Association of Virginia, Preferred Inns of New Jersey and others will be at the conference.

“The goal is to create interest for locating in Connellsville in the lodging industry and attract B&Bs, inns and hostels for the future,” said Michael Edwards, president of Fayette County Cultural Trust, of which Downtown Connellsville is a program.

Lucy King came to the Downtown Connellsville committee with this opportunity. She and her husband John own Connellsville Bed and Breakfast. She said is attending the conference on her own and expects to help at the Connellsville booth occasionally.

Strong, an employee of the McKenna Foundation, designed postcards, flyers, and sent emails to those who are registered to attend the conference The flyer contains information on potential Connellsville buildings that can become B&Bs. Items from area businesses have been gathered as giveaways, and an elaborate basket of candy has been donated by Colebrook Chocolate Company of Connellsville.

“Brad, Emma and Jeff will be talking with current and potential lodging owners about all the reasons we have for needing a hotel here. The results of the recent hotel study reinforces those reasons with hard data supporting the need and steady occupancy of a 40-room hotel. The study should be incentive and encouragement for lodging owners looking to expand or first-time owners looking for an opportunity. With Pittsburgh 50 miles away on the bike trail, Connellsville is the perfect place for bikers to make a room reservation, check in and then go to one of our nearby restaurants for a nice meal. If it happens that they are here on the weekend of one of our community events, all the better,” said Edwards.

Downtown Connellsville has created a Welcome To Connellsville brochure that highlights all of the upcoming activities and other reasons to visit Connellsville and see what is here. They will be available at the Connellsville booth and for networking at the event. The goal is to showcase Connellsville to potential lodging industry and individual developers.

Sponsors who have donated to the Connellsville booth are Downtown Connellsville, Greater Connellsville Chamber of Commerce, McKenna Foundation, Fay-Penn Economic Council and Fayette County Chamber of Commerce. Contributing advice on brochure and booth set-up were Donna Holdorf of the National Road Heritage Corridor and Julie Donovan of Laurel Highlands Visitors Bureau.

Nancy Henry is a freelance writer.

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