Thursday, March 26, 2015

Distilleries Hope To Sell Direct

North Carolina is one of only nine states in the US that does not permit the direct sale of spirituous liquor at the distillery to visitors. For Durham, that’s going to be a larger concern as two distilleries work to come online and open their doors this year.

There is a move afoot at the legislative level to permit these sales at distilleries, though. HB107 and SB24 are both up for a vote in this legislative session, and those in the spirituous beverage creation business are working to rally support.

“As we get ready to welcome Durham Distillery and Revival Spirits here in Durham, we think it is important that they be able to sell their products directly to consumers,” said Shelly Green, the President and CEO of the Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau (DCVB) which markets Durham as a visitor destination. “With passage of the original bill in 2013, distilleries were allowed to conduct tastings on their premises, but the current bill takes it a step further and allows them to sell their products for consumption off premises,” Green added.

Spirituous liquor producers are working together on an effort to get the word out about a letter writing campaign. “From the visitor’s stand point, it will be a much better experience to visit a distillery, taste the product, and then make a purchase all in one visit,” Green said. “Currently, distilleries must tell their patrons to go to an ABC store if they wish to purchase products and that’s what this bill hopes to change,” she said.

The bills have bi-partisan support in the House and Senate, as well as support from restaurant and lodging groups. Those with opinions on this matter are encouraged to discuss on social media.

Learn more about Durham’s food scene online, and plan a visit with the Durham Event Calendar.


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

New Durham Spring/Summer 2015 Visitor & Relocation Guide Now Available

There is so much happening in Durham it's hard to fit it all in one guide!

The Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau has just released the Official Durham Visitors & Relocation Guide (VRG) for Spring/Summer 2015 both online and in print.

The new Spring/Summer edition of the popular, digest-sized guide features new content and highlights the new developments coming to Durham as a part of the "Pardon Our Dust" feature.

Durham’s three state historic sites are also featured prominently in this edition in an effort to shine a light on Durham's offerings for visitors and residents interested in history. Durham, as the site of the largest surrender of the Civil War, is considered to be the place where the conflict effectively ended, and is the site of considerable visitor-focused activity in the coming months through April and May.

The printed guide is designed to assist visitors who are discovering Durham while on foot and is a companion to online resources like the official Durham visitor website.

This guide is distributed to more than 145 targeted channels throughout Durham, at NC Welcome Centers on interstate highways, and is delivered directly upon request through the website.

Guides can be picked up at the Visitors Information Center at 101 E. Morgan Street in Downtown Durham, and requested online here.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Durham's Annual Tribute Luncheon to Honor Historic Sites

Every year in April, Durham's Annual Tribute Luncheon is an opportunity to publicly recognize people, places, and events for the role they play in preserving Durham's unique sense of place. This year, given the important anniversary upon Durham, the event is going to be especially exciting.

This year the event commemorates Durham's role in the Civil War, the sesquicentennial (150th anniversary) of the end of which is in April. "Probably the most notable thing for people will be Durham's role in the end of the war," said Sam Poley, the Director of Public Relations for the Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau (DCVB), the organization that produces the event. "Because the history books essentially stop telling the story of the war with the treaty at Appomattox, most people don't realize that the war didn't really end until Sherman and Johnston agreed to the largest troop surrender, that of five Confederate state armies totaling more than 89,000 soldiers, when they met in Durham. Durham is where the war effectively ended," added Poley.

Durham's role in this nation-shaping event is really best illustrated by looking at all three of Durham's state historic sites, Bennett Place, Duke Homestead, and Historic Stagville. All of them will be honored for their inextricable link to what makes Durham the place it is today. The program for the luncheon will be unlike any other in the event's history.

The luncheon will take place Wednesday, April 29, 2015 beginning promptly at 11:30 a.m. at The Durham Convention Center. Registration for the event is available online where individual tickets are $55 each and an 8-person table is $500.

"The Annual Tribute Luncheon is a celebration of Durham, and we're excited to shine a light on this aspect of Durham's history," Poley said. Those interested can learn more about Durham's Civil War history online.


DPAC Announces 2015-16 Suntrust Broadway Season

Some people think that the Broadway experience is relegated to New York City's theater district. But they probably haven't been to Durham Performing Arts Center, DPAC in Durham, NC.

DPAC, has named the upcoming 2015-2016 SunTrust Broadway season the "Broadway Doesn’t Get Any Bigger Than This" year and the upcoming season seems to live up to those claims.

The SunTrust Broadway season includes eight shows, six of which have been recent hits on Broadway. The other two productions are launching brand new national tours under the creative direction of some of Broadway’s most accomplished writers and directors.

Three recent Broadway hits will all coming to the Durham Performing Arts Center for the 2015-16 season. “If/Then,” “A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder” and “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical” will all be part of the next season. Returning favorites include “The Book of Mormon” and “The Lion King.” Also coming are “Cabaret,” “Matilda the Musical,” “42nd Street,” “The Illusionists” and “The Sound of Music.”

Season tickets are available for purchase now and individual tickets will be available at a later date. DPAC has over 15,000 Season Seat Members, making DPAC the country’s leading one-week Broadway series and the Triangle region’s #1 performing arts series. Ninety-five percent of all SunTrust Broadway at DPAC shows sell every ticket to every performance, and ticket information is available on the DPAC website.

Learn more about Durham's performing arts scene online, and stay on top of everything happening here with the Durham Event Calendar.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

21c Hotel to Open Doors on March 16

In an announcement today, 21c Museum Hotel Durham established their opening date of March 16, this coming Monday. There is a ribbon cutting ceremony scheduled for 10 AM that day.

Formerly the home of CCB and SunTrust banks, the Hill Building, located at 111 N. Corcoran Street at the corner of Main, is an iconic structure that has been refurbished into a 125-room hotel, restaurant called the Counting House, as well as a modern art museum.

"A highly-anticipated addition to not only our lodging community, this hotel is a welcomed and exciting addition to our mix of Downtown Durham businesses," said Shelly Green, President and CEO of the Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau, the organization charged with marketing Durham as a visitor destination.

In downtown alone, Durham has five hotel projects underway with the 21c the first to open. The hotel restaurant opened this week for dinner service and will be adding breakfast in the near future, and lunch service thereafter.

The hotel uses differently colored penguins for each of its hotels. The color chosen for Durham is fuchsia, as indicated by the brightly colored mascots popping up around town.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Funeral Services Announced For Corey D. Bizzell

DCVB made the sad announcement earlier this week that Corey D. Bizzell, DCVB’s Vice President of Sales and Business Development passed away unexpectedly on Sunday, February 22, 2015. Funeral services have been announced for Monday, March 2, 2015 at 6:00 p.m. at Bethel Family Center located at 515 Dowd St, Durham, NC.
Credit: MPI and The Meeting Professional
magazine

A 13-year veteran of the Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau, Corey was 38 years old. In his role, Corey had risen to be one of the most recognized people in his field, even gracing the cover of The Meeting Professional, a leading publication in the meeting and convention arena.

During his tenure at DCVB, Bizzell, a Durham native, saw great success in inviting groups to bring their meetings and conventions to Durham. Those who knew Corey were well aware that he was, without question, always on the ball, always in touch, always thinking, and always planning the next move.

“A loss like this is just devastating,” said Shelly Green, President & CEO of DCVB.  “Corey had many friends here and throughout the country. We are all taking this hard,” Green added.

To honor him, DCVB is establishing a scholarship in his name for students pursuing careers in hospitality. Details on that will be forthcoming, but for those interested in making an immediate donation, in lieu of flowers, as Corey’s family prefers, please donate to the Hopes for Haircuts Foundation, where Corey was serving as the CFO.

DCVB will also post here a list of nearby hotels with special rates later this afternoon for those traveling from out of town to attend the services.

“We miss him terribly, and we thank you for your good thoughts as we process this loss,” said Green.

Hotels with special rates for those attending Corey Bizzell's funeral on March 2

If you are in need of lodging when you attend the funeral for Corey Bizzell on March 2, below are special rates and contact information for hotels offering them. This list will be updated as soon as information is available, so please check back often.

Property Rate Code Notes
Courtyard by Marriott
1815 Front Street, Durham, North Carolina, 27705
919-309-1500
$79.00 Available Monday night.
Courtyard by Marriott
301 Residence Inn Blvd., Durham, North Carolina, 27713
919-484-2900
$79.00 Bizzell Service Rate Available Monday night.
Durham Marriott City Center
201 Foster Street, Durham, North Carolina, 27701
919-768-6025
$99.00 Available Monday night.
Fairfield Inn and Suites Durham Southpoint
7807 Leonardo Drive, Durham, NC 27713
919-806-8200
$104.00 Corey Bizzell Family and Friends Available Monday night.
Hilton Durham near Duke University
3800 Hillsborough Rd., Durham, NC 27705
919-564-2911
$89.00 CBS Available Monday night.
Hyatt Place Durham Southpoint
7840 NC 751 Highway
Durham, NC 27713
919-688-7800, option 0 for the Operator
$104.00 Corey Bizzell Family and Friends Available Monday night.
The King's Daughters Inn
204 N Buchanan Blvd., Durham, NC 27701
919-354-7000 
$50.00 Available Monday night.
Sheraton Imperial Hotel
4700 Emperor Blvd., Durham, NC 27703 919.941.5050
$99.00 Corey Bizzell Family and Friends Available Monday night.
Sleep Inn RTP
5208 Page Road, Durham, NC 27703
919-993-3393
$69.00 Corey Bizzell Family and Friends Available Monday night.
SpringHill Suites Marriott
5310 McFarland Drive, Durham, NC 27707
919-403-1111
$99.00 Available Monday night.
Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club 
3001 Cameron Blvd., Durham, NC  27705
919-490-0999
$129.00 Available Sunday and Monday night.