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

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
$79.00 Available Monday night.
Courtyard by Marriott
301 Residence Inn Blvd., Durham, North Carolina, 27713
$79.00 Bizzell Service Rate Available Monday night.
Durham Marriott City Center
201 Foster Street, Durham, North Carolina, 27701
$99.00 Available Monday night.
Fairfield Inn and Suites Durham Southpoint
7807 Leonardo Drive, Durham, NC 27713
$104.00 Corey Bizzell Family and Friends Available Monday night.
Hilton Durham near Duke University
3800 Hillsborough Rd., Durham, NC 27705
$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
$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
$69.00 Corey Bizzell Family and Friends Available Monday night.
SpringHill Suites Marriott
5310 McFarland Drive, Durham, NC 27707
$99.00 Available Monday night.
Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club 
3001 Cameron Blvd., Durham, NC  27705
$129.00 Available Sunday and Monday night.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Durham Hotel Lodging Availability

While charged with marketing Durham as a place to visit, live, and work, the Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau also operates the Durham Lodging Hotline during inclement weather. With many people out of power, or possibly stranded due to impassable roads or cancelled travel, DCVB ascertains hotel room availability and shares that information with the public on their website,

“The Lodging Hotline was updated this morning and is currently as accurate as we can make it,” said Shelly Green, President and CEO of DCVB. “Available rooms get booked, and we will try and keep the information updated as the day progresses, but please know that these rooms are all first come, first served,” Green added indicating that those in need of accommodations should secure them as soon as possible.

As of noon today, fewer than 400 of Durham’s more than 7,500 hotel rooms were available. The link to this hotline is in the upper left hand corner of the homepage.

Friday, February 6, 2015

The Best Seat Not In The House For The Duke/Carolina Game

Updated 3/3/15

Called the greatest rivalry in sports, there is no love lost between the Duke University Blue Devil and UNC Tar Heel  men's basketball squads. The rivalry between the two is as fierce as any along the 8 mile stretch of Tobacco Road, or anywhere on earth, for that matter, and possession of tickets to see that game is, to some, tantamount to possession of the Holy Grail...especially when that ticket is for Cameron Indoor Stadium at Duke University in Durham.

So then, where does one go to watch the game? Home is all well and good, sure, as are bars, but there the focus is only partially on the game. Plus, folks may want to get out of the house to truly show their spirit at full volume, and a bar isn't appropriate for fans younger than 21, the number of which is legion.

This year, a new option has emerged, and it's "beyond exciting as a visitor attraction, and as a development for fans already in Durham," said Sam Poley of the Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau. On Saturday, March 7, 2015 from 3:00pm-11pm, Stadium10 Theater, Northgate Mall will show  Duke-Carolina: The Blue Blood Rivalry, an in-depth look at the Duke-North Carolina basketball rivalry. "We're excited that this game is now more accessible to all fans from individuals to families" Poley added referring to the $10 ticket price to attend a special documentary screening and then watch the game.

 "Sports are ultimately about fans," said Hassan Pinto who produced the documentary, as well as this event. "This event creates access to an elite sports match for thousands of fans because they can't see the game like this anywhere else," Pinto added referring to the fact that the game will be shown on the movie screens in the theater at true 4K resolution, or four times clearer than the typical HD TV that many people own, and on a massive scale. "I can go to the game at Cameron, but I'm excited to watch it at Northgate this year with my friends and family, and so many excited fans," Pinto said.

Basketball and football legends including Gene Banks, Dre Bly, Marty Hensley, Jeff Denny, Ross Cockrell, and Bryn Renner will walk the red carpet and attend a special ticketed VIP event before the screening. The VIP reception will feature food and an open bar with with a silent auction to include autographed basketballs, Duke and Carolina ticket giveaways and more to benefit The V Foundation in honor of ESPN's Stuart Scott. 

The documentary film will screen from 6:30:00-8:15 pm. Shuttles will leave promptly after the film to transport fans with game tickets directly to the Dean Dome for the 9:00 pm tip-off. VIP event attendees will have first rights to theater seats for the live game to be shown on all ten Stadium 10 screens. Tickets for the events can be purchased in advance onlineThe general public is invited to fill in remaining seats for free on a first come, first served basis after all ticketed guests have been seated.

Learn more about Durham's storied Duke basketball history or other sporting events in Durham, and share your experiences at this event on Facebook and Twitter.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Everyone wants to visit Durham in 2015 and so should you

Durham is a hot destination this year! With thriving arts, dining, and downtown scenes, it's no wonder that Durham is being recognized as one of the top destinations to visit in 2015.

First, Durham was recognized on Travel + Leisure's "Best Places to Travel in 2015," calling out Durham in its print publication out of 53 select destinations in the world to visit.

Durham was then recognized in Refinery29's article, "Why These 7 Cities Should Be On Your 2015 Travel List." Refinery29 called out Durham's "incredible food, a relaxed vibe, and cool warehouse buildings," along with its food truck scene.

Durham has also earned a #14 spot on Trivago's 2015 US Reputation Ranking, which examines global destinations to determine those with the most reputable hotels, based on their collective hotel ratings. Durham has top notch places to stay and it's always great to see them recognized.

Learn more about why Durham should not be missed in 2015. Request a free visitors guide or sign up to receive ideas for things to do and see right to your inbox, and follow Durham on Facebook and Twitter while paying special attention to posts tagged #DurhamFreshDaily.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Major Civil War Sesquicentennial Approaching in Durham

Consider this: 150 years ago right now, the Civil War's Campaign of the Carolina's was underway as the Union Army moved North and West through North Carolina to the effective end of the conflict at Bennett Place in Durham. A treaty was signed at a courthouse in Virginia, but in Durham the armies of Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida were surrendered for a total of 89,270 soldiers relinquishing their arms.

In Durham, history is really coming alive in 2015.

A sesquicentennial (150th anniversary) is an important mark in time, especially at Durham's three state historic sites; more than any other city in NC. Those sites, Bennett Place, Duke Homestead, and Historic Stagville, are all producing events to showcase Durham in the time period before, during, and after the war as they welcome visitors and give them a window on this nation-shaping time in history.

Information about bout Durham's role in the conflict, these sites and their planned events, are all collected on this helpful Civil War website.

Durham saw  the last use of artillery, the last casualties, and is the site of the last fighting in North Carolina, There are major events throughout the upcoming months. Check this webpage, search the Durham Event Calendar for history events, and keep an eye on Durham's Facebook and Twitter accounts and follow the #Durham150 hashtag to keep up with all the Civil War related stories.

Friday, January 23, 2015

DCVB Launches New Public Relations Bootcamp

The continued success of Durham as a destination is due, in part, to the success of the businesses that make up the community. Durham is the very embodiment of the adage that the sum is greater than the whole of its parts.

"Durham is strong when we work together," said Shelly Green, President and CEO of the Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau (DCVB).

To that end, DCVB is starting a Public Relations 101 seminar on January 29. The free, one-hour session will be held monthly at the Visitor Information Center at 101 E. Morgan Street in Downtown Durham, and will be an overview highlighting easy action steps that are accessible to everyone. "Public Relations can be a very complex business requiring serious counsel, but there are some entry-level things businesses can do to get started that fairly easy to grasp," said DCVB PR Director Sam Poley who will lead the sessions. "We want everyone to be putting their best foot forward, and we think this session can really help them do that." The session will provide an overview of what comprises public relations, how public relations plays a part in day-to-day business operations, and how to dig in to some specific things like media relations, PR in social media, and crisis communications.

Space is limited to 10 participants, and those interested in attending should email using the subject line PR Seminar 1/29 and list the names of those planning to attend, email addresses, and phone numbers for each to reserve space. Seating will be granted on a first come, first served basis. Additional sessions will be added to meet demand.

"With all that is happening in Durham including new hotels, major historical events, and more, businesses need to be shining," Poley said. "Good PR is key in that endeavor," Green added that she wants the community to benefit from the expertise within the organization. Future dates and times will be announced via social media and the Durham News Service.