Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Golden Leaf Awards to Honor Properties With Curb Appeal

Everyone knows that Durham is a good looking place; in fact, nearly one in four residents say it should be a high community priority. But if Durham homes were in a beauty pageant, which one should win? Whether it's the landscaping, the historic redevelopment, or just plain old curb appeal, now is the time to submit a nomination to recognize the Durham properties that make looking good seem so easy. 

The Durham City-County Appearance Commission and Keep Durham Beautiful, Inc. are seeking nominations from the community for the 2014 Golden Leaf Awards. The awards recognize new developments and buildings in Durham that demonstrate curb appeal. Homeowners, building owners, architects, landscape architects, developers, realtors and anyone involved in design, planning and construction in Durham are encouraged to enter projects completed within the last five years.

Visit the Golden Leaf Awards website to review the complete list of categories, submission criteria and nomination forms. All submissions are due by Sunday, October 26.

To find out more about good looking places in Durham, check out Things to Do or Durham Dining.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

DCVB Releases White Paper on Visitors’ Impact

Why is tourism and the related visitor spending it generates so important to a local economy? Quite simply, because it provides a source of revenue to a community that would not otherwise exist.  

It also provides tax revenues to state and local governments in addition to jobs and wages, which have a multiplier effect throughout the local economy.

The Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau (DCVB) sets out to learn just how big that impact is through a biannual study it commissions with D.K. Shifflet and IHS Global Insights, two leading research firms.

“Visitors provide significant impact to Durham, and it has increased steadily, year after year,” said Shelly Green, President and CEO of DCVB.

The newly released white paper covers 2012, the most recent data available, as well as estimates for 2013. It shows that Durham hosted nine million visitors in 2012, and that those visitors spent $765.8 million within the county. The net result was a $560 million economic impact to the local area, including support for 13,339 jobs and $86.3 million is state and local taxes.

“Without visitors and the spending they generated, each household in Durham would have to pay as much as $745 more a year in state and local taxes to maintain the current level of services they enjoy,” Green added.  

Read the full report on DCVB's website.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

21c Museum Hotel Durham Opens Online Booking

Durham, NC's downtown is in the midst of a construction boom as five new hotels begin to take shape and further transform the former industrial hub into urban oasis of dining, culture, art, business and residences. That mix fuels the economic development engine, and lodging is a critical component.

Today, 21c Museum Hotel Durham, the newest property from the award-winning 21c Museum Hotel company, announced they will be accepting reservations starting tomorrow for May 1, 2015 or later.  Set to open in the first quarter of 2015, the hotel will offer three packages, now available for booking through their website or by calling (919) 956-6700.  21c Durham, located in the historic Hill Building on North Corcoran Street, combines a 125-room boutique hotel, contemporary art museum, and restaurant.

The 21c Museum Hotel Durham joins the Aloft, Hotel Durham, and Marriott Residence Inn all currently under construction, as well as the Jack Tar which is slated to start later this year. All but the Aloft is a renovation or adaptive reuse project, and all will enhance Downtown Durham as a destination for visitation.

Known for its iconic penguin sculptures by artist collective Cracking Art Group, each 21c property is designated a specific penguin color signifying the city that it resides in.  21c has unveiled fuchsia as the new color to represent Durham, and is launching a social media contest that invites fans to spot the Fuchsia Penguin for a chance to win prizes.  Beginning on Friday, October, 3 the “Spotted” contest will highlight one photo each day for 21 days of the penguin at a unique landmark within the Triangle.  Fans can guess the location by emailing spotted@21chotels.com, where they will be entered into a daily drawing to win a t-shirt and a grand prize drawing for a gift certificate to stay at 21c Durham once it opens. Photos will post daily on the 21c website, Facebook page and on Twitter.

To celebrate the opening of its newest property, 21c will offer guests dynamic packages, crafted to ensure that guests get the most out of their stay.  Introductory packages include:
The Growlers & Grub Package allows guests a chance to experience Durham’s lively and thriving brewery culture, with components including:
21c Faves local brewery guide
Bar snack + local beer tasting for two
Copy of North Carolina Craft Beer & Breweries
The Romance Package offers couples a relaxing and pampering getaway. The package includes:
Sparkling wine upon arrival
Two bathrobes from 21c Museum Shop
Rose petal turndown
$100 credit towards dinner for two at the on-site restaurant
Guests can also reserve the Dine with Art room rate, which includes a $25 voucher (per room night) to experience 21c Durham’s restaurant.

21c Museum Hotel Durham, opening first quarter of 2015, is a combination boutique hotel, contemporary art museum and chef-driven restaurant. 21c is rehabilitating the historic Hill Building in Downtown Durham. The 125-room property will feature a contemporary art museum open to the public free of charge 24/7, as well as a ballroom in the historic banking hall; three suites with private terraces, and a spa. 21c Durham will also be home to a restaurant focusing on local ingredients and fresh seafood in their raw bar.

Durham continues to grow as a destination for visitors from near and far. See all the developments in that pipeline online, and stay up to speed with all that is happening with the Durham Event Calendar.

Volunteer Center of Durham Organizing Make A Difference Day Efforts

To volunteer is to give of one’s self to a cause or an organization in which one believes.  Well, that spirit is going to shine brightly in Durham coming up later this month.

This October 24 and 25th, millions of volunteers in Durham, and across the nation will unite with a common mission – to improve the lives of others. For more than 20 years, USA WEEKEND Magazine, in collaboration with Points of Light, has produced Make A Difference Day, the largest national day of community service.

In Durham, the efforts are organized by the Volunteer Center of Durham (VCD) and those wishing to participate can do so in two ways:
  • Give time and talent by working on a project - 2 people for 2 hours or 40 people for 4 hours - VCD will match volunteers up with a local non-profit that needs help, and/or
  • Conduct a supply drive at your office, church or neighborhood. Focus on any area (food, animals, resale thrift, etc) and again VCD will match those efforts up with a local non-profit in desperate need.

Those interested in more information can contact the organization by email.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

D is for Denim

What do deviled eggs, dill pickles, and dogs in dough all have in common? Form one, they all start will the letter D and they will all be available at a D-themed event at the Museum of Durham History.

The Durham History Hub will launch the newest installment of its Durham A-Z exhibit series: D is for Denim on on Tuesday, October 7. The no-cost, public party will be held at the Hub, 500 West Main St., from 6 pm until 7 pm. Partygoers are encouraged to wear their finest denim outfits (from any era), and get their Durham A-Z Club Membership Card stamped.

The new exhibit celebrates the origins of Durham’s textile industry. The very first denim in the South was fabricated here in 1894, and contributed to a booming textile production that soon employed more workers than tobacco. It is a tradition that continues today, with a new generation of local manufacturers who have picked up the spindle and thread. Stories and artifacts from Durham’s past are among the industry highlights in the exhibit.

Discover more about Durham's history from its founding until the present time and stay up to speed on all the happenings here with the Durham Event Calendar.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

New Website Preserves Soul in Durham's History

Durham has a big heart and a vibrant soul, but did you know that it was once a hotbed for soul music in the 1960s and 70s?

Bull City Soul, a new website, brings the story of Durham's local rhythm and blues, funk, and soul and their place in black cultural life and community in 1960s and ‘70s. The site displays information, artwork and music gathered from Carolina soul music expert Jason Perlmutter, historian Joshua Clark Davis, and graphic designer Lincoln Hancock, in collaboration with the Durham County Library’s North Carolina Collection.

The site features an “Origins and Influences” section that reveals the influence of nationally know figures with Durham connections—Clyde McPhatter of The Drifters, gospel great Shirley Caesar, and comedian Pigmeat Markham of “Here Comes the Judge” fame. “On the Air” and “Soul Spots” are windows into where fans heard the music—from WAFR radio and J. D. Lewis’s “Teenage Frolics” TV show to the Baby Grand Club. The “Artists” section includes acts such as Tracy and the Jammers, the Shamrocks, and John Snells. Snells, known as “The He, The She, The It,” may have been the most popular soul singer in Durham not to put out a soul record. Infamous for his live shows performed in drag, he was backed up by a gender-bending singing group called the Rocksteady Dancers.

Listen to singles by bands such as Johnny White and NCCU, find out about spots like Snoopy’s and the Stallion Club where they played, and get a feel for the times and the context in which the music was created.

For more about Durham's music history, learn about the Piedmont Blues, or search for current music events on the Durham Event Calendar.

DPAC Sets New Broadway Season Ticket Record

The SunTrust Broadway Series at DPAC - Durham Performing Arts Center in Durham has set a new record for season ticket holders. More than 15,000 season seat members have made DPAC the #1 one-week selling Broadway season ticket program in the United States. That's why it's even more important to get your tickets now before they sell out!

The last broadway show to sell out was Jersey Boys, but as the 2014-15 gets underway there are still shows with seats available. At present, none of the shows at the theater have sold out for the Broadway series.

The upcoming shows pack quite a punch, too. Phantom of the Opera is coming back, but it's an entirely new production; the story is the same but the whole experience is different, so even those who have seen it previously will be engaged. The aforementioned Dirty Dancing starts tonight, Jersey Boys returns on 9/26, Wicked returns for the third time with a 3 week run on 10/4 - this is the only Broadway show to do so at DPAC. Also coming up are Rodgers + Hammerstein's Cindarella, Annie, Motown the Musical, Kinky Boots, Pippin, Newsies, and Stomp.

The theater continues to wow audiences each year with an exceptional experience and customer service, as well as top notch shows. The theater has received TripAdvisor's Certificate of Excellence several times. Those shows draw quite large crowds, too. DPAC consistently ranks in the top five busiest theaters in the US.

Learn more about upcoming events in Durham with the Durham Event Calendar, and plan a visit online.