Friday, October 24, 2014

Pardon Our Dust: 8 Exciting New Developments in Downtown and Ninth Street

If you walk around Downtown Durham or Ninth Street, it will be hard to walk more than a block without seeing something under construction or renovation. Have you ever wondered what's going on behind that caution tape or that security fence? Here are eight notable projects that will have you bragging about Durham's bright and exciting future. Read all about them, and see how Durham continues to freshen its image,

This Week at the Durham Farmers' Markets

Great variety and authenticity are expressed exceptionally well in Durham’s food - that's why Durham is the Tastiest Town in the South. Part of Durham’s exciting food culture comes from a fascination with locally grown and raised products, and from the chefs who prepare celebrated cuisine recognized in regional and national media. Each week at Durhams's farmers' markets everyone can be a chef with access to fresh local produce.

Produce available this week includes: pumpkins, greens, broccoli, radishes, carrots, bok choy, kale, apples, sweet potatoes, and more! Also look for meats, cheeses, flowers, specialty items and crafts.

Durham Farmers' Market
Celebrate Food Day with a vendor costume contest and double bucks fundraiser. Then at 10 am, Chef John Eisensmith from Six Plates will be doing a cooking demonstration.Visit the Durham Farmers' Market Saturdays from 8am- Noon in Durham Central Park.

South Durham Farmer's Market
This week, there will be music by Kristi Dixon, and the Master Gardeners will be the Market Guest. Visit the South Durham Farmer's Market on Saturdays from 8am-Noon at Greenwood Commons, 5410 Highway 55.

Visit the farmers' markets, tour a farm, and discover more great agritourism opportunities in Durham.

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 Tuesday, October 28.

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, 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.