Friday, November 21, 2014

Durham Businesses Seeing Green

Businesses know that becoming environmentally green is not only a good idea, but it's also good business. Fortunately for visitors and residents alike, Durham has its fair share of businesses that get this concept.

Businesses that have been recognized by North Carolina’s NC GreenTravel Initiative are realizing substantial savings in their energy, water and waste disposal bills. In Durham, NC businesses recognized by GreenTravel include The King’s Daughters Inn, Hilton Garden Inn, Ninth Street Bakery, Museum of Life & Science and Festival For the Eno. Across North Carolina, over one-hundred businesses have applied for, and received, recognition by the program at no cost.

In addition to the resource savings, these businesses also receive free listings on the NC GreenTravel website, a certificate of sustainability and door/window decals indicating that they are recognized program members. They also have the option of requesting free environmental assessments from Waste Reduction Partners, a partner organization that provides environmental technical assistance to businesses across the state.  

For more information about becoming a recognized NC GreenTravel business, contact Tom Rhodes at (919) 707-8140 or email. Plan a visit to Durham today online.

Monday, November 17, 2014

2014 Green Plus Sustainable Enterprise Award Winners Recognized

Durham is going green! All across town there are businesses that are making sustainable decisions and encouraging others to take care of the planet.

Green Plus, a program focusing on certification, education networking & recognition for green and sustainable businesses has announced several Durham winners of the 2014 Sustainable Enterprise Awards.
  • Green Plus Sustainable Enterprise of the Year - Cocoa CinnamonCocoa Cinnamon is a two-year-old coffee shop that prides itself on its community outreach, and sources the majority of its coffee, chocolate, milk, and pastries from local and sustainable businesses, and provides employee benefits and a living wage to both full and part-time workers.
  • Green Plus Innovator of the Year - Bull City ForwardBull City Forward is a nonprofit organization that supports local businesses and entrepreneurs that practice triple bottom line sustainability.  While socially innovative itself, Bull City Forward acts more as a conduit for other Durham-based businesses, encouraging innovation in business and helping businesses in the region improve their social capital.
  • Green Plus Sole Proprietor of the Year - Food FWDFood FWD, a startup run by married entrepreneurs Sarah and Noah Marsh, that partners with restaurants for large-scale collection of food waste.  The food waste is brought to a local composter, which is then re-sold to the public.  Food FWD also sells compostable serviceware.
  • ​Green Plus Champion - Chris Carmody
This recognition isjust one more indication that Durham is home to an innovative and entrepreneurial community of businesses and citizens. The Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau was the first organization of its type in the nation to be certified Green Plus and just the second in Durham.

Friday, November 14, 2014

DPAC Nominated for Prestigious Billboard Magazine Award

DPAC, Durham Performing Arts Center in Durham, NC is no stranger to receiving high praise, even from one of the most prestigious entertainment groups in the United States. Again it is the recipient of high praise because of its success as a venue, something it receives regularly.

The success DPAC has had is undeniable, and this time it is from a true industry leader. DPAC has been recognized as one of three finalists in the Billboard Touring Awards for the top venue under 5,000 seats. These awards are based primarily on the Billboard Boxscore chart, recognizing true box office success and industry achievement.

This nomination puts DPAC up alongside some serious competition from globally-known venues. Other finalists are The Colosseum at Caesars Palace -- Las Vegas which has won the previous three years and Fox Theatre – Atlanta, which has been a finalist in the same category for three years. 
The winners will be announced live in New York City on November 20, 2014 at the Edison Ballroom. Billboard Magazine, the sponsor of this award, is one of the oldest trade magazines in the world. 
Learn more about the award-winning DPAC or other performing arts venues online, and about all that is happening here with the Durham Event Calendar.

Durham Recognized by Trivago in the Top 50 of Best Value Cities in US

Durham is welcoming to all visitors because of the mix of experiences it offers, but also because, frankly, it's a good deal. Not only is visiting economical, but the place delivers a high value for the dollars people spend. These two different distinctions are important to appeal to the breadth of visitor markets.

The good value represented by Durham's lodging offerings was quantified by the travel website Durham earned a spot on the Top 50 Best Value Cities in the US at #13 with an average price of $101 for a room.

The Best Value Index provides an overview of the best-valued destinations on their site by using an algorithm that combines the trivago Hotel Price Index with trivago’s Reputation Ranking for hotels. The trivago Hotel Price Index shows the average overnight accommodation prices for a standard double room on trivago. The Best Value Index ranks cities with 50 or more hotels, based on a combination of consumer ratings and average hotel prices from 1-50 with 1 being the highest ranked.

Like any community, Durham welcomes praise, and even catalogs it online. Those interested in accolades Durham has earned can see them on this website. Plan a visit to Durham online, find one of those highly-ranked hotel rooms here, and see all that is going on with the Durham Event Calendar.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Durham Has a New Website, and It's Awesome

With over 2.4 million page views last year from more than 1.2 million visitors, is Durham’s most powerful online visitor marketing tool…and it’s about to get better when it re-launches later today. With an entirely new look, as well several enhancements that make it a future-focused channel, the site is packed with many new features. 

“We’re really pleased with the design and functionality of the new site and know it will greatly help visitors and residents better find the information they need about Durham,” said Shelly Green, the President and CEO of the Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau (DCVB), Durham’s marketing agency.

With this new site, Durham further presents itself as a destination offering new possibilities every day, and this website is great tool to tell Durham’s story. The enhancements derived from the site overhaul are too numerous to mention, but some of the highlights include:
  • Image-forward design: the power of photography in digital communication is undeniable, and this new site design leverages a lot more images.  Durham businesses now have the ability to add images to their listings on the site through a partner portal,
  • Vastly improved Durham Event Calendar: The benchmark by which all other event calendars in Durham are measured, the 5,000+ events per year listed are now searchable in a variety of ways, and entering an event on to the calendar is easier than ever by visiting
  • Location sensitivity: Using the GPS capability of a mobile device, or the IP address of an internet connection, the website tells visitors what is nearby to them at any given moment – there is no more guessing about what options are close by, or how to get to them.
  • Device awareness: More than 40% of users access DCVB’s website on the go, and the new website accommodates them by re-sizing and reformatting information based on the display size the user is viewing. Phones, tablets, and desktop computers will display the site with maximum value for the user.
  • Topic-specific information integration: Throughout the site are widgets that aggregate related information to the topic users are reading about, including event information and related features of interest.

Visitors are important to Durham given that more than 9 million of them spent $766 million here last year. They come from near and far, with 7.7 million visitors coming as day trippers and 1.3 million spending the night, as they dine, shop, seek entertainment and more. “With the new responsive design format that gives mobile viewers a better experience, we expect visitation to the site, which is already very high, to grow significantly,” says Shelly Green, the President and CEO of the Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau. “And that equates to a lot of satisfied visitors enjoying what Durham has to offer.”  

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Durham Convention Center Is Honored With ConventionSouth’s Annual Readers’ Choice Award

Doing a good job can be a reward in of itself, but being recognized is nice too! The Durham Convention Center has just received a 2014 Readers’ Choice Award from ConventionSouth Magazine.

Since the award's creation in 2001, this is the first time that Durham Convention Center has received the award. The Center will be featured as an award recipient in the December 2014 Awards Issue of ConventionSouth magazine.

The Durham Convention Center is among 175 convention and visitor bureaus, meeting facilities and hotels located across the South to receive this year’s Readers’ Choice Award. Throughout the year, meeting professionals nominated the meeting sites they believe provide exemplary service for group events. The nominated sites are then compiled onto an online ballot where meeting professionals and fans are asked to vote for the best of the best. More than 4,800 voters participated this year in the selection process - the highest vote count ever recorded. A complete list of award winners can be found online.

To hold a meeting or convention a the Durham Convention Center, learn more about what it can offer your meeting or group. Talk with professional sales staff at the Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau to discuss your needs.

Hugh Mangum's Work Again Putting Durham in Focus

In Durham, on the grounds of the West Point on the Eno park, stands a simple building that houses the Hugh Mangum Museum of Photography. Originally, it was Mangum's dark room, and now it has renewed importance as the interest in Mangum's work rises again thanks to the work of Sarah Stacke.

Stacke, a graduate of Duke University, is now a documentary photographer, and is a driving force behind an exhibit that has already been on display at the History Hub at the Museum of Durham History, and will return to the museum soon. She is working on identifying the subjects of Mangum's work, a catalog of images taken in North Carolina and Virginia around the turn of the last century, and the subjects of whom are unidentified. Remarkable about Mangum's work is that he photographed subjects both black and white in the same style, often seating one after the other in his photo sessions.

Stacke's work caught the eye of CBS News, and they covered her work on their broadcast last night. That story can be seen here, and the exhibit will return to the History Hub from December 2 to January 31. Keep up with the details of this, and other happenings here, with the Durham Event Calendar.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Pictures Are Worth A Thousand Words

The Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau (DCVB) is offering visitor-related businesses a variety of new ways to engage potential visitors through a complete overhaul of its primary visitor website, and its partner portal, (MDI). MDI is the place where Durham businesses can interact, update, and modify their listings on and in DCVB’s award-winning publications. These are crucial tools DCVB uses to reach millions of visitors to Durham each year while they’re making important decisions about where to stay, each, shop, and what to do while here.

Durham’s visitor-related businesses received login information for last week, and are being strongly encouraged to login now, in advance of the launch of the new visitor-facing website in mid-November. 

In addition to a face lift, has a bevy of new features. The biggest is the capacity to upload images and video that will appear with business’s listings on the visitor site.  
“Taking a photo, and uploading it to MDI, takes seconds – and people consume them as quickly. From a marketing perspective, they are a remarkably efficient communication tool which is why we emphasized their use on our new website,” said Sam Poley, DCVB’s head of Public Relations. 
DCVB’s website had more than 1.2 million visitors last year, generating more than 2.4 million page views. Over 70% of those were first time users, and the overwhelming majority of those visitors were from outside of Durham.

Along with the new capacity to add images, MDI now empowers Durham businesses to not only ensure that their information is up-to-date and accurate, but also to target their marketing message as much as possible through the use of hundreds of amenity codes. These codes ensure that relevant businesses are displayed when visitors use the robust search features on “We hope that people understand the power of this tool, and that they use it,” Poley added. 

MDI also offers a more efficient way for DCVB to distribute leads to local hotels and services for groups, and in the coming weeks, will be rolling out even more tools to streamline communication between DCVB and its community stakeholders.

DCVB expects to re-launch in the next couple of weeks alongside a new visitor marketing campaign, so businesses should act fast to ensure their listings are updated before the new visitor-facing site goes live. Those logging in to MDI for the first time will need to set up their account, but doing so is a brief process. For more information or for questions about logging into, please email

Monday, November 3, 2014

Durham Bulls Recognized with Minor League's Top Honor

This past year the Durham Bulls turned the heads of more than just fans - they impressed all of Minor League Baseball. In fact, The Durham Bulls  have earned the highest honor in the Minor League. 

Minor League Baseball announced that the Durham Bulls have earned the the 41st annual John H. Johnson President’s Award. The Award honors the complete baseball franchise based on financial stability, contributions to league stability, contributions to baseball in the community and promotion of the baseball industry. This is the second time the Bulls have won this award, the first being in 1989 when the club was a Class A affiliate of the Atlanta Braves in the Carolina League. They are the only franchise to earn the honor at different classifications.

“Our 2014 season was historic in so many ways and we are beyond proud of our front office staff and game day team. It is their talent, passion, and dedication that continue to make the Durham Bulls brand a special one,” said Bulls General Manager Mike Birling in a statement. 

The 2014 Bulls season featured a single-season paid attendance record, a $20 million renovated ballpark, an All-Star Game and an International League South Division Championship. The team drew a record-setting 533,033 fans to Durham Bulls Athletic Park, breaking the all-time single-season paid attendance record of 520,952 which was set in 2007. "The Bulls are an incredible asset to Durham, and one our visitors clearly come to see," said Shelly Green, President and CEO of the Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Discover additional great sporting activities in Durham and stay on top of all that is happening here with the Durham Event Calendar.