County honors annual tourism stars
— Cecil County Tourism honored its stars for 2015-2016 on Wednesday at an appreciation breakfast at Hollywood Casino Perryville — one of its stars.
Hollywood Casino General Manager Matt Heiskell accepted the award for “Best Marketing” on Wednesday morning from tourism committee members Rupert Rossetti and JoAnn Dawson, who noted the casino welcomed nearly 1 million visitors last year.
Cecil County Tourism Coordinator Sandy Turner sets aside this day each year to recognize all of the individuals, groups and businesses that support tourism through their monetary donations, in-kind donations or
“We’ve had a busy, but a great year,” Turner said, recalling some of tourism’s biggest projects last year, including the publishing of a destination wedding guide, stepped-up marketing, bus tours and the Bassmaster Elite tournament that was televised on ESPN.
John Ford, of Integrity Real Estate in North East, received the “Volunteer of the Year” award from Turner, who touted his countless hours of volunteer work on the Bassmaster Elite tournament.
Tourism’s traditional project of the year award was changed this year to the “Cornerstone” award to better suit the recipient Fair Hill Natural Resources Management Area, Turner explained, saying FHNRMA didn’t actually organize one big event last year, but it plays a huge part in many projects and events throughout the year.
North East Mayor Robert McKnight, Town Administrator Melissa CookMacKenzie and Police Chief Darrell Hamilton accepted tourism’s “Partner of the Year” award on behalf of the town of North East for its support and cooperation on the Bassmaster Elite tournament.
Chesapeake City Town Manager Sandra Edwards accepted the town’s award for “Economic Impact” on tourism for continuously bringing visitors to town for special events and the new 17-mile C&D Canal trail.
Turner presented tourism’s “Business of the Year” award to Faith Adair, owner of A&M Tent Events for its role in multiple tourism events each year.
Cecil County Executive Tari Moore and the Cecil County Council gave their tourism award to the entire Bassmaster Elite Committee for its planning and execution of a group effort to bring a nationally televised fishing tournament to Cecil County last year. The economic impact of this tournament was estimated to be more than $2 million to the county.
In addition tourism’s seven major awards, Turner recognized all of its marketing partners, in-kind contributors and financial sponsors for last year, presenting each one with a certificate of appreciation.