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Montana Joy of Maryland finds a wedding dress at the General Services Administration’s (GSA) sale of 2,400 items seized from Ephonia M. Green’s Couture Miss Bridal & Formal bridal shop at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Baltimore at BWI Airport. The sale ran from Nov. 18–20. Green is serving a 46-month sentence for embezzling $5.1 million from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC). Photo by: Shane T. McCoy/US Marshals

Marriott Purchase of Starwood Will Create World’s Largest Hotel Group

By Dan Bennett

The deal that saw Marriott International agree to purchase Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide for $12.2 billion last week will make the combined companies the largest hotel group in the world.
Marriott is buying Starwood for $11.9 billion in stock and $340 million in cash, making this the largest hotel deal since Blackstone Group bought Hilton for $26 billion in 2007.

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Wedding Dress Sale Partially Repays AAMC Embezzlement

By Todd McElwee

A lucky few brides across the nation will soon be wearing white at discounted rates while Ephonia M. Green, a former Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) administrative employee who embezzled $5.1 million from the organization, dons inmate garb during her 46-month sentence at the Federal Prison Camp in Alderson, W.V.

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Wash. State Convention Center Buys
Land for Expansion

By Jonathan Trager

The Washington State Convention Center (WSCC) has reached a deal with King County Metro, the local transit service, to buy four acres downtown for a massive expansion of the convention center.

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DMAI Foundation Announces Tickets, Sponsorships Details for Annual Dinner

By Jonathan Trager

Tickets and sponsorships are now being sold for the Destination & Travel Foundation Annual Gala to be held at the Ronald Reagan Building on Feb. 9 in Washington, D.C.
Valencia Bembry, Executive Director of the Destination & Travel Foundation, said they expect all of the sponsorships to be sold and noted that all proceeds go directly to support the research, programs, and services that enable the destination-marketing industry.

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HOTS Maryland My Marketing

Every so often, purveyors of fashion anoint an “it” color that for the next few months anyone with an eye for style wouldn’t be caught dead without. The christened color is colloquially referred to as “the new black.” And though typically a singular accolade in Maryland, the colors of the state flag (yellow, red, white, and black) share the distinction, as everything under the sun currently seems to be adorned with the Old Line State’s colors.

Maryland’s flag has a legitimate to claim to being the nation’s most unique, and in HOTS’ opinion is the best in all the land. Its colors, however, have become ubiquitous off the flagpole, from Deep Creek Lake’s Honi-Honi Bar to Thrashers on the Ocean City Boardwalk.

One can barely drive a mile without seeing a state-flag colored blue crab, thoroughbred, or rockfish bumper sticker adorned to a passing vehicle while every conceivable piece of clothing can be yours in yellow, red, white, and black. HOTS recently enjoyed a fine Maryland red in a wine glass featuring the colors.
Random Google searches for Maryland flag items turned up everything from skateboards to Jeep Wrangler grills to dog leashes to lacrosse sticks to playing cards to Christmas ornaments to headphones to beach umbrellas.
Point is: the Maryland Flag cannot be ignored. 
But why?

How has such a distinctive, old fashioned, and borderline obnoxious symbol (though not as ridiculous as Ohio’s pennant) taken such a hold, and why are citizens so keen on displaying it on their cars, homes, or selves?
HOTS has some ideas. The flag pops! It’s a fashion statement. HOTS would never suggest using it any piece of clothing featuring it as camouflage, unless you wish to blend into the student section at a University of Maryland basketball game.

Maryland’s flag is also instantly recognizable—unlike unimaginative neighbors who lazily opted for the state seal against a solid background. You know it when you see and recognize where the person, or vehicle, sporting it hails from.

Finally, the flag is a source of pride for a proud, little state too often relegated to a neighbor of D.C. despite being the richest in the nation and home of the Star Spangled Banner, Harriet Tubman, Babe Ruth, and Old Bay.
The success of Maryland’s flag as a fashion statement and marketing tool is something of which members of the hospitality industry should take note. Uniqueness and pride are always in demand and organizations shouldn’t be shy about marketing what sets them apart. Don’t be conservative in designing logos and other promotional materials. Let your flag fly.

In Maryland yellow, red, white, and black are the new black. And while the so-called “new blacks” don’t retain their appeal for long with fashionistas, HOTS knows Maryland’s flag will never go out of style.


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