Wicomico County’s tourism division recognized its strongest partners during the Salisbury Area Chamber of Commerce Annual Awards Luncheon on Thursday, Oct. 27, at the Wicomico Civic Center.
The mission of the Wicomico County tourism division is to attract visitors to stimulate the economy and enhance quality of life.
Tourism’s community partners help the County recruit new events, retain and grow current events and welcome event attendees into the community.
“We are proud to recognize these tourism partners,” said Steve Miller, director of Wicomico County Recreation, Parks & Tourism. “Their work in our community is crucial to our department’s success.”
Bill Dowell of USSSA East was honored as the Betty K. Gardner Tourism Person of the Year. He has chosen to host softball events in Wicomico County for more than 15 years, including his largest event, the USSSA Eastern National Championships. This allowed the County to demonstrate its ability in hosting tournaments and become a recognized leader in the industry. This isn’t his first time earning the award, but Wicomico County wanted to recognize him again with his upcoming retirement.
The Tri-County Council for the Lower Eastern Shore of Maryland was honored as the Tourism Partner of the Year. The organization’s partnership and support helped Wicomico County earn a $5.5 million U.S. Economic Development Administration grant to improve safety and accessibility at the Wicomico Civic Center.
The Tourism Hospitality Award went to Burt Cashman with Parkside Wrestling, who has helped run the Middle Atlantic Wrestling Association regional and national tournaments for many years. This year, he was able to secure Penn State wrestler Aaron Brooks for a wrestling clinic that expanded the event, encouraged attendees to arrive early and created a one-of-a-kind experience for youth.
The Tourism Business of the Year was presented to Playa Bowls, an acai bowl and smoothie restaurant. Business representatives were quick to recognize the importance of community and become an invaluable partner for several events, including USSSA and Middle Atlantic Wrestling Association events and the Governors Challenge basketball tournament.