Khaila Edward (PHLCVB)
Pete Peterson (PCCA)
PHILADELPHIA WILL MAKE HISTORY ONCE AGAIN AS HOST OF
2016 DEMOCRATIC NATIONAL CONVENTION
PHILADELPHIA…February 12, 2015… After months of anticipation, Philadelphia was announced today as the host city for the 2016 Democratic National Convention. Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz named Philadelphia as the location, citing the city’s historic setting as a perfect place to hold the 2016 convention.
“I am thrilled to announce that Philadelphia will host the convention where we will nominate the 45th President of the United States,” Wasserman Schultz said. “In addition to their commitment to a seamless and safe convention, Philadelphia’s deep rooted place in American history provides a perfect setting for this special gathering. I cannot wait to join Democrats across the country to celebrate our shared values, lay out a Democratic vision for the future, and support our nominee.”
Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau (PHLCVB) and Pennsylvania Convention Center leaders expressed enthusiasm with the selection.
“We are honored to be chosen as the host city for the 2016 Democratic National Convention. Our selection validates what meeting planners across the country know – that Philadelphia is a world-class city ready for the world’s top meetings and conventions,” said Julie Coker Graham, PHLCVB Executive Vice President. “From the city’s walkability and vibrancy, to the comprehensive hotel package and ease of accessibility, we demonstrated why Philadelphia is the ideal location for this important convention throughout the DNC bid process. The delegate experience that we promote to our clients every day is one of our strongest assets and we are delighted that such a prominent group has chosen to come here.”
“This is a great day for Philadelphia and our region,” said Josh Shapiro, Vice Chair of the Board of Directors of the Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority. “Hosting the DNC is a unique opportunity to showcase our region’s history, arts and culture, and world-class hotels, restaurants, and citizens. Philadelphia’s selection underscores the importance of investing in our infrastructure – such as the Pennsylvania Convention Center – to put us in the best position to compete for major national events. This is not just an event for Democrats, this is an opportunity for all residents and businesses in the Philadelphia area. This victory was the result of a great team effort and many of our region’s leaders and stakeholders played an important role in putting together a viable bid and our selection.”
As part of the Philadelphia host committee, the PHLCVB worked with the City of Philadelphia, the Greater Philadelphia Hotel Association, Visit Philadelphia, the Independence Visitor Center, other members of the local hospitality community, as well as business leaders and elected officials, to highlight the city’s dynamic attractions. The DNC made its selection following two trips to Philadelphia where they visited the Pennsylvania Convention Center and the Wells Fargo Center which will host the official DNC events. The Reading Terminal Market, Xfinity Live, Independence Hall, the Philadelphia Art Museum, the Comcast Center, the National Constitution Center and Pat’s Steaks were also among the venues visited during the selection committee city tours.
Philadelphia was selected from a field of five cities including finalists Columbus, Ohio and Brooklyn, New York. The original field included Birmingham, Alabama and Phoenix, Arizona.
The Democratic National Convention was last held in Philadelphia in 1948 and the Republican National Convention was held in Philadelphia in 2000. The 2016 Democratic National Convention will generate between $170 and $250 million in economic impact for the city.
Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau (PHLCVB), www.discoverPHL.com, a private non-profit membership corporation, is the official Tourism Promotion Agency for the City of Philadelphia globally, and the primary sales and marketing agency for the expanded Pennsylvania Convention Center. The PCVB competes with its counterparts worldwide for convention and tourism business. The organization has departments dedicated to the multicultural, sports, and life sciences markets.
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SONDHEIM, THE MARX BROTHERS, ERNEST THOMPSON,
A NEW MUSICAL ABOUT BASEBALL
AND MORE ON TAP FOR
BUCKS COUNTY PLAYHOUSE 2015 SEASON
2nd annual Oscar Hammerstein Festival scheduled for the fall
Three musicals and two plays – along with the return of the 2nd OSCAR HAMMERSTEIN FESTIVAL for lyricists – will comprise the historic BUCKS COUNTY PLAYHOUSE's 76th anniversary season in New Hope, Pa. starting in April, it has been announced by the Playhouse's producing team of Tony Award-winning producers, Alexander Fraser, Robyn Goodman, Stephen Kocis and Josh Fiedler.
Stephen Sondheim's musical COMPANY, a new musical about baseball, NATIONAL PASTIME and the Marx Brothers classic musical ANIMAL CRACKERS will be joined by the evergreen comedy ON GOLDEN POND and IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE: A LIVE RADIO PLAY on the season offering of works at the beloved 400-seat theatre on the banks of the Delaware River.
As well, BUCKS COUNTY PLAYHOUSE will present the second annual OSCAR HAMMERSTEIN FESTIVAL in the fall, its one-of-a-kind program that focuses on the importance of lyrics in the creation of new musicals with public presentations and mentorship of early career composers and lyricists.
The Broadway actor Hunter Foster (PRODUCERS, LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS) will direct the season's first two offerings – NATIONAL PASTIME and COMPANY, having directed BCP's runaway hit last summer, the musical AIN'T MISBEHAVIN'.Mr. Foster and Lorin Latarro, who will choreograph both NATIONAL PASTIME and COMPANY, are both Artistic Associates at BUCKS COUNTY PLAYHOUSE, along with John Augustine.
Last season was the first under the new artistic leadership at BUCKS COUNTY PLAYHOUSE, which enjoyed considerable success with AIN'T MISBEHAVIN', Neil Simon's CHAPTER TWO, DEATHTRAP, Christopher Durang's VANYA AND SONIA AND MASHA AND SPIKE and the holiday musical PLAID TIDINGS.
About the upcoming season, Ms. Goodman and Mr. Fraser state, “Musicals have a long history here at BUCKS COUNTY PLAYHOUSE and this year we're delighted to offer more of them to our patrons.It's always exciting to have a work by Mr. Sondheim as part of the season, and bookending his COMPANY with the new musical NATIONAL PASTIME and the Marx Brothers classic ANIMAL CRACKERS feels like a great fit for the Playhouse.ON GOLDEN POND continues to resonate with audiences 40 years after its debut on Broadway and we expect our audience will love it just as much, along with IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE: A LIVE RADIO PLAY, which in recent years has become a new holiday classic for theaters around the country.We are eager to see the growth this season of the 2nd Oscar Hammerstein Festival and look forward to presenting more work by talented up-and-coming writers.All in all, we look forward to this being a landmark season for BUCKS COUNTY PLAYHOUSE.”
Following is the chronological list of productions presently scheduled.
It’s 1933 in Baker City, Iowa... WZBQ Radio is going under and Barry, the station’s owner, is trying to save it. Karen, Barry’s co-owner, wants to sell the station. Will a crazy scheme involving baseball change Karen’s mind and cause her to fall in love in the process? National Pastime is a musical valentine to love, baseball and the American Dream.Music and lyrics by Al Tapper, book by Tony Sportiello.Choreographed by Lorin Latarro and directed by Hunter Foster.
May 29-June 21
Stephen Sondheim's 1970 musical smash, COMPANY
It's Robert's 35th birthday, and his friends want him to settle down! During a hilarious array of interactions over dinners, drinks and even a wedding, "those good and crazy people my married friends" finally make Robert understand that being alone isn't really being alive. Music and lyrics by Mr. Sondheim, book by George Furth.Choreographed by Lorin Latarro and directed by Hunter Foster.
ON GOLDEN POND
July 10-August 2
Written by Ernest Thompson
ON GOLDEN POND debuted on Broadway in 1979 (later a film starring Henry Fonda and Katharine Hepburn) is an enduring comedy set on a beautiful New England lake where Ethel and Norman Thayer have spent their summers for nearly 50 years.Their tranquil hideaway is disrupted when their daughter and her newest boyfriend turn up unexpectedly to leave his precocious teenage son with the elder Thayers for the summer.
August 14-September 6
A hit musical starring the Marx Brothers in 1928 (and the subsequent film classic in 1930), ANIMAL CRACKERS has a book by George S. Kaufman and Morrie Ryskind; music and lyrics by Bert Kalmar and Harry Ruby.The production has adaptation by and directed by Henry Wishcamper and choreographed by John Carrafa.
ANIMAL CRACKERS centers on Captain Spaulding, the intrepid African explorer and inveterate womanizer, as he and his co-horts upend a swanky soiree and become caught up in a screwball search for the thief of a priceless painting.
IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE:A LIVE RADIO PLAY
BUCKS COUNTY PLAYHOUSE will celebrate the 2015 year-end holidays with the beloved classic film, performed as a 1940s live radio broadcast.An ensemble of over two dozen characters bring the story of George Bailey and his unforgettable redemption to live on stage.Written by Joe Landry, directed by Gordon Greenberg and choreographed by Lorin Latarro.
Subscriptions are now available for all 5 productions; single tickets are on sale for NATIONAL PASTIME.Visit www.bcptheater.org or call 215 862 2121.
Alexander Fraser is Producing Director of BCP; Robyn Goodman is Executive Producer.
ABOUT THE BUCKS COUNTY PLAYHOUSE
Bucks County Playhouse, a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization, provides the finest theatrical entertainment for visitors and residents of New Hope, Doylestown, Lambertville and the Delaware Valley. Under the direction of Alexander Fraser and Robyn Goodman, its mission is to present first class professional entertainment and regain the Playhouse’s historic place in the national theatrical landscape; and to stimulate, support, inspire and celebrate the performing arts via community programs, partnerships and arts education.
Located between Philadelphia and New York, Bucks County Playhouse opened in 1939 in a converted 1790 gristmill after a group of community activists, led by Broadway orchestrator Don Walker and playwright Moss Hart, rallied to save the building. The Playhouse quickly became one of the country’s most famous regional theaters, featuring a roster of American theatrical royalty including Helen Hayes, Kitty Carlisle, Colleen Dewhurst, Shirley Booth, Lillian Gish, Grace Kelly, Robert Redford, Bert Lahr, Walter Matthau, Angela Lansbury, Bernadette Peters, Alan Alda, Tyne Daly, Liza Minnelli and Audra McDonald and remained in continuous operation until December 2010. In 2012, the Playhouse re-opened thanks to the efforts of the Bridge Street Foundation, the nonprofit family foundation of Kevin and Sherri Daugherty, and Broadway producer Jed Bernstein. Terrence McNally’sMothers and Sons, starring Tyne Daly, received its world premiere at the Playhouse in 2013 and opened on Broadway in February 2014, where it was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Play. This returned the Playhouse to its roots as an incubator for Broadway, including 1951′sThe Fourposterstarring Jessica Tandy and Hume Cronyn, Neil Simon’s first playCome Blow Your Horn, andBarefoot in the Parkstarring Robert Redford and Elizabeth Ashley.The Bucks County Playhouse is located at 70 South Main Street in New Hope, PA.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Khaila Burke-Green (PHLCVB)
PHILADELPHIA CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU POSTS STRONGEST CONVENTION BOOKING YEAR IN MORE THAN TEN YEARS
Positive Momentum Attributed To Work Rules at Pennsylvania Convention Center
PHILADELPHIA…February 2, 2015…The Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau (PHLCVB), the primary sales and marketing agency for the Pennsylvania Convention Center, today announced that it has posted its strongest convention booking year in over a decade. Strong booking performance in the second half of 2014 indicates that changes to work rules and customer rights at the Pennsylvania Convention Center (PCC), which were implemented in May 2014, are helping to attract conventions back to the city. By leveraging positive customer experiences at the Center following the signing of a customer satisfaction agreement by four labor unions, the PHLCVB achieved 91 percent of its 2014 booking goal or 846,357 room nights, with 79 percent of that business slated to take place at the Convention Center and the rest at regional hotels.
“We are beyond pleased at what we have accomplished in 2014,” said Jack Ferguson, PHLCVB President & CEO. “These unprecedented numbers would not have been attainable without the transformation that has taken place at the Convention Center under SMG’s management, the leadership of Greg Fox and Josh Shapiro, chairman and vice-chairman respectively of the PCCA, as well as John McNichol, PCC president & CEO and the four signatory unions at the building.The work of the PHLCVB and PCC teams in communicating those changes to clients should also be noted, as meeting planners who had never considered Philadelphia are now coming to the table and taking us into serious consideration as a host city.”
Since the signing of the agreement at the Center in May, definite bookings of large conventions – known as ‘citywides’ – for future years are 47 percent higher than over the same period in fiscal year 2013. In total, more than $870 million in new business for future years has been booked into the Pennsylvania Convention Center by the PHLCVB since May 2014 including the American College of Emergency Physicians ($29.6 million in economic impact), the American Heart Association ($67 million in economic impact), the American Association for Cancer Research ($41 million in economic impact), the National Association of Black MBA’s ($19.5 million in economic impact), the American Industrial Hygiene Association ($16.2 million in economic impact) and the National Business Media tradeshow ($3.8 million). Six groups signed multi-year agreements to host their conventions in Philadelphia.
"It has been a great team effort," said John McNichol, President and CEO of the Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority. "Jack Ferguson, Julie Coker and their team at PHLCVB have done a great job of selling the benefits of our new work rules, expanded exhibitor rights, and cooperative partnership with show floor labor to our customers. With SMG as our building manager and a united team on the show floor committed to hospitality, we are able to deliver our customers and exhibitors the best possible experience."
The convention and group market segment is the strongest driver of hotel demand and room revenue, capturing 34 percent of all occupancy and contributing toward a record 75.5 percent occupancy in 2014, according to PKF Consulting. The PHLCVB’s strong booking year positions Center City hotels for even greater occupancy in future years.
“We are extremely pleased with the record occupancy among Center City hotels in 2014 and the PHLCVB’s hard work last year will go a long way to ensuring that we are able to have even more years like these in the future,” said Greater Philadelphia Hotel Association (GPHA) president Greg Stafford.
Looking ahead to 2015, the PHLCVB currently has 37 meetings and conventions booked for the calendar year January 1-December 31 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.
Those meetings and conventions will consume 314,086 total room nights generating more than $550 million in economic impact for Philadelphia. On the books for 2015 are several major PHLCVB-booked events, including East Coast Volleyball, March 29-31 ($24 million economic impact); the American Association of Cancer Research, April 18 -22 ($44 million economic impact); the BIO International Convention, June 15 - 18 ($43 million economic impact; the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, July 11 – 17 ($11 million economic impact) and the International Society for Technology in Education, October 19-23 ($39 million economic impact). In addition to meetings already on the books, the sales staff of the PHLCVB will continue to book short-term meetings throughout the year.
The PHLCVB and PCC sales teams will be attending 29 tradeshows and hosting 14 client events this year to continue promotion of Philadelphia as a meeting destination to meeting planners, exhibitors and show contractors.
Attached is a look at some of the larger PHLCVB-booked meetings and conventions at the expanded Pennsylvania Convention Center and area hotels for 2015.