Mary Helen Sprecher 2017-11-20 07:37:40
The Most Wonderful Time of the Year I NEVER WAS A BIG FAN OF THE END OF SUMMER – and perhaps that had to do with the onset of the school year when I was a child. I disliked late fall even more because it was the harbinger of a long, cold winter in an area where summer didn’t last nearly long enough, in my considered grade-school opinion. Recently, though, I became a convert and am now a fan of the November/December time frame. Why? Because it’s when Sports Destination Management reveals the winners of its annual awards program, Champions of Economic Impact in Sports Tourism. The variety of the sports events nominated for awards never ceases to amaze me. Whether they are enormous tournaments that veritably take over whole cities or smaller niche sports that bring their unique specialty flair, they all have a common denominator: they’re good for the local economy. Each builds business, awareness and tourism – and inspires visitors to make return visits. The cross-section of winners you’ll find in these pages includes newcomers, old favorites and some truly interesting success stories. And what an issue we have to showcase those awards. Our contributors this time outdid themselves. We have some excellent information on apps, hotel negotiations, merchandising and maximizing returns on recurring events. Our sports this time include tennis – a perennial favorite – as well as volleyball, equestrian and rodeo. Even football and surfing are represented here. As you flip through the pages, take some time to appreciate the awards, and the insights our contributors have provided. You’ll see that in some cases, our writers represent award-winning destinations and event owners. Coincidence? Not at all – the expertise is obvious. What’s really impressive is the writers’ willingness to share that expertise. We are proud to present you with this issue, and we hope it will be a source of inspiration to you. It certainly was to us. SDM CORRECTION In our last issue, the name of Sevierville, Tennessee, was misspelled. Sports Destination Management regrets this error. MARY HELEN SPRECHER, managing editor of Sports Destination Management, has been a technical writer for almost 30 years with the American Sports Builders Association (ASBA), the national association of designers, builders and suppliers of materials for athletic facilities. She has worked in meeting and convention planning for non-profit associations and previously was a staff writer for a Baltimore, Maryland, newspaper. She is a graduate of the Institute for Organization Management, a professional development program of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and has taught meeting planning and event management courses in the continuing studies program at Goucher College, located in Towson, Maryland. Her freelance writing includes coverage of topics in the areas of fitness, health, sports medicine and special education.
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