Subject: Greater Wilmington Convention & Visitors Bureau Hosts FAM/Dine Around

Source: Lyn Lewis, Director of Communications
Greater Wilmington Convention & Visitors Bureau (302) 295-2212

The Greater Wilmington Convention & Visitors Bureau in conjunction with Mid-Atlantic Events Magazine hosted its Fourth Annual FAM/Dine Around on February 26 and 27. Forty-three Meeting Planners and Group Tour Leaders spent the weekend in the Wilmington area. According to Esther Lovlie, who coordinated the event for GWCVB, "...the goal of the FAM/Dine Around is to introduce Meeting Planners and Group Tour Leaders to our area in a very personalized way so that they can truly experience its rich and unique historic diversity. It's an ideal way to showcase our area and its assets. It also demonstrates the accessibility of our attractions, hotels and restaurants."

This year's 2-day FAM/Dine Around was themed around the du Pont Family and their Legacy. The event began with two educational components followed by a Marketplace Showcase and Reception at the Doubletree Hotel Wilmington on Route 202, the host hotel. Participants were then transported via motor coach provided by Delaware Express to Chadds Ford and the Brandywine River Museum which houses works by three generations of the celebrated Wyeth family in an ingeniously restored gristmill. They were treated to a personal tour conducted by Victoria Wyeth, granddaughter of the recently deceased Andrew Wyeth, followed by an individually prepared pasta dinner accompanied by wines from Chaddsford Winery. The next stop was the Delaware Art Museum. Attendees enjoyed a fabulous fondue dessert, wine pairings and coffee as well as gallery tours and some tax-free shopping in the museum store before returning to the hotel.

Sunday began with a delicious breakfast at the Inn at Montchanin Village & Spa and a tour of the facility. What was once a village for the workers in the original DuPont gunpowder mills at Hagley, has been transformed into a small luxury hotel. A visit to beautiful Longwood Gardens was next on the agenda. The group was able to wander through the Conservatory at their leisure and savor its four acres of gardens under glass. The group was then transported by motor coach to Downtown Wilmington where they made site visits to the Doubletree Hotel Downtown Legal District, Sheraton Suites Hotel and the Hotel du Pont. The day's activities culminated with a late lunch in the elegant Hotel du Pont's Christina Room. Participants were then shuttled to the Wilmington Amtrak Station or returned to the host hotel to pick up their cars.

The FAM/Dine Around received rave reviews from participants. Dr. Patricia Newton, President of Newton-Thoth, Inc. International Meeting Planners & Sebayit Tours said "...thank you for a most wonderful and delightfully surprising experience...I was one of those who was totally wowed!!! I have passed through and around Wilmington for years traveling to Philadelphia and New York. It never once crossed my mind to consider this as a possible great meeting destination for my groups. Boy, was I wrong!!!"
Ruth Beltz, Government Event Manager said "I was truly impressed with such a large variety of things to do and see.  I never considered Wilmington before but I certainly will in the future." Susan Kraus, Program Manager - Outreach, Aircraft Owners & Pilots Association (AOPA) said "...I am booked for this year for board events, but I will be definitely suggesting Wilmington as a location for 2012 or beyond."