Contact: Lyn Lewis, Director of Communications, GWCVB
(302) 295-2212 LynLewis@wilmcvb.org
The Greater Wilmington, DE Area is a popular choice for religious conventions. Conveniently located on Interstate-95, midway between New York and Washington, DC and 30 minutes south of the Philadelphia International Airport, Wilmington is readily accessible by car, plane or train. According to Esther Lovlie, former Director of Sales and Marketing at Greater Wilmington Convention & Visitors Bureau, "Our Bureau realizes that it is not enough to just bring the business to the area. We need to provide a full service, positive experience which will result in future meetings and visits to our area."
The Doubletree Downtown Wilmington Legal District hosted the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church's New York-Washington Region Annual Conference in 2009. The annual conference attracted over 1,000 attendees representing 133 churches from New England to South Carolina and generated 1,400 hotel room nights.
The Doubletree Hotel Wilmington on Route 202, otherwise known as Concord Pike, has had great success attracting religious conventions and has serviced groups like the Eastern Region Church Ushers' Association. Typically these religious groups arrive at the 244-room hotel on tour buses. They tend to confine their activities to the hotel, conducting general sessions in the ballroom and using break-out rooms for smaller workshop sessions. Access to ample free parking and a large shopping center adjacent to the hotel--Delaware has no sales tax!--are definite perks. The hotel has a proven track record for researching the specific needs and history of each religious group. This attention to detail enables the Doubletree Hotel Wilmington to work with the religious group to make sure that the food and beverage budget and room guarantees are realistic. When describing the group's experience at the hotel, Conference Planner, Thelma D. Goodwin, said "We were extended overwhelming hospitality by the Doubletree Hotel on Concord Pike."
The Holiday Inn Select Wilmington is located on Namaans Road in Claymont, DE just across the Pennsylvania border and immediately off I-95. The 190-room, 7-story hotel is hosted the Ministers Wives and Widows Conference on March 23 thru 26, 2011 and booked 252 room nights. Again, attendees are expected to arrive in buses. Most of the group's activities will be concentrated inside the hotel. The hotel will set up a registration table for participants and provide meals and beverages throughout the conference.
In its ongoing effort to attract large religious conferences, Greater Wilmington Convention & Visitors Bureau offers a $20,000 Transportation Incentive to groups booking a minimum of 100 room nights in a member hotel in New Castle County. To be eligible for the transportation award, a contract must be signed before June 30, 2011; the actual event must take place before June 30, 2013. A total of $20,000 is available on a first come, first serve basis. More information is available at www.VisitWilmingtonDE.com.
As an additional support to conventions and conferences, GWCVB will set up and staff an information booth near the registration table to answer any questions attendees may have about the area, its attractions and services. The Bureau also provides welcome bags filled with a printed Visitor Guide and assorted goodies.