The Newspaper for Smaller Cities, Facilities and Planners.
Issue link: http://digital.smallmarketmeetings.com/i/730815
www.smallmarketmeetings.com 22 Destination Showcase LOCATION Central Maryland, adjacent to Washington, D.C. ACCESS Baltimore/Washington, Reagan National and Washington Dulles airports; interstates 95, 495 and 270; Washington Metro; Amtrak MAJOR MEETING SPACES Bethesda North Marriott Hotel and Conference Center; Universities at Shady Grove Conference Center; National 4-H Conference Center HOTEL ROOMS 10,000 OFF-SITE VENUES Strathmore Music Center, Pearlstone Center, Smokey Glen Farm, High Point Farm CONTACT INFO Visit Montgomery 877-789-6904 www.visitmontgomery.com Maryland Prime By Mark Rowh Photos courtesy Visit Montgomery M O N T G O M E R Y COUNTY, MARYLAND S ome smaller markets become known as the hub of the surrounding rural region. Others make the most of their proximity to a major metropolitan area. Such is the case for Maryland's Montgomery County. Located just outside of the nation's capital, Montgomery County offers easy access to Washington and its attractions, but it also has its own venues and attractions. "Planners will be pleased with the diversity of amenities," said Kelly Groff, president/CEO of Visit Montgomery. "And the proximity to Washington is a big asset. I don't think people realize just how close we are." The county is served by the Washington Metro's Red Line, which gives visitors a conve- nient alternative to driving into the city. The Smithsonian Institution, the Kennedy Center, war memorials, other national monuments, the White House and U.S. Capitol are all near- by. Formed in 1776 and named after a Revolutionary War general, Montgomery County's best-known towns and cities include Rockville, Silver Spring, Bethesda, Gaithersburg and Germantown. The county is home to 1.8 million people as well as headquarters for 18 fed- eral agencies. With its above-average standard of living, the area has built and maintained a forward-looking, welcoming environment that attracts some 7 million tourists each year. The area has a wealth of accommodations and meeting facilities, including 10,000 hotel rooms. "We can accommodate conferences of any size," Groff said. A combination of urban and rural features appeals to a variety of visitors, according to Groff. About a third of the county's 450 square miles is zoned for agriculture. "Attractive farming areas are complemented by heritage sites," she said. "And there are great biking opportunities." Groff said that fall and spring are especially popular times for visitors. She also noted that a progressive outlook is the norm. "I've been here 20 years and everything continues to evolve," she said. "In the process, the area has benefited from good planning." The Bolger Center Hotel offers 432 guest rooms, 75 meeting rooms and abundant green space. The patio at Pony Express in Potomac