Industry News

Read about what’s happening in our industry.

Keep up with news about Montgomery County, our partners, and the hospitality industry. Follow us @VisitMoco on Twitter for even more.

FEBRUARY

Introducing the Farm at Pike & Rose

Located on 17,000 square feet of rooftop, Pike & Rose has partnered with Up Top Acres to create a more sustainable community. Read more here.

Participate in Summer RISE 2018

Get involved and begin developing talent in local youth by becoming a career experience host with the Summer RISE program. Learn more here.

CoFestCo Launches Inaugural Brewery Tour in Montgomery County

CoFestCo, also known as Montgomery Brewery Tours, launched its first Brewery Tour in Montgomery County on February 17. Read more here.

Maryland Kicks Off FebREWary

Governor Larry Hogan has announced February as Maryland Craft Beer Lovers Month. Learn more here.

JANUARY

Visit Montgomery Partners with CoFestCo (Maryland Brewery Tours) to Bring a New Brewery Tour to The County

Maryland Brewery Tours has announced the launch of its Montgomery County Brewery Tour. Each attendee will receive a special Montgomery, Maryland pint glass. Buy tickets here.

Montgomery County Included on Amazon Short List

Amazon released its short list for the finalists of the second headquarters on Thursday, January 18. Read more here.

Eliot Pfanstiehl to Retire from Strathmore

CEO and founder of Strathmore Hall Foundation Inc., Eliot Pfanstiehl has announced plans to retire in August after leading the arts organization for 37 years. Read more here.

Discovery Communications Announces Move to New York City

Originally started in downtown Silver Spring, Discovery Communications  has announced its move to New York City. Read more here.

North Bethesda’s Pike & Rose Getting Big Rooftop Farm for Tenants

Pairing with DC based Up Top Acres, Pike & Rose will be welcoming a 17,000 square-foot rooftop farm. Learn more here.

Rockville Names Best Place to Live in Maryland

Money Magazine released its annual list of the best places to live in each state, citing Rockville’s amenities, shops, restaurants, and parks as items taken into consideration. Read more here.

Bethesda Court Hotel Closes

After 61 years, the hotel has announced its closure at the end of January 2018. Learn  more here.

New Cultural Arts Center to Come to Kensington

Dennis L. Forbes plans to open a cultural arts center, to be known as the Sebrof-Forbes Cultural Arts Center, above a credit union in Kensington. Read more here.

Maryland Company Considers Michigan Site for Gas-Fueled Power Plant

Competitive Power Ventures is considering a 145-acre site in Michigan that could cost as much as $1 billion to build. Learn more here.

DECEMBER

Appeals Court Rules in Favor of State, Federal Governments in Purple Line Case

The federal judges found the federal and Maryland transit administrations do not have to conduct a new environmental assessment to examine other potential routes for the light rail line. Read more here.

Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority Announces Free Customer Wi-Fi at 30 Metro Stations

Originally only available at six Metro stations, WMATA has announced free customer Wi-Fi service at 24 additional underground stations. Read more here.

Daofeng & Angela Foundation Donate 15 Benches to C&O Canal National Historic Park

Marking the largest individual gifts ever made, Daofeng & Angela Foundation will sponsor 15 benches over six years. Read more here.

Amid Amazon competition, Westfield malls sold for $15.7B

Westfield shopping centers have been bought for $15.7 billion by French property investor Unibail-Rodamco. Learn more here.

Montgomery Transportation Awarded Bikeways Grant

Awarded a sum of $269,834, the grant will fund final design, purchase, and installation of bike-share stations in Bethesda, White Flint, and Twinbrook. Learn more here.

C&O Canal National Historical Park Announces Improvement Project

The C&O Canal National Historical Park has announced a $6.7 million construction project to improve watered sections of the historic Chesapeake and Ohio Canal. Read more here.

Marriott Set to Open 40 Luxury Hotels in 2018

Marriott has announced a plan to open nearly 40 new luxury hotels in 2018 to cater toward a new “affluent traveler”. Learn more here.

NOVEMBER

Rockville, Takoma Park, and Gaithersburg Ranked in Top Five Smartest Cities in Maryland

According to a new report by Zippia.com, Rockville, Gaithersburg, and Takoma Park have been ranked within the top five smartest cities. Read more here.

Garden of Lights Opens

The Brookside Gardens “Garden of Lights” display opened November 24 for the 2017 winter season. Learn more here.

Montgomery County to Add Highway Bike Lanes

First in the state, Montgomery County has been approved to incorporate a protected bike lane on a State highway using high visibility green paint. Read more here.

Metro SmarTrip Cards Will No Longer Allow Negative Balances

Costing the Metro about $25 million in the past 17 years, SmarTrip cards will no longer permit negative balances effective January 8. Read more here.

Marriott Unveils ‘Smart’ Hotel Room Prototypes

Guests will have the ability to customize hotel devices and amenities with new “smart” hotel rooms by Marriott hotels. Learn more here.

Design for Montgomery County Bus Stations Include Solar Video Screens

Montgomery County has announced designs for 11 solar-powered stations along Route 29’s Bus Rapid Transit line. Learn more here.

“Gift Greener” Challenge

In an effort to reduce excess waste this holiday season, Montgomery County is challenging residents to participate in the “Gift Outside The Box” challenge. Learn more here.

County Council Votes to Approve $15 Per Hour Minimum Wage

The Montgomery County Council voted unanimously to require all county employers to pay employees a minimum wage of $15 an hour by July 1, 2024. Read more here.

OCTOBER

Montgomery County Council Approves Hotel Lifeguard Bill

Approved on October 31st, requirements for hotel pool lifeguards have been altered. Read more here.

Amazon Searches for Location of HQ2

Amazon HQ2 is the name of Amazon’s second headquarters in North America. Over $5 billion will be invested int he project with as many as 50,000 high-paying jobs. Read more here.

Results From The Arts & Economic Prosperity 5 study Released

The Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County released the results from Montgomery County’s Arts and Economic Prosperity® V  Study, ranking Montgomery County in the top 1 percent of the country’s arts-vibrant community. Learn more here.

Montgomery County Passes Bill for Short-Term Home Rentals

The Montgomery County Council has passed a bill allowing homeowners to list houses as short-term rentals – similar to Airbnb and HomeAway. Read more here.

BWI Strengthens Security Screening At Airport

New security screening procedures are being enforced at the Baltimore-Washington Thurgood Marshall International Airport. The goal is to offer TSA officers a clearer X-ray image by decluttering carry-on bags. Read more here.

Council Member Proposes Historic Building Exempt from Bill Restricting Country Inn Sites

Concerned that a bill restricting locations of country inns may block an avenue for preserving historic buildings, members of a County Council committee have proposed a zoning text amendment. Read more here.

New Bill Could Allow Breweries to Set Up More Easily in Downtown Silver Spring

Supported by a majority of the County Council, Council Member Hands Riemer introduced legislation that could change zoning regulations in downtown and mixed-use areas. Learn more here.

Controversial Abortion Clinic to Open in Bethesda

AbortionClinics.org will be opening its a new abortion clinic in Bethesda. The same company currently runs a location in Germantown, MD. Read more here.

Matchbox Plans to Sell Ted’s Bulletin Locations

Aiming to streamline its operations, Matchbox is planning to sell all five Ted’s Bulletin locations. Read more here.

Montgomery County Agencies to Hold Prescription Take-Back Day

County law enforcement agencies and the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services Substance Abuse Prevention Office will be co-sponsoring a “Prescription Take-Back Day” to help dispose of unused, unwanted, or expired prescription drugs in a safe, free, and anonymous way. Learn more here.

New RideOn extRa Has On-Board Charging Ports

Montgomery County’s new Ride On Extra service is designed to provide commuters with a quicker and easier transportation option. Read more here.

20th Bethesda Row Arts Festival Deemed a Success

Drawing about 45,000 people, the Bethesda Row Arts Festival hosted 190 artists alongside food vendors and other organizations. Read more here.

Pop-Up Shops Make a Comeback at Grosvenor-Strathmore Metro Station

The Grosvenor-Strathmore station has opened Pop-Up shops for the month of October, offering retailers the opportunity to sell their goods out of 4000-series rail cars that have been cut in half. These converted vendor kiosks offer commuters the perfect opportunity to grab a cup of coffee or freshly baked bread in the morning. Learn more here.

Dockless Bikeshare Coming to Silver Spring

Mobike, one of China’s top dockless bike systems, will be expanding into Silver Spring. Read more here.

Purple Line Construction May Affect Future Commute

Traffic may take a turn for the worse as construction for the purple line rips up 13 miles of some of the area’s most congested roads. Read more here.

SEPTEMBER

Long & Foster Acquired by HomeServices of America Inc.

The long-time independent real estate brokerage was acquired by HomeServices of America Inc. and is planning on opening new locations in Greater Washington. Read more here.

Newly-Striped Crosswalk Ribbon Cutting Signifies New Pedestrian Enhancements

County Executive Ike Leggett, Council President Roger Berliner, and MCDOT Director Al Roshdieh cut the ribbon on the newly-striped crosswalks in the White Flint area and annouce the plan teh enhance pedestrian amenities on September 27, 2017. Read more here.

City of Gaithersburg to Donate Portion of Profit from Annual Winter Lights Festival

The City of Gaithersburg has announced they will be donating a portion of 22nd Gaithersburg Winter Lights Festival ticket sales to benefit charities. Learn more here.

Purple Line Construction Moves Ahead

After the judge declines to issue a ruling, the purple line construction continues to move ahead. Learn more here.

Rockville Makes Top-100 Best Places to Live

Realtor.com and Money Magazine ranked Rockville, MD as one of the top 100 places to live. Read more here.

National Capital Trolley Museum Recognized by Greater Greater Washington

Greater Greater Washington published an article mentioning National Capital Trolley Museum as  a location to learn about the history of transportation. Read more here.

Silver Spring Gets Tiled Bike Lanes

The Montgomery County Division of Transportation Engineering shared an inside view of the installation of new bike lanes in Silver Spring. These bike lanes are actually made of tiles instead of paint. Read more here.

Montgomery Shares Plan to Launch a Ride on Version of MetroExtra’s Faster Buses

Montgomery County will be launching its new Ride on Extra starting October 2, 2017. This will be the Montgomery County-only version of MetroExtra. Read more here.

Marriott Headquarters May Change Future Office Height

Project representatives have shared that the new headquarters will probably not exceed 21 stories. The developers originally requested 300 ft for the building height. Read more here.

County Reviews Zoning Laws as Short-Term Rentals Grow

Montgomery County has begun to overhaul zoning laws in order to accommodate Airbnb and other short-term rentals as local residents begin to join the sharing economy. Read more here.

Prince George’s County Enters For Amazon Second Headquarters

Prince George’s County will be marketing itself to Amazon to become the host location of their second headquarters. The county is a solid fit with a strong reputation, a diverse talent pool, and multiple easy-access international airports. Read more here.

Two New Breweries Coming to Montgomery County

Saint Row Brewing (Rockville) and Parallel World Brewing Co. (Silver Spring) will be opening locations in Montgomery County. Read more here.

WTTG Fox 5 and WDCA Fox 5 Plus Share Plans to Relocate to Montgomery County

Montgomery County Economic Development Group has announced that WTTG Fox 5 and EDCA Fox 5 Plus is planning to move from Washington, D.C. to Bethesda, MD. This move will incorporate a new building spaced at 57,500 square feet and will bring approximately 200 jobs. Read more here.

City of Gaithersburg to Donate Portion of Profit from Annual Winter Lights Festival

The City of Gaithersburg has announced that a portion of proceeds from the 22nd Annual Gaithersburg Winter Lights Festival will be donated to local charities. Read more here.

AUGUST

Montgomery Parks Launches Bike Share Program

Montgomery Parks has paired up with Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Zagster, Inc. to bring a bike-share program to Black Hill Regional Park and Wheaton Regional Park. Read more here.

Tourism Spending Grows to $17.3 Billion

The Maryland Office of Tourism announced that tourism spending in Maryland has grown to $173 billion with a visitor count of more than 42 million in 2016. Read more here.

Pinstripes Opens in Pike & Rose

Pinstripes opened in Pike & Rose on August 5, 2017 as part of the Phase 2 Opening. Learn more about the new venue here.

Stella Barra Announces New Chef-Inspired Brunch Buffet

Stella Barra in North Bethesda’s Pike & Rose announced the start of a new chef-inspired brunch buffet. Learn more here.

Last Call for the Food Literacy Resource Guide

Program information for the Food Council’s Food Literacy Working Group (FLWG)’s Food Literacy Resource Guide is due by August 31, 2017. Learn if you qualify and submit your information here.

JBG Cos. Completes Merger with Vornado Realty’s Charles E. Smith Creating JBG Smith Properties

The combination of these companies creates a company with 20 million square feet of office, multifamily, and retail properties. Learn more here.

Purple Line Rail Project Continued

The appellate county in the D.C. Circuit issued a stay on ruling on July 19, 2017 that could allow Maryland to move ahead with construction on the Purple Line. Read more about the ruling here.

Cinepolis Luxury Cinemas to Open in Gaithersburg

Kimco Realty Corp. has signed a lease with Cinepolis USA to build luxury cinemas in Kentlands Market Square, Gaithersburg, MD in 2019. Read more here.

Discovery Renews Talk of Acquiring Scripps

Discovery Communications Inc., located in Silver Spring, renews discussions of acquiring Scripps, the parent company of HGTV and Food Network. Learn more here.

JULY

JBG SMITH Announces New Corporate Headquarters in Bethesda

Following its merger with Vornado Realty Trust, JBG SMITH has announced its new corporate headquarters will be moving to Bethesda. Read more here.

Kelly Groff Interviewed for MCEDC’s Montgomery 365 Video Series

President and CEO of Visit Montgomery, Kelly Groff, was interviewed for Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation‘s Montgomery 365 video series: We Are Montgomery County. Learn more and see the final footage here.

DMAI Changes Name to Destinations International

DMAI has made the official name change to Destinations International. Learn more about the change and what it means here.

Montgomery Parks Josiah Henson Project Receives High Coverage

Montgomery Parks Josiah Henson Project has received a large amount of coverage on Josiah Henson, the Josiah Henson Conference, and the Josiah Henson Park Capital Campaign. See a list of articles here.

Washington D.C. Bids to Host Gay Games XI in 2022

Washington D.C. has officially submitted a bid to host Gay Games XI from July 16 – 23, 2022. Top three finalists will be announced on March 1, 2017 by the Federation of Gay Games. The Maryland SoccerPlex is being considered as a host location for soccer events centered around the Gay Games 2022. Learn more here.

2017 Quicken Loans National Held at TPC Potomac at Avenel Farms

Held for the first time at TPC Potomac at Avenel Farms, the 2017 Quicken Loans National has aimed to benefit the college access programs of the Tiger Woods Foundation since 2007. Learn more here.

Updates on WMATA’s Purple Line

Stay up to date with WMATA‘s Purple Line project here.

Microsoft Brings Their Partner Meeting to D.C.

Microsoft is bringing their partner meeting, Microsoft Partners formerly known as Worldwide Partner Conference back to DC after three years. Read more here.

Largest Solar Project in Montgomery County Completed

A new field of solar panels was completed in Boyds, MD. The field will generate 3.5 million kilowatt hours of electricity per year. Learn more here.

Parking Rates to Increase in Downtown Bethesda

Curbside, Garage, and Surface Lot parking in Downtown Bethesda will increase in July 2017. Read more here.

Amazon Buys Whole Foods

Amazon recently announced plans to purchase Whole Foods as an effort to expand into the grocery business and better face competition. Amazon is expected to make technological updated to Whole Foods that will include camera and sensors to better track wat customers are putting in their baskets. Learn more here.

Air India Completes First-Ever Nonstop Flight to Dulles International Airport

Air India will begin operating flights between Dulles and Indira Gandhi International Airport three times a week. Read more here.

JUNE

New Concierge Program at Summer House & Stella Barra Pizzeria

Summer House and Stella Barra in North Bethesda are offering a new concierge program. This program offers a 4×3 card which is redeemable to guests at the storefront market. Each card will have the name of the concierge who supplied the offer. At the end of the month, the cards received will be tallied and the concierge will receive a store credit based on their total. See an example here.
For more information, contact Caroline Bauer.

Maryland Baseball & Brew Scorecard Launched

Combining a love for baseball and beer, the Brewers Association of Maryland, Maryland Comptroller’s Office, and Maryland Office of Tourism have created a new scorecard where participants can win the “Grand Slam Prize”. Learn more here and be sure to stop by local participant Waredaca Brewing Company.

Maryland SoccerPlex and Grass Roots Opens New Interactive Exhibit

Maryland SoccerPlex and GrassRoots has opened an outdoor educational exhibit based on the larger GrassRoots exhibit at the National Arboretum. The interactive outdoor exhibit will include a kiosk with information on common turf diseases and pests, an irrigation systems exhibit, a history walkway, and a rain garden. Learn more here.

Waredaca Recognized by Men’s Journal

Visit Montgomery pitched a story to Men’s Journal on behalf of local breweries. Waredaca Brewing was recognized by Men’s Journal as one of the top 20 breweries that “Grow Their Own Hops”. Read more here.

Get Involved With the Summer R.I.S.E. Program

Summer R.I.S.E. (Real Interesting Summer Experience) is a locally funded initiative led by WorkSource Montgomery in collaboration with Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) and other partners, that will provide MCPS rising juniors and seniors with enriching summer career development experiences. WorkSource Montgomery needs around 200 more opportunities to meet the demand from local high school Juniors and Seniors. Students are looking to work with hospitality partners to gain experience in our industry. The program will be held July 10-July 28, 2017. Please consider sponsoring a student! Learn more here.

True Good Kitchen Opening in Bethesda

True Food Kitchen will opening their new location on June 14, 2017 in the Solaire Bethesda Building. The restaurant will open with their new summer menu that will include health driven dishes and cocktails. Learn more here.

GlaxoSmithKline Invests $139M to Expand in Rockville

A British based pharmaceutical company, GlaxoSmithKline in planning to invest $139 million in its biopharmaceutical manufacturing site located in Rockville. The company plans to use the fund to support expanded production of a drug used to treat a form of lupus. Learn more here.