Industry - Tourism

Brewing Up Business: Frederick Changes Code to Allow Breweries to Host Food Trucks, Vendors, and Events

The craft brewing industry contributes $55.7 billion to the U.S. economy and Frederick is well-positioned to attract and support this rapidly expanding industry. On August 4, 2016, The City of Frederick amended City code to allow breweries, farm breweries, and wineries to hold special events, including the ability to host events with food trucks and vendors. This newest legislation proactively addresses the changing nature of breweries and wineries, and allows them to host complementary activities for visitors such as festivals, concerts, and special events.

The legislative changes have the potential to expand and diversify the City's economy by opening up additional opportunities for this industry. Frederick continues to receive national and international recognition for its thriving brewing industry, including an accolade from Matador naming Frederick among 17 of the Worlds' Best Cities for Craft Beer (#16) and inclusion in's listing of the 99 Best Beers in 99 Best Beer Cities (#35).

Brewery patrons frequently visit the surrounding area, leading to increased spending at local restaurants, shops, and hotels. New breweries will further bolster Frederick County's 1.7 million annual visitors and related $380.5 million in visitor spending (2014 Tourism Council of Frederick County study).

The brewery/winery legislation is the latest example of the City's proactive approach to supporting manufacturing, and specifically, the craft beverage industry. In 2014, the City adopted legislation to allow craft breweries, wineries, and distilleries to locate in Downtown Frederick. Additionally, the City of Frederick enacted a 10-year phase-out of the business personal property tax, including a 100% tax credit for manufacturers.  

For more information on starting a business in Frederick, contact the City of Frederick's Department of Economic Development.

Tourism Council of Frederick County Executive Director John Fieseler Named Tourism Person of the Year by Maryland Tourism Coalition

Tourism Person of the Year John Fieseler and colleague Matt Neitzey, executive director of the Prince George’s County Convention and Visitors Bureau.
Photo Credit: Maryland Tourism Coalition
Executive Director of the Tourism Council of Frederick County John Fieseler has been named Tourism Person of the Year by the Maryland Tourism Coalition (MTC). The award was presented to Fieseler last Thursday at the 35th annual Maryland Tourism & Travel Summit, held at Turf Valley Resort in Howard County. It was announced during the MTC Awards presentation and banquet, part of the 3-day annual summit that brings together more than 250 tourism and hospitality professionals from throughout the state of Maryland.
Tourism Person of the Year is a prestigious professional award given to an industry leader whose exceptional commitment has significantly enhanced and perpetuated the tourism industry in Maryland.

One of the chief attractions is downtown Frederick’s dynamic 40-block historic district, with its nationally renowned architecture, variety of historic sites, 200 retailers and antique shops, and 40 restaurants along Restaurant Row. Nearly three-quarters of all visitors to Frederick County come to downtown Frederick during their journey – about 1.4 million tourists each year.

"Tourism has a tremendous economic impact on Frederick and it is one of our targeted industries," said Richard Griffin, Director of Economic Development for The City of Frederick. "Thanks to John's leadership and partnership, tourism thrives in Frederick." 

One nomination statement for Fieseler outlined his positive impact on tourism. It referred to him as a “community and industry leader, and tourism advocate whose successes cannot be contained to any single year” as well as an individual who “embraces tourism as an economic engine for Frederick County and the state of Maryland.”

“John Fieseler has been a friend to the tourism industry throughout his career,” said Liz Fitzsimmons, executive director of the Maryland Office of Tourism. “He rarely says no to anyone asking for his help, advice and counsel. He is a problem solver and a consensus builder. John is truly an asset to Maryland’s tourism industry.” 
Fieseler has served as executive director of the Tourism Council of Frederick County since December 1997. He served on the board of directors for six years, including two as board president, prior to assuming the director position. As executive director he represents Frederick County in the Maryland Association of Destination Marketing Organizations, is a past chair of the organization, and currently chairs the Research Committee. Fieseler was appointed by Maryland’s governor to serve on the Maryland Tourism Development Board and also sits on the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority. He is also a member of the board of directors for the 6-state Civil War Trails organization. He has been a presenter at national tourism conferences including the Destination Marketing Association International annual convention and U.S. Traveler’s annual Educational Seminars for Tourism Organizations.

Throughout his years with the Tourism Council, Fieseler has served on dozens of local committees and boards, including current positions on the boards of the Downtown Frederick Partnership, the Heart of the Civil War Heritage Area, the American Red Cross, and Goodwill Industries of Monocacy Valley. He’s a past president of the boards of Hospice of Frederick County and the Rotary Club of Frederick, and a former board member of the Frederick Arts Council.

Under Fieseler’s leadership, tourism continues to steadily grow in Frederick County. He led the organization to purchase, rehabilitate, and open the building at 151 S. East Street in Frederick as its visitor center and offices. When the State was forced by budget limitations to close the Mason-Dixon Welcome Center in northern Frederick County, Fieseler worked cooperatively with state and local partners to get funding to re-open it and install exhibits. He led the organization through many Civil War and War of 1812 commemorative events in recent years. Fieseler serves on the Downtown Frederick Hotel Advisory Committee and leads the way as tourism continues to grow in Frederick County, with increases in visitation and visitor spending.

“It is such a well-deserved and tremendous accomplishment for John to receive this prestigious award,” said Dave Ziedelis, President of the Tourism Council Board of Directors. “We are certainly blessed to have John here in Frederick at the helm of our Tourism Council.”

The Tourism Council of Frederick County (TCFC) is the recognized Destination Marketing Organization for Frederick City and Frederick County, Maryland. It operates the Frederick Visitor Center and related Visit Frederick programs that include Destination Marketing and Group Tour Marketing. For more information about membership and Visit Frederick events, go to

7 Farmers Markets in the City of Frederick

Everedy Square & Shab Row Farmers Market

Frederick is fortunate to be surrounded by bountiful farmland.  Farmers Markets in the area help those who live and work access locally grown and harvested items nearly every day of the week.  Some locations provide weekday convenience to those working in Downtown Frederick or at Fort Detrick.  

7 Farmers Markets Located in the City of Frederick, Maryland (2015)

Everedy Square & Shab Row Farmers Market
Church and East Streets
Through October 29
Thursdays, 3pm – 6pm

West Frederick Farmers Market
United HealthCare Parking Lot
800 Oak Street
Through November 21
Saturdays, 10am-1pm

Frederick City Market
331 N. Market Street
Through October 25
Sundays, 9am – 1pm

9380 Butterfly Lane
Through Mid November
Fridays, 3pm – 6pm

Great Frederick Fair Farmers Market
Frederick Fairgrounds – East Patrick Street
Open Year Round
Saturdays, 8:00am – 2:00pm 

Farmers Markets at NCI- Frederick
NCI-Frederick located on Fort Detrick - Open to Public
Outdoor Market space is located in the parking lot in front of the NCI Cafe/Scientific Library (Building 549) 
Through October
Tuesdays, 11am – 1:30pm

YMCA of Frederick Farmers Market
1000 N. Market Street
Through October 6
Tuesdays, 3:30pm – 6:30pm

Learn more about other Farmers Markets in Frederick County

Updated: August 4, 2015

This Week on Carroll Creek: February 4, 2015

Brick pavers for the Galleria walkways and stone work on the creek walls, continues near the Delaplaine and the "Galleria" Fountain. Where stone work is going on, water levels in the creek have to be lowered to allow workers access - called "dewatering".

As well, heated tents (see pic below) just before East Street are set up for workers to allow stone to be repaired during the cold winter months. The inside temperature must be above 40 degrees as well as all materials. The creek wall improvements to the East of the Delaplaine should be completed mid February, depending on weather.

Poole Landscaping will be starting sod and plantings in mid-to-late March and planned fountains should be finished by the first of April if weather cooperates.

Connect with Us for Updates
Be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter for the most recent news and updates on this project and others. 
About the Next Phase of Carroll Creek Park

This next phase of park improvements will include new and widened multi-use paths, landscape planters, lighting, water features and crosswalk improvements. The work will occur primarily between Bentz and S. Market Street and between the Delaplaine Arts Center and East Patrick Street. More than $100M in new and renovated private construction is planned along the new park/path sections which will eventually result in hundreds of new jobs and increased state and local tax revenue.

Downtown Hotel Update - January 30, 2015

Artist's conceptual illustration of the Downtown Frederick Hotel.
Courtesy of Plamondon Hospitality Partners, LLC. 

January 30, 2015

The Downtown Frederick Hotel and Conference Center project took a major step forward today in Annapolis with unanimous approval by the Frederick County State Delegation for a  letter of support to Governor Hogan and a recommendation of $7.5 million in FY16 for public infrastructure associated with the development of the project (parking and associated improvements and land).  

On hand to support the delegation request were Mayor Randy McClement, County Executive Jan Gardner, Chamber President Elizabeth Cromwell, Downtown Partnership Director Kara Norman, Frederick County Policy Director Roger Wilson, and Director of Economic Development Richard Griffin.   

“We are simply delighted to receive unanimous support for this critical project and look forward to working with the developer – Plamondon Hospitality Partners, LLC – to get the project designed, approved, and constructed,” stated Griffin.  He added that “the team will work hard over the next few weeks to secure a commitment from the Hogan administration for the requested investment.”  

The Downtown Hotel Advisory Committee had requested $15 million from the state in two installments of $7.5 million per year in FY16-FY17.  The full-service hotel and conference center is anticipated to be branded as a flagship Marriott hotel with 207 rooms and 24,000 square feet of meeting space.  The facility will be privately owned and operated with no ongoing subsidy from local or state government.

Industry Spotlight: Tourism

Credit: C. Kurt Holter/Visit Frederick
Frederick businesses know that visitors make an impact on the local economy. Over the past 15 years, there was a $1B cumulative gain in visitor spending, an impressive figure that set a milestone for the local tourism industry. The announcement came during the annual membership meeting of the Tourism Council of Frederick County, where the organization also announced that Frederick County climbed from 11th place to 8th place among Maryland Counties in spending by visitors. 

More than 1.7 visitors come to Frederick County each year, spending $361 million during their stay in the area, according to 2013 statistics released by the Tourism Council.  These impressive figures only account for visitors traveling from more than 50 miles or more away. Because it doesn't include visitors from places like Montgomery County or Washington, D.C., the actual impact from visitors is even greater. 

Tourism is a major industry sector for the City of Frederick. One of the chief attractions is Frederick’s dynamic 40-block historic district, with its nationally renowned architecture, historic sites, arts and entertainment, and a thriving shopping and dining scene.  Downtown Frederick is home to approximately 850 businesses, many of which rely on visitors.  

Within minutes of Downtown Frederick are wineries, Civil War battlefields and historic sites, recreational opportunities, and scenic landscapes, making the area attractive to a variety of travelers.

“Tourism is one of our major industry sectors in Frederick” says Richard Griffin, Economic Development Director for the City of Frederick. Top business leaders in the city agree. In a recent survey of the Economic Development Advisory Council, an ad-hoc committee appointed by the Mayor, members were asked to rate targeted industries on a rating scale in terms of their importance to the City of Frederick’s economy. 92% of the survey respondents ranked it as an “important” to “very important” industry sector.

Looking towards the future, new plans for a Downtown Frederick hotel will help grow the industry provide overnight accommodations for groups and travelers downtown, an amenity many travelers seek. 

For more information, visit the Tourism Council of Frederick County or read the recent feature story on tourism in Frederick County in the January 2015 issue of Frederick Magazine

Proposed Downtown Hotel & Conference Center

Do you wonder what the new proposed Downtown Frederick hotel might look like? These artist's renderings of the proposed Downtown Hotel & Conference Center were unveiled at the Tourism Council of Frederick County’s annual fall membership meeting. 

The images were provided by the chosen developer for the project, Plamondon Hospitality Partners. 

Artist's rendering of downtown shopping and restaurants near the proposed hotel

Are small distilleries the next big thing for Frederick?

New code changes could position Frederick to benefit from surge in growing craft spirit industry.

Craft spirits is a $10.2 billion market and growing at a rapid rate. On December 18, 2014, the City of Frederick, Maryland’s Board of Aldermen amended city code to allow small wineries, breweries and distilleries in the downtown area, paving the way for this growing industry to boom locally. This newest legislation expanded the area where these businesses could operate.  

According to the American Craft Spirits Association, there are at least 350 craft distilleries in the United States today – a figure projected to pass 500 in 2015. 

“We have all of the right ingredients for this industry to thrive,” said Economic Development Director for the city, Richard Griffin. “We have a thriving downtown, robust tourism industry, and the county has a concentration of wineries and breweries. More importantly, the codes are now in place to welcome this growing industry to Frederick,” Griffin added.

While many state and local governments across the country have restrictive legislation that limits this type of industry, the recent code change positions Frederick to be at the forefront of this industry’s growth. 

“Frederick is ready to embrace this industry,” said Griffin.  With a variety of available spaces, from flex to historic buildings, there are a number of locations that can accommodate the booming craft distillery, winery, and brewery business.

For information on opening a business in Frederick or for business assistance, contact the City of Frederick’s Department of  Economic Development

NEW: Small Commercial Tax Credit Program Available

The Sustainable Communities Tax Credit Program, which provides funding to support renovations of historic structures in Maryland, expanded in 2014 to include small commercial buildings. This great opportunity to upgrade a facade or make other necessary updates. 
Rehabilitation costs may receive a tax credit of up to $50,000 on projects up to $500,000. Buildings must be located in state-designated Sustainable Communities and be designated historic. 
The credit, which is capped at $50,000 over two years, is available through the Maryland Historical Trust (MHT) starting January 1. MHT will accept applications starting September 1. 
Learn more about the tax credit program and find application materials at MHT’s tax credit program page

4 Offers and Ideas from Clustered Spires Golf Course

For some industries, golf and business go hand-in-hand.  An article in The Economist (Why golfers get ahead, November 21, 2011), emphasizes that, “As a form of corporate entertainment, golf's first virtue is that people of any age can play it.” It is the preferred sport for many looking to connect with clients and coworkers outside of the office. 

Clustered Spires Golf Club was established in 1991 as the first public golf course in Frederick County, and is owned and operated by the City of Frederick. The 185 acre course was formally a working dairy farm and the Monocacy River surrounds the golf course on 3 sides, creating a beautiful setting while providing a natural barrier from outside distractions. 

Looking towards 2015, here are some current offers and ideas from Clustered Spires Golf Club that may be right on par for your favorite golf-loving colleague, client, or for your own company: 
  1. Book Your Outing or Event – Clustered Spires Golf Course successfully runs over 110 outings per year, and its PGA Professional staff has collectively over 51 years of management of charity golf events. Learn more about booking an event.
  2. Annual Golf Membership – Find yourself on the links a lot? Play unlimited golf anytime for a year with an annual Golf Membership. Learn more about membership online or call for details: 301-600-1295. (Price: Adults - $1,200; Juniors - $300)
  3. Dress for the New Year- Happening Now: 25% Off all in-stock men’s and women’s golf shirts.
  4. Golf Lessons & Personal Club Fitting With a PGA Professional – Clustered Spires’ Don Frost was named Golf Digest Top Teacher of 2013. Frost was ranked as one of the best teachers in the state of MD and top 500 in the country. He is the Director of Golf and General Manager of Clustered Spires Golf Club. Learn more about lessons.

Learn more about the amenities and offerings at Clustered Spires Golf Club

3 Ways to Celebrate Small Business Saturday in Frederick

In 2010, American Express founded Small Business Saturday to encourage people to shop at small businesses on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. The single day has grown into a powerful movement, and more people are taking part than ever before. The big day is November 29, 2014, and Frederick is an ideal spot to show your shop local spirit. Frederick was recently named in Yelp's Top 20 Cities to Shop Local for the holidays.
Here are 3 ways you can show some local love and celebrate Small Business Saturday in Frederick:
  1. Get Up Early to Get a Downtown Doorbuster Bag - Show up early in Downtown Frederick to be one of the first 200 people to receive a "Downtown Doorbuster Bag Giveaway." From 10-Noon, the first 200 attendees will receive a FREE custom-designed, reusable Downtown Frederick shopping bag with deals at 40+ shops and restaurants.  Learn more:  
  2. Receive up to $30 back with your American Express Card - If you have an American Express card, visit to register your card and receive up to $30 back for shopping in registered small businesses. Visit the Shop Small Map to see locations city-wide. 
  3. Share How You Shop Small - In addition to using #ShopSmall on November 29, use #ShopSmallFredco to share how you shop small in Frederick.  We are partnering with the Frederick County Department of Business Development and Retention to feature photos capturing the spirit of #ShopSmall and tagged with #ShopSmallFredco via Facebook and Twitter. The photo could be you dining at a restaurant, picking up bread at a local bakery, a favorite shop or business, or just getting a jump start on your shopping.  
In the City of Frederick, 95% of our businesses are small businesses, which means they have 50 or fewer employees. Based on recent InfoUSA data, 88% of City businesses have fewer than 25 employees. 

If you live in or around Frederick, you know shopping small is a source of pride for many, and the options are endless.

Director of Economic Development Richard Griffin
getting ready to shop small this season in Downtown Frederick.

Farm-to-Fork Frederick Celebrates Locally Sourced Dining Options

From August 22 through September 1, 2014, Frederick restaurants, farms, and wineries will team up to offer locally grown dishes to diners.  In its second year, Farm-to-Fork Frederick is a dynamic 11-day culinary celebration of locally sourced foods.  During the 2014 promotion, eleven participating restaurants will offer a special menu featuring 70% Frederick County grown and raised farm goods. 

New this year, "Farm Fresh Overnight Stay" hotel packages are available. Participants can extend their stay at a special rate and have the opportunity to explore and sample at a nearby farm through the package.  

Agriculture has always been a significant part of the economy and social network of Frederick and the surrounding community. Founded in 1745, Frederick-Town sat near the center of a remarkably fertile and gently rolling landscape ripe for the production of grains, fruits, and livestock. By the middle of the 19th century, the town of Frederick was well established as a county seat and marketing center for Frederick County. This year, The City of Frederick's Department of Economic Development is a sponsor of Farm-to-Fork Frederick. 

Frederick is a dining destination for residents and visitors alike.  It is home to shops, restaurants, and businesses that provide the quality of life so many enjoy. 

The Farm-to-Fork Frederick event brings attention to the locally-sourced dining movement, and raises awareness that many Frederick restaurants source locally all year long.  

2014 Participating Restaurants/Culinary Spots 

  • A Better Choice Bakery (Brunswick)
  • Barley and Hops (Frederick - County)
  • Beans in the Belfry (Brunswick)
  • The Buzz (Monrovia)
  • Firestone's Culinary Tavern (Downtown Frederick)
  • Shamrock (Thurmont)
  • JoJo's Restaurant and Tap House (Downtown Frederick)
  • La Paz Mexican Restaurant (Downtown Frederick)
  • The Lodge (Frederick - County)
  • Mistero (Downtown Frederick)
  • Sumittra (Downtown Frederick)
  • The Wine Kitchen (Downtown Frederick)
  • The Kitchen Studio Cooking School (Frederick - County)

For more information, visit


FREDERICK, MD -- The Maryland Stadium Authority has released a Critique/Assessment of the Market and Economic Assessment for a Full-Service Hotel and Meeting Space in Downtown Frederick (2010 by Pinnacle/OPX).

The study update was prepared by Crossroads Consultants and Hospitality and Gaming Solutions under contract to the Stadium Authority.   It concludes that Frederick has sufficient market demand for a full-service, 200 room, branded hotel with 15,000 square feet of meeting space in Downtown Frederick. The study further finds that the hotel when stabilized will generate approximately 52,600 room nights, 280 jobs, and $25 million in economic impact.

These findings are generally consistent with the earlier study and confirms the need for such a facility in downtown Frederick. The Maryland Stadium Authority and its team of consultants is briefing key elected and business officials this morning at the Chamber of Commerce and other stakeholders and the general public at 1PM today in City Hall.

“I am very pleased with the outcome of the study,” stated Earl H. Robbins, Jr. the appointed Project Chairman. “Based on the study findings, I believe that a privately-owned and operated hotel in downtown with sufficient meeting space to induce new meetings and conferences will be a game changer for this community,” he added.

The study was conducted at the request of The City of Frederick, using technical assistance grant funds from the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD). The City was acting on behalf of the Downtown Hotel Advisory Team consisting of the following organizations:

  • The Frederick County Chamber of Commerce & Major Employers Group (MEG) –– Ric Adams, President & CEO
  • Tourism Council of Frederick County - John Fieseler, Director
  • East Frederick Rising - Bob McCutcheon, President
  • Downtown Frederick Partnership - Kara Norman, Executive Director 
  • Frederick County Business Development and Retention Division (BDRD) - Helen Riddle, Acting Director
  • The City of Frederick - Earl H. Robbins Jr. , Project Chairman
    • Josh Russin, Executive Assistant to the Mayor
    • Richard G. Griffin, AICP, CEcD, Director of Economic Development & Project Manager

Mayor Randy McClement offered that “the City of Frederick and this administration have focused its energy and resources on infrastructure projects which improve the quality of life and provide economic return for the community. Development of a privately owned, operated and financed full-service hotel in Downtown Frederick is part of that strategy, along with completion of Carroll Creek Park, Monocacy Boulevard, Frederick Municipal Airport Control Tower and increased sewer capacity.”

According to Ric Adams, President and CEO of the Frederick County Chamber of Commerce, ““the Chamber and its Major Employers Group (MEG) choose this project as its number one priority to retain and expand the business community in Frederick County. The Chamber and MEG have helped fund the original feasibility study and continue to advocate for this hotel project in downtown Frederick.””

The study confirms the Frederick area has a growing population base, with stable employment in the military and government sectors as well as bioscience and technology centers. Property annexed by the City of Frederick in recent years is nearing development which will also contribute to the tax base and employment opportunities.

Maryland Stadium Authority Chairman John Morton III added his thoughts. “MSA was happy to work with the City of Frederick and their hospitality community to evaluate the market for a downtown hotel/conference center,” he said. “This study provides stakeholders with the information they need to decide how best to proceed with the project.”

Currently, Frederick County has fewer than 1,000 hotel rooms, with an additional 100+ anticipated when the Marriott Towne Place Suites is completed this summer. Focus on Civil War history has increased interest in Frederick as a destination.

According to John Fieseler, Director of the Tourism Council, “Frederick is fortunate to have posted the highest increase in hotel room demand in Maryland during 2011 and over $300 million in tourism spending.” He added that “presently there is not a full-service hotel in Frederick and this downtown hotel will fill a gap not being met in the market.”

Based on research and analysis of the growing market and popularity of Frederick, Crossroads concurs with the Pinnacle/OPX study’s conclusion that the community would benefit on many levels from a hotel/conference center in the downtown historic district –– including the creation of 280 permanent, full-time jobs that would create $9 million in personal earnings and increased activity in the retail/hospitality outlets.

The study offers recommendations of what amenities and services should be included in the 200-room facility based on the evolving industry standards. In addition to a business center, Wi -Fi connectivity, a pool and fitness center, the hotel complex should also include a restaurant/lounge, room service, and retail outlets.

The meeting space recommendations are consistent with the high-end brand the city should attract. A 5,000 -6,000 ballroom should be included in the 15,000 square feet of conference space, along with a flexible layout to accommodate a variety of uses.

The feasibility study determined this type facility would generate approximately 52,600 room nights with $16.5 million in direct spending and almost $30 million in economic impact. In addition the operation would generate significant local property taxes based on the assessed value of the property. In conducting their research, Crossroads also found interest in this concept from several national hotel brands.

Because the study focuses on an unspecified downtown location, Crossroads cautions that parking and access will be major considerations and should be factored into any future decision.

The Downtown Frederick Hotel project originated from a business community need identified by the seventeen largest major employers (MEG) in Frederick County and the Frederick County Chamber of Commerce. In addition to championing this project, the initial feasibility study by Pinnacle / OPX in January 2010 was financed by the partners including the MEG Group and the local Chamber of Commerce.

Crossroads suggests that if the next steps include selecting a development site and a hotel developer. The hotel team is immediately issuing a Request for Information (RFI) from Downtown Frederick property owners who are interested in submitting their property as a potential location of a future Downtown Frederick hotel. A separate Request for Qualifications (RFQ) to select a hotel developer will be issued this fall.

The feasibility study is posted on the Maryland Stadium Authority website at:‑studies/city‑of‑frederick‑conference‑center and the report may also be viewed by visiting The City of Frederick’s Department of Economic Development website, 

Contact:    Josh Russin                                                            Gary A. McGuigan
                   Office of the Mayor                                                Project Executive
                   (301) 600-3834                                                        Maryland Stadium Authority
                                                (410) 333-1560