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Maryland Live Casino to Open Recruitment Center

Maryland Live Casino will open a new recruitment center on-site mid-January.

Near Arundel Mills, the casino developed by Cordish Co. will hire 1,500 workers. The recruitment center will feature computers to allow job seekers to access the company's applications. Maryland Live recruiters will be on hand to answer questions.

The recruiting site currently features openings for several management positions. Listings for other positions in the new complex will be posted in the coming months. The company expects to offer positions in all areas of operations and all shifts. Casino positions will be available as well as positions in food and beverage, environmental services, security, retail, marketing, IT and finance. Interested job seekers are encouraged to register at the company's website now to speed up the applications process as more positions become available.

Opening in the summer, the complex will feature 4,750 slot machines and electronic table games, restaurants, retail stores and a live entertainment venue.

Writer: Amy McNeal
Source: Carmen Gonzales, Maryland Live

A Growing Mobile Bartending Service for the Modern Party

One of the busiest places at any party is the bar. Keeping a well stocked and fully equipped bar in your home or business for events is challenging. Hosts in Baltimore can now turn to new mobile bartending service, Relax We'll Pour, to take care of their event needs with a fresh and modern take on parties.

The company has added a modern touch to traditional on-site bartending service in two ways. In addition to providing a bartender, accoutrements, and wait staff, Relax We'll Pour uses a sleek LED lit bar to bring a touch of modern technology to a client's party. Their LED bar lights up in 15 different colors, fades, flashes 7 different colors, and also has a strobe light.

"We're renewing the look of bartending by offering new LED bars to fit with the new age of technology," says founder Michelle Crittenden

Relax We'll Pour is also tapping into the the current trend for craft drink making inspired by popular TV shows like "Mad Men" by offering classes in bartending that bring the fun of old fashioned drinks to a client's home. The company will bring the bar and accoutrements to a private home, and a mixologist certified by the Maryland Bartending Academy will teach the art of drink making to guests.

"We bring the training to you in a fun and relaxed setting. We come in and show you and your friends how to mix while you're drinking, listening to music, and laughing," continues Crittenden.

The company's services are currently available throughout Maryland. As they continue to grow, Relax We'll Pour is looking to add additional certified bartenders and servers.

Writer: Amy McNeal
Source: Michelle Crittenden, Relax We'll Pour

Green Product Placement Prepares for Launch

Baltimore native Beth Bell was inspired to start a new business earlier this year by an online chat at the TED forums with one of her film industry colleagues. That chat led to her new business venture, Green Product Placement.

"I had an interest in the new green economy, but wasn't sure what it was I could do exactly to become part of it, when this idea came to me. Now, I'll be able to take the sum of my career experience to not only promote the types of brands and companies I really believe are our future, but also use media to be able to promote sustainable lifestyles," Bell says.

Green Product Placement aims to place green, sustainable, and locally-sourced products in films. Since the inception of her idea in the spring, Bell has been able to partner with several of her film industry colleagues in the US, UK, and Canada to get the ball rolling. Beth and her team are currently working their industry contacts and searching for products that would fit the bill. Locally-sourced products to raise the believability threshold of a movie's setting will be a part of the stable at Green Product Placement as well.

"The idea behind the local angle is this: not only do we support local entrepreneurs, but they help to 'set the place.' Say you're shooting a film in Toronto, but it's supposed to be Baltimore, what makes it 'seem' Baltimore? Local brands; the type of potato chip bag on the kitchen counter, or coffee they use or beer they drink," Bell continues.

Green Product Placement will be moving into the next stage of its plan, a fundraising drive on indiegogo this fall. The company is looking to complete the final startup phases and fully launch in early 2012.

Writer: Amy McNeal
Source: Beth Bell, Green Product Placement

Gamescape Showcases Growing Maryland Game Industry at Artscape

Maryland's growing game industry was on display at Artscape this weekend. Sponsors MAGfest and Innovate Baltimore helped put together the showcase, held in the Pinkard Gallery at the Bunting Center on the campus of the Maryland Institute College of Art. Innovate Baltimore co-founder Ben Walsh organized Gamescape to encourage area video game fans to take a look at what Baltimore's game industry has to offer.

"I was inspired to create Gamescape because I love video games and wanted to share what the local community is creating. This gives us a chance to highlight the creative artists and technologists working in Maryland to create video games. We're hoping to inspire more people to pursue it as a career, and possibly follow the artists they see this weekend," Walsh says.

Over a dozen game designers and companies from Baltimore and other areas presented displays and demos of their most recent games, from iPad applications and Flash games to first person shooters and interactive story games. Gamescape also featured a fine arts display from prominent area game designers, and workshops by professional game developers to connect with artists considering game development as a career choice. Classic arcade games were also on display.

"With all of the great universities around, Baltimore has a ton of great emerging developers. However, historically, many of those graduating students have left Baltimore, so it is hard to find veteran experience. But Baltimore has many wonderful amenities, including affordable housing, that make it an appealing place for aging developers to come and raise a family," Walsh continues.

Walsh is currently launching a new Baltimore-based game company, Pure Bang Games. Their newest game, "My Pet Rock", was demonstrated at this year's Gamescape.

Writer: Amy McNeal
Source: Ben Walsh, Innovate Baltimore

First Annapolis Irish Festival Successful Fundraiser for Hospice of the Chesapeake

Hospice of the Chesapeake was looking for ways to raise money in a difficult fundraising environment. A group of Annapolis based philanthropists was looking for a non-profit to benefit from the first Annapolis Irish Festival that they were organizing in Crownsville. The result was a match that exceeded everyone's expectations.

Several thousand people attended the bustling festival on July 9th, and Hospice of The Chesapeake raised both funds and awareness of its activities in Maryland.

"A group in Annapolis wanted to to put on a festival to benefit a non-profit in the community and approached us. The turnout has been wonderful. It's been great to work and meet people, and we're all having fun," said Kathy Bourgard, Director of Volunteers for Hospice of the Chesapeake.

This is the first year for the Annapolis Irish Festival. The daylong celebration of Irish culture included musical performances by Irish rock bands, traditional entertainers, Irish dancers, food, and shopping. The festival also featured Gaelic Games sponsored by the Baltimore Gaelic Athletic Association, and a large children's activity area.

Hospice of the Chesapeake will be making use of the new influx of funds to support the foundation's many programs, including the Life Centers. The organization operates two Life Centers, in Annapolis and Landover. The Life Centers provide grief counseling for adults and children, assistance for patients with terminal illness and their families, perinatal support, and educational workshops for caregivers and grieving families. Hospice of the Chesapeake will receive all of the proceeds generated by the Annapolis Irish Festival.

Writer: Amy McNeal
Source: Kathy Bourgard, Hospice of the Chesapeake.

Baltimore's Inner Harbor Gears Up for Summer Tourism

Tourism is heating up for the summer in Baltimore. As the city enters a summer packed with headline-making events like the Grand Prix and Baltimore Pride, the hospitality sector is looking forward to a busy and profitable season. 

"Tourism is lifting itself, and doing very well," says Tom Noonan, President and CEO of Visit Baltimore. 

At the Inner Harbor, increased tourism spending is providing opportunities for growth. The Rusty Scupper, a staple of the Inner Harbor tourist trade, expects revenues to increase 25% this year. The National Aquarium and The Maryland Science Center are also experiencing increases in visitor traffic and revenue. Baltimore's popular free bus service, The Charm City Circulator is experiencing increased ridership, and expects to reach 2 million riders this year. 

Visit Baltimore has taken the expected increase in tourism seriously. Through its Certified Tourism Ambassador program, Visit Baltimore aims to have hundreds of specially trained personnel around the city to provide welcoming help to visitors. The program will train hospitality industry workers, police officers, cab drivers and workers in other tourism related industries to help tourists navigate the city and answer questions about history, venues and landmarks. 

"We're training a knowledgeable force, so that as a guest you'll run into someone who is certified, has taken a class and passed an exam," adds Noonan. 

Hotel occupancy is increasing, fueled by both a rebounding travel market and a healthy convention business downtown. Baltimore's hoteliers are adding approximately 2,500 new rooms to handle the increased demand. The city's hospitality profile will increase with the addition of the new Four Seasons Hotel in 2012.

Author: Amy McNeal

Source: Tom Noonan, Visit Baltimore

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