The Group Travel Leader

APR 2017

The online home of The Group Travel Leader, America's leading publication for the group travel industry. Articles on hot destinations, attractions, news and travel trends from across the country and around the world.

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Courtesy Easton Town Center GROUP TRAVEL LE ADER T H E — C L A R K S B U R G P R E M I U M O U T L E T S — C L A R K S B U R G , M A R Y L A N D When the Clarksburg Premium Outlets opened in October, "it was one of the best grand openings in recent history for the entire premium-outlets platform," said Michael Mitchroney, general manager. Simon Property Group's new shopping center is in Clarksburg, Maryland, just off Interstate 270 about 30 miles northwest of Washington and 50 miles west of Baltimore. The center features 90 stores, with several more still under construction, and "premium" is the key word for the retailers, which include high-end, name-brand outlets such as Armani, Hugo Boss, Salvatore Ferragamo, Kate Spade and Coach, as well as national brands like Nike, Under Armour, Polo Ralph Lauren, Banana Republic, Gap and Old Navy. "We have the greatest mix of brands possible in the marketplace," Mitchroney said, adding, "It's a great opportunity to touch all the bases and cater to the customer." Simon designed the center to offer visitors a relaxing shopping experience. The LEED- certified project is a two-story outdoor center that features outdoor gathering spaces with seating areas with tables and chairs as well as soft seating, a fireplace, two fountains, a play- ground, a bike path that runs through the property and an amphitheater "where we'll put on events during the warmer months." Market Hall is the indoor eating area, with six fast-casual food options. Comfortable seating, charging stations with outlets and USB ports, and the media lounge with couches and TVs all help set the Market Hall apart from a conventional mall food court. For the motorcoach market, "the center was designed with groups and buses and tourism specifically in mind," Mitchroney said. A centrally located bus plaza right outside Market Hall allows groups to arrive under an overhang with heaters, outdoor seating and vending machines, and the center has bus parking. For groups of 10 or more, the center also provides someone to greet them and gives each guest a VIP Shopper Club savings passport that offers discounts and deals at a variety of retailers. W W W. P R E M I U M O U T L E T S . C O M / O U T L E T / C L A R K S B U R G 2 — F O R T W O R T H T A N G E R O U T L E T S — F O R T W O R T H , T E X A S During the late 1800s, Fort Worth, Texas, was the last stop for cattle drivers on the Chisholm Trail, a fact that earned it the nickname Cowtown. But Fort Worth is no cowtown when it comes to shopping: A planned Tanger Outlets mall will join the likes of Ridgmar Mall, Hulen Mall and Grand Prairie Premium Outlets when it opens in November. Tanger Factory Outlet Centers bought 44 acres in September, and crews broke ground on the new Tanger Outlets development in October after the company surpassed its 60 percent leasing threshold. Contracted retailers so far include H&M, Tommy Hilfiger, Banana Republic and Restoration Hardware, and Tanger is in lease negotiations with more to fill out the space. When complete, the outlets will offer more than 80 designer and brand-name retailers. The 350,000-square-foot shopping center will be the retail anchor in the larger surround- ing Champions Circle, a mixed-use project being developed next to Texas Motor Speedway. The $400 million, 500-acre development, at Interstate 35W and Texas Highway 114, will include additional retail, commercial, office and residential construction. A Marriott hotel with a conference center and a golf course was the development's first project. "We are pleased to welcome Tanger Outlets as our new neighbor and look forward to future partnerships," Eddie Gossage, Texas Motor Speedway president and general manager, said in a press release. "Tanger Outlets will be a win for our over 1 million visitors each year seeking fast and fashionable savings." W W W.T A N G E R O U T L E T. C O M / F O R T W O R T H 3 www.TOURSoutheastIndiana.com 800-322-8198 RiveR Town "Windows of Aurora" Hillforest Victorian House Museum KENTUCKY OHIO INDIANA Cincinnati Indianapolis Louisville Lexington 1 South of I-74 & west of I-275, 20 minutes west of Cincinnati Spend a day along the Ohio River Scenic Byway and explore historic Aurora. Follow an urban arts trail with your artist guide, tour landmark mansions, enjoy a "Linens & Luxury" luncheon and visit a small brewery with a big history. Tour SOUTHEAST INDIANA " Wonderful experience, Top-notch service!" - CB&S Bank Shining Stars, Russellville, AL

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