The Maine Innkeepers Association (MEIA) is pleased to announce that the 93rd Annual Meeting & Conference will be held at Point Lookout Resort & Conference Center in Northport. The Association has been serving Maine’s lodging properties since 1921! The conference begins on Wednesday November 5 and wraps up on Thursday November 6 with our Awards Dinner and entertainment provided by BMI (John Ford Coley.) Information on attending the conference has already been sent to you. The staff at the association and the Annual Conference Committee, chaired by Sue Ferrell of Down East Village in Yarmouth, have worked hard to keep the cost the same for the last 10 or so years, so that it is more cost efficient for smaller innkeepers to attend and for large innkeepers to send more staff. 2014 has been an interesting year so far, slow start but seemingly a great finish, but we understand the need to keep your costs under control. The 2014 Meeting & Conference will be held in a new and very desirable location. We have nationally known and recognized speakers and local and regional experts on many issues and opportunities for lodging properties. All of this truly makes the 2014 Annual Meeting & Conference an event not to be missed! Point Lookout has provided excellent room rates of $79 for a one bedroom cabin, $149 for a two bedroom cabin and $199 for a three bedroom cabin!
Wednesday will start with an update from the Association’s Executive Director, Greg Dugal on any new developments at the association, including our continued collaboration with the Maine Restaurant Association and our move to Augusta. We will then follow with the return of our Legislative Update with Dugal providing you with insight on the 2014 election cycle and next year’s legislative session. Also included in the afternoon sessions are a presentation by Dorothy Havey of the Belfast Area Chamber of Commerce and Staci Coomer of the Penobscot Bay Regional Chamber of Commerce detailing new developments in Mid-Coast Maine. Jeanne Carpentier, our incoming President will continue the afternoon sessions with a one hour best practices discussion dedicated to innkeepers sharing ideas on marketing, operations, legislative issues and any other ideas you may have. Add presentations by Brenna Herridge of Dream Local Digital on Social Media for the Hospitality Industry and a formal wine tasting session with the folks from MEIA member, Cellardoor Winery in Lincolnville and you will be assured an incredibly fun-filled and fast paced kickoff for the annual conference.
The evening begins with an Asian Fusion buffet prepared by Point Lookout chefs to include roasted tempeh, grilled chicken and shrimp skewers and homemade lo mein noodles and will culminate with a performance by soon to be legendary Maine performers, North of Nashville. This effort started as a side project for the two principal members of the Portland-based Americana band This Way. But the duo of Jay Basiner and Andrew Martelle has proven so successful that they have shuttered This Way and are concentrating solely on North of Nashville, a cross between Waylon Jennings and Mumford & Sons.
During the winter, the duo played sold-out shows in Brooklyn, N.Y., and a nearly sold-out show in Boston. They were touring across Maine and the region through May, and released their first full-length CD, Live @ the Rack in August. As the title suggests, it was recorded at the famous Sugarloaf hot spot. This past summer found them performing in Arkansas, Texas and you guessed it, Nashville.
Thursday kicks off with a breakfast buffet at the top of Ducktrap Mountain at Point Lookout’s premier conference space. The Summit is a mountaintop executive retreat, commanding one of the most spectacular panoramic views in the entire state. Our opening seminar will also be held at the Summit featuring Judy Z. King. Judy is the founder and principal of Quality Management Services. Since 1988, QMS has been providing solutions to organizational improvement and people development challenges. Areas of expertise include customer service, quality management, team building, operational training and evaluation systems, management development, and strategic planning. This seminar will inform participants about interviewing to get the right people in the right places. Morning breakouts will include a presentation by Matthew Rideout from Nancy Marshall Communications detailing creating a marketing funnel for your lodging business and another presentation by Judy King simply titled- Simply Service: How to gain Customer Loyalty.
Lunch will feature Mark Woodworth. Mark Woodworth is President of PKF Hospitality Research, LLC (PKF-HR), an affiliate of PKF Consulting USA, LLC (PKF/C). Mr. Woodworth has over 35 years of hospitality industry experience, is based in Atlanta and is responsible for PKF-HR’s national practice. Before forming PKF-HR in 1999 with Cornell University’s Dr. Jack Corgel, Mr. Woodworth was a Partner and Industry Chairman of the Hospitality Industry Consulting practice for Coopers & Lybrand L.L.P., and specialized in the lodging industry. Prior to that, he was a Senior Principal with Laventhol & Horwath where he focused on the hospitality industry and was responsible for all lodging and real estate consulting services in the southeastern United States. Woodworth will be discussing the potential challenges and successes the industry will be facing in 2015.
After lunch, we will conduct our annual Allied event, which will consist of time spent with our Allied Exhibitors. There will be dessert, fun, door prizes and a grand prize giveaway! Afternoon on Thursday features four breakouts to include Using Search Data to Capture Leads and Make Sales and Reputation Management Software Explained. Both of these seminars will be presented by Tracey O’Clair from Constant Contact. There will be a small inn renovation seminar conducted by an innkeeper, Phil Kronenthal of the Black Point Inn and an architect, Lynn Pepin from Gawron Turgeon Architects. This session will be an interactive discussion amongst attendees. The fourth session will be conducted by Anne-Marie Storey from the law firm of Rudman & Winchell. Anne-Marie will present an overview of leave laws affecting Maine employers. There will also be an Allied Cracker Barrel session conducted on Thursday.
The Annual Awards Dinner will feature an exquisite dinner prepared by the chefs at Point Lookout Resort featuring a choice of a Statler Breast of Chicken with Mushroom and Leek Pan Gravy, Grilled Sirloin Steak with Haystack Onions and Roasted Garlic Demi Glace or Crispy Gnocchi with Roasted Tomatoes, Asiago Cream and Fresh Basil Chiffonade, all served with a Fall Harvest Salad with Point Lookout Greens, Roasted Beets, Goat Cheese Foam and Spiced Pecans. We will also be bestowing our distinguished MEIA annual awards that evening. After the Awards Dinner, BMI will provide us with some great entertainment to bring this annual conference to a close. John Ford Coley, singer, musician, actor and author, continues to play for a worldwide audience. Most famous for his work as half of the Grammy-nominated duo “England Dan and John Ford Coley,” where he's received double platinum and gold records, John also did teen films and a few TV roles in the 1980s, has written songs for films, and continues to produce other artists.
Of late, John Ford Coley is touring many dates in the U.S. and Canada, as well as returning to the Philippines for the fifth time in spring 2007. He has produced two new country acts in Nashville and most recently played on the bill with such acts as Lou Gramm (Foreigner), Poco, Ambrosia, and Alice Cooper, as well as with Terry Sylvester (formerly of the Hollies).
We would also like to thank our 2014 Sponsors to date, our Annual Conference Sponsor, Sysco Northern New England, John McCarthy-Legacy SIR, CTM Media Group, Daigle Commercial Group, Maine Tourism Association, Nelson & Small Commercial Equipment/Daniels Equipment Company, Cross Employee Benefits, BMI, Point Lookout Resort, Migis Hotel Group and the Boston Globe.
We will then look forward to the 94th Annual meeting on November 4 and 5, 2015 at the Hilton Garden Inn Downtown Freeport.