Town business association sees national shrine as tourist draw PDF Print E-mail
Town business association sees national shrine as tourist draw
Originally published August 24, 2010

By Ike Wilson
News-Post Staff

Town business association sees national shrine as tourist draw

Photo by Travis Pratt

Emmitsburg Business and Professional Association member Dee Connolly speaks with Emmitsburg commissioner Christopher Staiger during the association's meeting at the National Shrine of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton.

Emmitsburg -- Allen Knott has worked in Emmitsburg for five years and served as the treasurer for the town's business association over the same period.

However, Knott had not visited one of the town's tourism icons -- the National Shrine of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton -- until Thursday, when the Emmitsburg Business and Professional Association toured the facility.

He was impressed.

"I was in awe of the display and St. Elizabeth Seton's life from her time in Europe to when she came back to the United States," Knott said.

The 60-acre facility is more than a captivating memorial to a saint.

With 380 employees, the shrine boosts Emmitsburg 's economic development in several ways, the visitors said following the tour.

Religious tourism is an increasingly growing industry and the shrine offers an opportunity for pilgrims to walk in a saint's footsteps without having to travel to Europe or the Holy Land, said John Fieseler, the county's executive director for tourism.

Last year, the shrine hosted about 45,000 visitors, making it one of the top visitor attractions in Frederick County. Of that total, about 20 percent are group tours, said Fieseler, who also toured the shrine with the association.

The highest number of visitors came from Maryland, Pennsylvania, Virginia, New Jersey and New York, followed by Florida.

But the shrine receives visitors from almost every state in the course of a year, and last year had tourists from Australia, Canada, Ethiopia, Philippines, South America, Korea, India, France and Italy, Fieseler said.

"Many of the visitors are Catholic but they also get visitors of other faiths or groups that are interested in the history of the first U.S.-born saint, including from the Red Hat Society and visitors to the National Emergency Training Center next door," Fieseler said.

In addition, the shrine's location, just below Gettysburg and its proximity to Washington, make it a convenient stop when traveling north and south, he said.

As a recognized historic site in Frederick County and part of Journey Through Hallowed Ground, which has designated 180 miles of U.S. 15 as a historic road, the shrine also partners with other attractions to help attract visitors, Fieseler said.

Knott agreed that the shrine is a vital economic development tool for Emmitsburg , but adds that more publicity is needed to maximize its tourism potential.

"I would like to see it a little bit more well-known, but they have programs geared toward that," Knott said.

Local Video Producer Wins Award PDF Print E-mail
Telly AwardConrad Weaver, owner of Conjostudios, LLC in Emmitsburg, MD, was awarded a 2010 Bronze Telly Award for producing a promo video for fashion designer Bob Martin of The video promoted an instructional DVD series about fashion design also produced by Conjostudios, LLC.  The promo video can be seen at The Telly Awards honor the very best local, regional, and cable television commercials and programs, as well as the finest video and film productions, and work created for the Web.
Carleo's Pizza Changes Hands PDF Print E-mail
Couple buys Emmitsburg pizza business
Originally published December 16, 2009

By Ike Wilson
News-Post Staff

Couple buys Emmitsburg pizza business

Photo by Graham Cullen

April Martin, center, new owner of Caleo Italian Pizza in Emmitsburg, is joined by her parents, Alton Sr. and Janet Hughes, and employees Elias Garcia, center right, and Andy Price, far right.


Carleo's Italian Pizza

ADDRESS: 101 Silo Hill Road, Emmitsburg

PHONE: 301-447-1999; 301-447-3232

Emmitsburg -- April Martin rushed from her car Tuesday to sign and pay for a food shipment for Carleo's Italian Pizza, then began to take customers' orders while ensuring that the eatery's operations were intact.

A Long & Foster Realtor, Martin and her husband, Jeryl, an independent siding and roofing professional, are juggling their jobs with a new responsibility: owners of Carleo's Italian Pizza.

The couple took over the pizza shop in October.

April Martin's mother, Janet Hughes, left a secure job as food director for Adamstown Head Start where she had clocked nine years to assist her daughter's new venture, she said.

"Mom always enjoys the food business and I'm a people person so we decided to give it a try. We thought it would be a good investment," April Martin said.

As a full-time Realtor with a new business and three children, she and her husband are on the run, April Martin said.

"It keeps us hopping. I try to come in every day," she said.

The Martin children, Justin, 13, Jordan, 18, Amanda, 11, and Jordan's girlfriend, Bethany Peterson, 18, all pitch in, April Martin said.

Hughes said she wouldn't have left her job for anybody else.

"My daughter really needs someone here to help," she said. "You have to be a people person to run a business and remember the customer is always right."

The business hired three full-time and three part-time employees. April Martin's father, Alton Hughes Sr., 70, a retired electrician, also helps out at the shop.

"She succeeds in whatever she gets into and I'm just here to support her," Alton said. "I wash dishes and sweep the floor. Now, all I need to learn is how to flip pizza dough in the air," he said.

Carleo's Italian Pizza boasts a varied menu, including fettucini, spaghetti and stuffed shells, garden, tossed and Greek salads, hot and cold subs, appetizers and a variety of pizzas.

New floor tiles were installed and plans are to modify the floor plan to include an office and putting the kitchen in the rear to give customers more space in the front, Janet Hughes said.

EBPA Forges Ahead PDF Print E-mail
EBPA looks back and forges ahead
Originally published January 04, 2010

By Ike Wilson
News-Post Staff

EBPA looks back and forges ahead

Photo by Skip Lawrence

Bob Hance is president of the Emmitsburg Business and Professional Association.

The Emmitsburg Business and Professional Association, a 62-member organization, had a banner year in 2009, according to its members.

The EBPA believes the future growth, development and well-being of the Emmitsburg community depends on active and involved residents and businesses, treasurer Allen Knott said.

EBPA President Bob Hance credits Bob Rosensteel for spearheading the food bank initiative that required change boxes for donations to be installed in local businesses.

"Generating $5,000 plus from change in this economy was a major accomplishment, thanks to Bob, the local businesses and the donors," Hance said.

The erection of two new Civil War signs that point visitors to town marked another important accomplishment for 2009, former EBPA President Libby Briggs said. Dee Connolly led the yearlong effort.

Emmitsburg 's Civil War history has been ignored for too long, Briggs said.

"When the signs went up, all of a sudden people began to come into the shops," Briggs said. "Bringing people into town, allowing them to experience the history as well as our nice town, I think is a gift."

Hance credits Conrad Weaver for developing the association's website (, and Glenn Higgs for leading the Toys for Kids project.

The Seton Center received donated toys but needed assistance wrapping and delivering them.

"We went through all of the toys and wrapped them at the fire company," Hance said. "Glen found out that the Catoctin Pregnancy Center could help us distribute the toys, so the toys will be processed throughout the year by the EBPA and sent to the center."

The EBPA worked to improve communication between business and government.

"And that has happened," Hance said. "Together we can accomplish a lot more than trying to fight town hall."

The association's Extraordinary Community Service Award went to Don and Libby Briggs, and the Business Improvement Award went to W.S. Drywall for refurbishing the fa?ade of a historic building at their recent annual awards night.

"Don and Libby Briggs have made not only Emmitsburg a better place, but have improved all of our lives, directly and indirectly," said Thomas Powell, president of Mount St. Mary's University.

"Don and Libby, in my opinion, are pretty much a part of anything positive in this community," Hance said.


A Main Street focus for 2010

The EBPA has been laying the groundwork for a Main Street program. The association will make that effort a priority in 2010, Hance said.

Main Street designation enables grants and low-interest business loans for startups or business improvement, Hance said.

"It opens up opportunities for small business and in this economy, small business can use all the help it can get," Hance said. "That will be our main project starting the new year along with the continuation of other projects."

The EBPA's business-to-business networking is big, Hance said.

"I know personally that our networking events have been helpful to me running my business," Hance said. "It's paid off. It makes you think where you can get a product or service locally before going to buy anything from the big-box stores."

The EBPA's involvement with Mount St. Mary's University and the Federal Emergency Management Agency is important, Hance said.

"At times, Emmitsburg seems to be three different things: the town, Mount St. Mary's University and FEMA, but to bring all three together is a recipe for success," Hance said.

EBPA's 2009 accomplishments

n Raised more than $5,000 for the local food bank through its Change for Food Program

n Developed welcome brochures and a website,

n Took on a Toys for Kids program with the Seton Center

n Installed new Civil War directional signs

n Improved communications with local government

n Erected a Christmas tree at the town center with the fire department's assistance

Maple Leaf Saddlery & Apparel PDF Print E-mail
Maple Leaf carries a variety of fox hunting and horse-related items. The inventory includes Western and English riding coats and breeches, bridle, bits, boots, hats by Stetson and Resistol, international helmets, horse blankets, saddle bags and Holdup suspenders. "I clean and shape western hats and also carry kids' lines." Mariah Neff, Maple Leaf Saddlery & Apparel.
(Get the full story at Frederick News Post On-line)

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