September 2009

Allow me to introduce myself. I am the Dublin (OH) Convention & Visitors Bureau’s new SMERF Sales and Marketing Manager.  I am a SMERF.  A what? Leatherlips Dublin OHA Smert? A Merf? A little blue creature that ran around in a forest during the 1980’s a.k.a Smurf?  Well since I spawned from the 80’s, I might be that too … but my title encompasses all that’s green instead of blue.

SMERF is a tourism industry term that stands for Social, Military, Educational, Religious and Fraternal. So if your organization falls under any of those categories, you may be working with me.

I just began my position at the Dublin Convention and Visitors Bureau about two weeks ago and I’ve been soaking up every bit o’ Irish knowledge. Since I need to be an expert about this city, I’ve been exploring all of its opportunities.

My travels have  included viewing the Dublin Arts Council’s Art in Public Places.  I never knew corn on the cob could look so cool!  Malcom Cochran, an Ohio artist, commemorated Dublin’s history as a farming community by creating a field of 109 human-sized ears of corn. The Field of Corn (with Osage Orange Trees) even has a parking area so you can get out of your car and strike a pose with your favorite cob.

One of my favorite sites is Scioto Park. A 12-foot high sculpture of Chief Leatherlips watches over the park’s sprawling hill that rolls towards the river. There’s an outdoor stage that’s ready for summer concerts and shelter houses that are perfect for get-togethers.

Seeing the Dublin sites has been very informative, but most of my time is spent in Historic Dublin’s BriHi District … in an office.  It has proven to be a wonderful place to work. The CVB office bustles above the Visitor Information Center that we keep freshly stocked with area maps, brochures and tourist information. The welcoming environment and friendly co-workers has made my huge transition much easier.

So has TehKu Tea Company, located right down the street.  I’m a sucker for the restaurant’s tea of the day and organic food selections. It has inspired me to get my own tea press. I’m also inspired to adopt-a-lion from the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium, after I had a meeting there. We’ll see what happens first.

Since mid-August I’ve been living in Dublin. Now that I’m working for Dublin I’m immersed in learning about the events, hotels, history and beauty. As a former Ohio State Buckeye, I feel like I’m having a love affair between these two areas. What can I say? Irish is an attitude and Dublin, Ohio is stealing my heart.

-Post by Allison

If you are like us, you never missed an OSU Buckeye Football Saturday prior to having children. You’ve been waiting for years for your kids to be old enough to sit through (most of) the game — and now that time has arrived!  My husband and son enjoyed attending the game last week—so we thought we’d share a few tips for going to the game with kids. 

Get a good night’s sleep before the big game.  A well rested child is a happy child–and one who is willing to climb to “C” deck!  If you are coming to Columbus from out of town, consider staying at one of our 15 hotels in Dublin. It’s quieter than staying on campus and we’re only 15-20 minutes away from the stadium. (Plus, rates are great this time of year!) Dublin has 100+ restaurants—offering plenty of options for a quick bite before the game or a leisurely dinner afterwards … without the lines and the wait.

Arrive early on campus.  We like to park at the Gateway garage and take the shuttle which drops you close to the stadium.  Head over to St. John’s Arena and watch the “Skull” session (OSU Marching Band practice) or see the cheerleaders and Brutus Buckeye warming up the crowd in the grass area.  It’s a great place to have your photo taken with them!

Line up on the sidewalk to watch the band march through into the stadium past the Jesse Owens Memorial—but be prepared for the scramble that follows as everyone hurries to their gate.  Remember that even numbered gates are on the east side and odd numbers are on the west. (You don’t have to enter at the exact gate number of your ticket.) Have your tickets out and your bag ready to be searched—just to help make the lines go quickly.   

Purchase your treats and head to your seats! If your little one’s attention wanes between plays—you can play a game of “I Spy” by challenging them to look for the “hidden” cameramen taking video in the scoreboard, the State of Ohio flag or Brutus in the stadium.  It’s like a huge, live game of “Where’s Waldo?”

As you are leaving the stadium, don’t miss the Victory Bell ringing (on the East side near the “open” end).  Grab your shuttle which will drop you off right at Gateway and Long’s (Barnes and Noble) bookstore so you can buy a momento to always remember that first Buckeye Game with your child. Have fun and Go Bucks!

-Post by Katie

Exciting news …  Dublin’s 2010 Canadian-American Police-Fire Games has just been named to the American Bus Association’s  list of “Top 100 Events 2010 Can-Am Police-Fire Gamesin North America for 2010.”  The event will be held August 15-22 here in Dublin, Ohio.

The Dublin Convention & Visitors Bureau partnered with the City of Dublin to secure the international event that will generate an economic impact of more than $3.5 million to the local economy, attract more than 2,500 attendees from across North America and generate an estimated 4,400 room nights for Dublin’s hotels. The week-long, Olympic-type competition among police officers and fire fighters will include 50-70 events, such as basketball, weight lifting, K-9 Police, track and field, toughest firefighter, cycling, etc. The competitions will be held at various locations across central Ohio with the event’s headquarters and accommodations for participants in Dublin.

ABA’s 2010 Top 100 Events Selection Committee selected the 2010 Can-Am Police-Fire Games from among hundreds of U.S. and Canadian events nominated by state and provincial tourism offices and convention and visitors bureaus. Judges considered the events’ broad appeal, its accessibility to motorcoaches and a variety of other relevant criteria.  Go here for more information about the 2010 event. For the ABA’s 2010 List of Top 100 Events in North America, go here.

Whew … things are really happening around here! From the pre-planning excitement of Dublin’s 2010 Canadian-American Police-Fire Games to following developing news of the city’s hottest restaurants/shopping AND putting together upcoming getaway deals, the Dublin CVB staff has been busy. Want to keep up with us? We’d love it if you’d join one of our social networks so we can keep you in the loop (and treat you like a VIP). In fact, we’re going to sweeten the deal.

Follow us on one or more of these Social Media sites listed below (before 9/21) and you’ll be automatically entered in our contest to win a $40 Gift Certificate from J. Liu Restaurant in Historic Dublin, Ohio!  (You know you’re craving some of their famous Phad Thai!)  Best of all … the more places you follow us—the more chances you have to win. Winner will be notified by email on Monday, September 21, 2009.

It’s easy to enter. (Pick one or more …)

1) Follow us on Twitter (or Tweet a message with @dublincvb in it—if you’re already a member)

2) Become one of our Facebook Fans

3) Leave a comment here on our Blog.

4) Or join our Destination Dublin e-Travel Club

See you around!!

-Post by Mary