Dewey Beach and Coastal Southern Delaware

June 6–9, 2021

Discounted hotel rooms available to members nights of June 9 through June 13 (inclusive).

Southern Delaware’s 26 miles of Atlantic Ocean coastline and numerous bays and waterways offer visitors opportunities to relax on our beaches and enjoy boating, fishing, paddling and countless other water sports. Sussex County is also home to 25 charming and historic seaside, rural, and riverside towns and shipbuilding villages as well as five popular and scenic state parks. The county is laced with beautiful biking and hiking trails that wind through historic towns, coastal marshes, and forest, farmland, and even cypress wetlands.

Ours is a year-round destination. Billed the Culinary Coast, Southern Delaware has developed into a foodie mecca thanks to our close-knit, vibrant and dynamic restaurant community; deep agricultural roots; local aquaculture industry; and our breweries, wineries and distilleries. Tax-free shopping makes our downtown boutiques, outlet stores, and many antique and vintage shops “must-do’s.” Over two dozen museums depict our history from before the time of European settlement, and our vibrant arts and entertainment community provides rich, diverse offerings in the visual and performing arts.

Southern Delaware is easily accessible via I-95 and Route 1 South. Our beaches are just over an hour’s drive south from Amtrak’s Wilmington station and a two-hour drive from either Baltimore-Washington International Airport (BWI) or the Philadelphia International Airport (PHL).

www.visitsoutherndelaware.com

Visit Southern Delaware COVID information

Safe Travel in Southern Delaware (video)

Hotel

Hyatt Place Dewey Beach

Located footsteps from Rehoboth Bay and one block from the Atlantic Ocean, the Hyatt Place Dewey Beach offers guests a new “Way of Life.” Hyatt Place is designed for the 24/7 lifestyle of a multi-tasker, perfectly blending style and comfort. The 140 guest rooms at this Dewey Beach hotel are decorated in coastal style with nautical décor, and the expansive new deck right on the bay beach provides outdoor dining and seating along with dramatic sunset views. The hotel’s attached Lighthouse Cove Event Center features bright, airy spaces for meeting and dining—all with a waterfront view.

Hotel Info

Hyatt’s COVID Cleaning and Safety Procedures

Hyatt’s COVID Safety Procedures (Video)

Rates

Core Meeting

June 6–9, 2021

Registration Fee, All Members: $70
Includes conference events and most meals

Hotel Rate, All Members: $149 per night plus tax*
Includes complimentary breakfast, Wi-Fi and parking for one car; there is no resort fee

One-day meeting fee: $125 (June 7)
Includes Marketplace, lunch and professional development

Post-Meeting Hotel Extension

June 9, 10
Rate is $209 per night plus tax (includes complimentary breakfast, Wi-Fi and parking for one car; there is no resort fee) based on availability.

June 11, 12 and 13
Rate is $309 per night plus tax (includes complimentary breakfast, Wi-Fi and parking for one car; there is no resort fee) based on availability.

*All conference attendees must stay in conference hotel, with the exception of one-day meeting attendees.

Inclusions

The following events, meals and admissions will be available to each member registered for the entire chapter meeting.*

  • Welcome Reception with beer, wine and heavy hors d’oeuvres at Hyatt Place Dewey Beach on the evening of June 6
  • Breakfast on own at Hyatt Place Dewey Beach on June 7, 8 and 9 (included in room price for members and guests). Food options include individually wrapped, pre-packaged breakfast items such as fresh fruit, yogurt and more.
  • SATW lunch on June 7 as part of meeting
  • Restaurant gift cards to cover other meals not included as part of the meeting events.
    • The Starboard ($25)
    • SoDel Concepts restaurants ($50)**
    • La Vida Hospitality ($25)**
  • One attraction pass or other method for member to gain complimentary access to area attractions
  • Half-day bike rental for member
  • Closing Reception on June 8 at Hyatt Place Dewey Beach with beer, wine and light hors d’oeuvres

*Note that guests do not attend SATW events or receive complimentary admission or meals beyond those that are included in the room fee for any hotel guest.

**Gift certificates for SoDel may be used at any SoDel restaurant. Gift certificates for La Vida Hospitality may be used at Crooked Hammock, Fork & Flask, or Big Chill Beach Club.

Schedule

SATW Welcome Reception with beer, wine and heavy hors d’oeuvres at Hyatt Place Dewey Beach (members only)

Sunday, June 6
10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Arrival and registration at Hyatt Place Dewey Beach
12:00– 5:00 p.m. Self-guided tours of area
6:00–8:30 p.m. Welcome Reception at Hyatt Place Dewey Beach

Monday, June 7
7:30–8:30 a.m. Breakfast on own at Hyatt Place Dewey Beach
7:30–8:30 a.m. Registration continues / Marketplace setup
8:45–10:00 a.m. Marketplace
10:15–11:00 a.m. Keynote speech (live)
11:15 a.m. –12:15 p.m. First Professional Development Session
12:30–1:45 p.m. Lunch provided by Hyatt Place Dewey Beach (members only)
2:00–5:00 p.m. Professional development sessions
Evening Touring and dinner on own using provided gift cards

Tuesday, June 8
7:30–8:30 a.m. Breakfast on own at Hyatt Place Dewey Beach
8:30 a.m.–6:00 p.m. Touring on own
6:30–7:30 p.m. SATW Closing Reception at Hyatt Place Dewey Beach (members only)
Evening Dinner on own using gift cards

Wednesday, June 9
7:30–8:30 a.m. Breakfast on own at Hyatt Place Dewey Beach
All day Touring on own
All day Departures

Times subject to change

Professional Development

Keynote Address

(in person)

Pitch to Payment at Roadtrippers: Successful Storytelling and Travel Trends

Our keynote speaker will take you on a backstage tour of the editorial process at these thriving online travel brands. She’ll share actionable tips for successful pitching for both Actives and Associates, as well as some pet peeves that her editorial team would prefer you avoid. Stephanie will talk about the types of stories that are trending during the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the content her team believes will engage travelers through 2021 and beyond.

 

Stephanie Puglisi

Head of content for Roadtrippers and Togo RV

Stephanie Puglisi is the head of content for Roadtrippers and Togo RV and co-host of The RV Atlas podcast. She has authored the bestselling See You at the Campground: A Guide to Discovering Community, Connection, and a Happier Family in the Great Outdoors and Where Should We Camp Next: A 50 State Guide to Amazing Campgrounds and Other Unique Outdoor Accommodations. Puglisi squeezes in as much travel as possible—in between baseball tournaments and band camps—with her husband and three ‘energetic’ sons.

Panel Discussion: Perspectives on The Culinary Coast from Local Experts

Southern Delaware is known as The Culinary Coast™ because of its incredible concentration of top-notch establishments for dining and spirits (including several helmed by James Beard Semifinalists and Winners) and its wide variety of fresh, local cuisine. While it may appear to visiting beachgoers that Sussex County’s #1 industry is sunshine and surf, in reality agriculture is the area’s biggest economic driver, which means local restaurants serve up delicious dishes made with the freshest possible ingredients. Southern Delaware is also home to a thriving aquaculture community, and in many local restaurants you’ll be served delicious oysters grown here in the back bays. The area also boasts two wineries, more than a dozen renowned breweries and distilleries, and even a meadery.

We will hear from local restaurant owners and chefs about why and how Delaware has become such a foodie paradise as well as what’s new and upcoming. In addition, a representative of Southern Delaware Tourism will talk about how they’ve been marketing the culinary scene—a truly extraordinary one for a beach resort area—to the media and the public.

Moderator

Pam George
Freelance Writer

Pam George writes the column Culinary Coast for Delaware Beach Life magazine. She also writes about food and the coastal dining scene for Delaware Today. She is the author of “First State Plates: Iconic Delaware Restaurants and Recipes,” and has a Facebook food blog called Small Wonder, Big Bites. She divides her time between Wilmington and Lewes, Delaware.

Panelist

Lana O’Hollaren
Marketing Manager for Southern Delaware Tourism

The Culinary Coast™ initiative was begun more than a decade ago by Scott Thomas, Executive Director of Southern Delaware Tourism (SDT), and Lana O’Hollaren. The branding and messaging were used initially as part of an ad campaign to promote the area as a food destination due to its incredible concentration of top-notch chefs and restaurants. In 2019, SDT expanded the Culinary Coast initiative to include a comprehensive PR campaign, with O’Hollaren coordinating the efforts of an outside PR agency and connecting restaurants, chefs and producers to the agency and its travel writers. She is on the board of directors for Meals on Wheels Lewes-Rehoboth and has been active on several Delaware boards, including serving as board chair for the Rehoboth-Dewey Chamber of Commerce and Southern Delaware Tourism. O’Hollaren previously worked as a senior account executive in tourism for ab+c Creative Intelligence in Wilmington, Delaware, and as the marketing manager for Rehoboth Outlets

Panelist

Scott Kammerer
President of SoDel Concepts

Scott Kammerer oversees SoDel Concepts’ 12 coastal Delaware restaurants, catering company, hospitality consulting firm, hospitality management company, and wedding and event venue. Collectively, these ventures employ 700 full- and part-time employees year-round and more than 1500 in the summer season. Kammerer’s numerous awards include the Superstar in Business Award from the Delaware State Chamber of Commerce and the Delaware Restaurant Association’s Cornerstone Award for Lifetime Achievement. In 2015, he founded the nonprofit SoDel Cares to honor the memory of SoDel founder Matt Haley. The nonprofit has since donated more than $700,000 in grants to local organizations that assist children, at risk youth and adults, and the elderly.

Panelist

Susan Ryan
Founder and owner of Good Earth Market, Farm & Restaurant

In 2004, Susan Ryan established Good Earth Market, Farm & Restaurant in Ocean View, the second USDA-certified organic farm in the state. Ryan is an advocate of all things natural and remains committed to the U.S. national organic program. In 2012, Good Earth Market & Organic Farm was named the Business of the Year by The Center for the Inland Bays. The restaurant serves brunch and dinner daily and boasts an abundance of outdoor space, including a covered patio. Ryan welcomes guests to several cottages on the farm available for overnight rentals and hosts farm weddings as well. Good Earth Market has hosted numerous fundraisers throughout the years, raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for community projects, most notably the Delaware Botanic Gardens.

Panelist

Joshua Grapski
Managing Partner of La Vida Hospitality

Josh Grapski has more than 25 years of restaurant experience, from dishwasher to business owner. He is a graduate of Cornell University’s School of Hotel Administration and the Philadelphia Restaurant School. After opening and running successful restaurants elsewhere in the country, Grapski moved to Southern Delaware in 2005 to enjoy the small-town beach life. His first area eatery was Nage Restaurant. His hospitality holdings in Southern Delaware now include Big Chill Surf Cantina, Taco Reho Food Truck, Crooked Hammock Brewery (with locations outside Sussex County as well) and Big Chill Beach Club. He also holds interests in and advises area restaurants a(muse)., Grandpa Mac, and Lefty’s Alley & Eats, and owns Nage in Washington, D.C. La Vida Hospitality is the umbrella company for his Mid-Atlantic hospitality businesses.

Birds, Boats, Bikes & Beers: Celebrating Southern Delaware’s Watchable Wildlife

Many East Coast vacationers are familiar with Southern Delaware’s fabulous coastal resorts, white sandy beaches and clean waters for swimming (as well as the Atlantic Bottlenose dolphins in abundance spring through fall), but there are also a multitude of experiences that make travel here rewarding and enriching for the outdoor enthusiast year-round.

Jim Rapp of Delmarva Birding Weekends will take you on a virtual tour of the wildlife and ecosystems that can be found just minutes away from the Delaware beaches. Each season brings different birds and animals: migrating shorebirds gorging on horseshoe crab eggs in late spring, summer songbirds nesting in Trap Pond State Park’s bald cypress swamp, a variety of birds migrating through parks and national wildlife refuges in the fall, and waterfowl—and seals!—wintering in Delaware Bay. You can experience these natural spectacles while hiking, kayaking, boating and biking, and end your day at the fantastic restaurants and breweries along the Culinary Coast.

Following the formal presentation, SATW members will break up into smaller groups for guided outdoor excursions. The four options will include biking the Gordons Pond Trail along a 900-acre saltwater lagoon, easy hiking and guided birdwatching in Prime Hook National Wildlife Refuge with speaker Jim Rapp, a narrated ecotour on the Cape Water Taxi, and kayaking on Rehoboth Bay or the Broadkill River with Delmarva Board Sports.

 

Jim Rapp

Owner & Guide, Delmarva Birding Weekends

Jim Rapp owns and operates Delmarva Birding Weekends (DBW), a birding outfitter company that provides year-round wildlife watching events and private tours on the Delmarva Peninsula. Jim helped found DBW in 1995 as a way to showcase the amazing birding experiences in Delaware and the Eastern Shores of Maryland and Virginia.

Jim also serves as director of the Hazel Outdoor Discovery Center in Eden, Maryland. Prior to holding this position, he was the director of the Salisbury (MD) Zoo and director of Delmarva Low Impact Tourism Experiences, a business-sponsored nature tourism outfit created to entice tourists with biking, paddling and birding trails.

Do Dogfish Have Tentacles? Dogfish Head and Its Impact on DelMarVa

Dogfish Head Craft Brewery was the first craft brewery in the First State, and since its humble beginnings in 1995 has grown to become a sought-after beer nationwide. Dogfish has also not only grown as a brewery, but the company now includes a distillery alongside its production brewery in Milton, Delaware, two restaurants in Rehoboth Beach and a base camp for adventure with its Dogfish Inn located in Lewes. Dogfish Head “off-centered” brews are favorites of craft beer lovers across the nation, and its unconventional brewing methods are among the most watched and well-respected brewing houses in the country. Dogfish Head founder Sam Calagione is equally well-known and respected for his personable ways and his business smarts. He is a James Beard Award Winner, the author of several books, and has been featured in hundreds of articles.

The location in southern Delaware of Dogfish Head Brewery (open for tours and tastings) as well as Dogfish Head’s other area properties attracts thousands of visitors to the area annually, and its philanthropic branch, Beer & Benevolence, has supports hundreds of nonprofits across the region and donates hundreds of thousands of dollars to support communities across the state.

Dogfish Head’s Mark Carter will share stories of Dogfish Head’s history, why its founder Sam Calagione and the entire company is enamored with coastal Delaware, and how Dogfish Head believes in thinking globally and acting locally.

 

Mark Carter

Director of Beer & Benevolence for Dogfish Head

A native of Delaware, Mark Carter was raised on a farm in southern Kent County. He obtained a B.A. in History from the Virginia Military Institute and was commissioned an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps. During his eight years in the military, he served as a Public Affairs Officer in duty stations in Virginia and Arizona as well as deploying to eastern Europe as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. He returned to his native state and worked as a kayak guide and instructor in coastal Delaware before stumbling into Dogfish Head Craft Brewery and his current role as Director of Beer & Benevolence (Dogfish Head’s community engagement & philanthropic program). He currently resides in Milton, Delaware, with his partner, Sara, their children, and a handful of free-range backyard chickens.