Travel: Doing Business at the Baltimore Harbor 
By: ellis j. still


Baltimore harbor has a history of being a destination place for vacationers from near and far. When I think about the harbor, I think about the back in the day spur of the moment road trips from Philadelphia, PA to the harbor, the nearby African American Wax Museum, countless all you can eat seafood bus rides, Phillips Restaurant, and the Fudgery experience inside the waterfront mall. But now I also know the Baltimore harbor as an efficient corporate center with a comforting atmosphere in which to meet with clients and do business.

Recently I hung out with my wife, Tina, for a few days at the Baltimore Harbor in Baltimore, MD. She attended a conference, and I had the opportunity to tag along, taking my office with me. We had been talking about taking a road trip to the waterfront for some time, and this provided us with an opportunity.

We stayed at the Marriott Hotel, which is within a series of newer corporate hotel developments that overlooks the water. The rooms were average, but the common spaces were exquisite. The combination of brown tones and marble surfaces provided for a rich feeling… almost like royalty. You can tell that the hotel decided to focus on the experiences outside of the guest rooms – since it is a conference center hotel, most of the guests’ time would be spent in the common/conference areas. However, the view from our room was astonishing, and I spent my days in my room working and conducting business while overlooking the Baltimore Harbor.

A leading positive aspect of the harbor is that it is very walkable, and on the harbor, there are many restaurants to choose from. Most are fine dining which was great, but if you just wanted a quick burger or sandwich, you would be hard pressed to find one. We went out to eat with Tina’s company’s vice president and director of customer service one evening, and the service, presentation and food was first-rate. There are normally attractions to choose from on the harbor, but due to it being a work day, many were closed at the time that we were in town.

The retail mall on the Harbor seems to be suffering as a result of the surrounding and growing new development. The first thing that we did when we got into town was eat at Phillips restaurant, and while we were there, we noticed that the Fudgery, a long time staple in the harbor mall, was active as well. But I also noticed many vacancies in the mall, including more than half of the food court.

I think that it is good that the new development has brought in an infusion of fine dining and corporate experiences. Yet also, I think that more has to be done to foster an inviting atmosphere towards non-corporate patrons. Care has to be taken that the area has a mixed clientele in order to thrive for the long haul. Homogeneous urban planning can kill a place, but well balanced and thoughtful planning will allow it to thrive for everyone. Here are five reasons to spend some time at Baltimore Harbor:

  1. You can impress your clients
  2. The food is great
  3. You can go on a boat ride on your lunch break
  4. A great serene atmosphere in an urban environment (no… the two are not antonyms)
  5. You really need to get out of the office

Question: What are you doing to improve the mental health of your business? If you are an author, what are you doing to recharge your writing?

© 2010, Ellis J. Still. All rights reserved 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255


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