A Week In Business – January 19, 2024

Hotel Renaming

OCEAN CITY – Blue Water, a leader in hospitality, is proud to unveil its plans for the transformation of its iconic property, the Atlantic Oceanfront Inn in Ocean City.

The inn, now named the SeaLoft Oceanfront Hotel, is set to emerge as a premier destination following an extensive multi-million-dollar renovation.

The SeaLoft Oceanfront Hotel, a 60-room property along the Atlantic coastline, will feature a mix of full ocean-view rooms and partial-view accommodations. This transformation promises to redefine hospitality for Ocean City vacationers by incorporating Blue Water’s standards for luxury and comfort.

“We are thrilled to announce the transformation of the Atlantic Oceanfront Inn into the SeaLoft Oceanfront Hotel,” said Blue Water President Jack Burbage. “This project, backed by a multi-million-dollar investment, reflects our commitment to delivering unparalleled experiences to our guests. The SeaLoft Oceanfront Hotel not only represents a significant upgrade in our offerings but also signifies our dedication to innovation, quality, and the continued growth of Blue Water in the hospitality industry.”

Blue Water purchased the 58-year-old property in early 2018 and implemented some immediate upgrades. The renovation of the original resort involves a complete overhaul to enhance every aspect of the property creating a retro beach vibe throughout. Sleeping room updates include updated private balcony experience, new 55-inch TV to stream or cast your favorites, microwave and apartment-sized refrigerator, BRU-pod Cuisinart coffeemaker with local coffee from Rise Up, enhanced WiFi, upgraded linens and bath amenities featuring Paya-branded products and much more. The SeaLoft Oceanfront Hotel will showcase modern aesthetics, cutting-edge technology, and a welcoming ambiance, capturing the essence of coastal living.

A distinctive feature of the SeaLoft Oceanfront Hotel is the opportunity for guests to share amenities with nearby Aloft Ocean City, another Blue Water hotel property. This collaboration offers a range of experiences, including capturing selfie moments against the Ocean City-themed mural, enjoying the seasonal outdoor pool, exploring Ocean City with onsite bicycle rentals, complimentary beach chairs, a dedicated space for lawn games, and a lobby market with a selection of soft drinks, snacks, and merchandise.

The grand opening of SeaLoft Oceanfront Hotel is anticipated in early summer 2024, with reservations now open via phone at 410-289-6424 and online in early January 2024.


Casino Revenues

BERLIN – Maryland’s six casinos combined to generate $165,629,163 in revenue from slot machines and table games during December 2023, an increase of $454,064 (0.3%) compared to December 2022.

Casino gaming contributions to the state in December 2023 totaled $70,195,007, an increase of $508,501 (0.7%) compared to December 2022.

Contributions to the Education Trust Fund in December 2023 totaled $50,660,551, up $2,141 compared to December 2022. Casino gaming revenues also support the communities and jurisdictions where the casinos are located, Maryland’s horse racing industry, and small, minority- and women-owned businesses.

Maryland’s six privately owned casinos offer both slot machines and table games: MGM National Harbor in Prince George’s County; Live! Casino & Hotel in Anne Arundel County; Horseshoe Casino Baltimore in Baltimore City; Ocean Downs Casino in Worcester County; Hollywood Casino Perryville in Cecil County; and Rocky Gap Casino Resort in Allegany County.

The gaming revenue totals for December 2023 are as follows:

MGM National Harbor (2,266 slot machines, 207 table games), $70,838,343 in December 2023, an increase of $1,466,371 (2.1%) from December 2022.

Live! Casino & Hotel (3,849 slot machines, 179 table games), $60,568,027 in December 2023, an increase of $902,873 (1.5%) from December 2022.

Horseshoe Casino (1,401 slot machines, 122 table games), $15,195,309 in December 2023, a decrease of $1,614,583 (-9.6%) from December 2022.

Ocean Downs Casino (845 slot machines, 19 table games), $7,007,033 in December 2023, a decrease of $195,623 (-2.7%) from December 2022.

Hollywood Casino (709 slot machines, 22 table games), $7,593,575 in December 2023, an increase of $291,723 (4.0%) from December 2022.

Rocky Gap Casino (616 slot machines, 16 table games), $4,426,876 in December 2023, a decrease of $396,697 (-8.2%) from December 2022.


Preserve Rebranding

FRANKFORD – After years of dedicated commitment to wildlife education and conservation with our sister park in Louisiana, Barn Hill Preserve is thrilled to announce its rebrand to Coastal Wilds.

This exciting transformation better reflects our park’s individual identity, local community, and growth over the last few seasons.

Coastal Wilds, formerly known as Barn Hill Preserve, has been a home for over 35 diverse species of animals, including otters, two-toed sloths, red kangaroos, and many more. As we step into this new chapter with the name Coastal Wilds, we remain devoted to providing enriching educational experiences that inspire a passion for wildlife conservation.

Visitors to Coastal Wilds can look forward to hands-on and up-close encounters with our animal ambassadors, creating memorable moments while our knowledgeable educators share insights about each species. Our mission is to not only showcase the beauty of these incredible creatures but also to instill a sense of responsibility and empowerment in our guests to make a positive impact on the environment.

In addition to our Otter Swims and Encounter Tours, Coastal Wilds offers unique seasonal events and tailor-made programs for schools all over the East Coast. Our educational initiatives aim to cultivate a passion for wildlife in future generations, making sure they are equipped with the knowledge and motivation to protect our planet’s biodiversity.


Leadership Changes

SALISBURY – Perdue Farms, a fourth-generation, family-owned U.S. food and agricultural products company, today announced senior leadership changes that underscore the company’s commitment to supply chain and operations optimization, talent acquisition and profitable growth.


Gregg Uecker

Gregg Uecker has joined Perdue Foods in the newly created position of chief supply chain and operations officer. He has responsibility for the entire Perdue Foods supply chain, including live production, plant operations, transportation and warehousing, order fulfillment, customer service, food safety and quality assurance, procurement, and engineering.

“Gregg’s depth of experience and understanding of operations and supply chain agility will help optimize our supply chain efficiencies to meet and exceed the unique needs of our customers and consumers, and drive sustainable growth for the company,” said Kevin McAdams, CEO of Perdue Farms.

Uecker comes to Perdue from CJ Schwan’s, where he was executive vice president of global supply chain. Prior to that, he spent more than 30 years with Tyson Foods in key senior leadership roles such as senior vice president of operations and supply chain for prepared foods, SVP of supply chain strategy, SVP/general manager of processed meats, SVP/general manager of animal feed and ingredients and VP of operations.

Julie Katigan has been promoted to executive vice president and chief human resources officer for Perdue


Julie Katigan

Farms. She will oversee all aspects of Perdue Farms’ people strategies that engage and develop talent, shape culture, and focus on associate well-being through active talent management, organization development, diversity and inclusion and total rewards.

Katigan joined Perdue Foods in May 2022 as SVP of human resources. Prior to joining Perdue, Katigan was chief human resources officer for James Hardie Building Products. She has also held senior-level leadership roles of increasing responsibility at global business until and function levels with such companies as Colfax Corporation, Electrolux, Mead Johnson Nutrition and Ford Motor Company.

“Our associates are the backbone of our company and Julie’s vision and expertise will be invaluable as we continue to provide a positive experience in a safe, inclusive and supportive environment,” said McAdams.