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County Commissioners Announce Special Public Hearing – June 28, 2022

Garrett County Government

County Commissioners Announce Special Public Hearing – June 28, 2022
Last Updated on Jun 14, 2022 at 12:40pm | Board of Commissioners
PUBLIC NOTICE

The Board of Garrett County Commissioners will conduct a Public Hearing on Tuesday, June 28, 2022, at 3:00 p.m. in the Commissioner’s Meeting Room, Room 209, 203 South Fourth Street, Courthouse, Oakland, Maryland. The purpose of the meeting is to review and take public comment on the following ordinance(s):

GARRETT COUNTY FIRE MARSHAL
Draft Ordinance – Garrett County Fire Marshal
AN ACT CONCERNING the Garrett County Fire Marshal FOR THE PURPOSE of authorizing the appointment of a Fire Marshal for Garrett County, Maryland; establishing the scope of the duties as well as the administration and implementation of the Office of the Fire Marshall for Garrett County, Maryland, and authorizing the Office of Fire Marshal to investigate the origin, cause and circumstances of fires, explosions, and hazardous materials emergencies in Garrett County.

GARRETT COUNTY POLICE ACCOUNTABILITY BOARD
Draft Ordinance – Garrett Count y Police Accountability Board
AN ACT CONCERNING the Garrett County Police Accountability Board FOR THE PURPOSE of establishing a Police Accountability Board for Garrett County, Maryland; establishing the scope of the duties as well as the administration and implementation of the Garrett County Police Accountability Board and authorizing the Garrett County Police Accountability Board to work with law enforcement agencies and the county government to improve matters of policing in Garrett County.

BUILDING REGULATIONS
Draft Ordinance – Building Regulations
AN ACT CONCERNING the Garrett County Fire Prevention Code; FOR THE PURPOSE of adopting and implementing a Fire Prevention Code for Garrett County, Maryland; providing for the scope, administration, and implementation thereof; providing for inspection and other fees; providing for protection against fires and the removal of fire hazards; providing for appointment of inspectors to enforce the Fire Prevention Code and establishing penalties for violations thereof.

Maryland’s “Ag Tag”: Over 20 Years of Supporting Ag Education

Maryland Department of Agriculture

The “Ag Tag” has been on our Maryland highways since 2001. Today, I would like to take a moment to celebrate this bright orange license plate that reminds us all of the importance of our great farmers. Created by the Maryland Agricultural Education Foundation (MAEF) as a tool to raise funds for the nonprofit, the Ag Tag has succeeded wonderfully. The tags, which cost an extra $10 for motor vehicle owners, have raised more than $12 million in 21 years. You’ll see Ag Tags with everything from “MDA 1,” “YO SOY,” “AG TERP,” to “VINEGIRL” and “FRMCHIC”. All proud Marylanders who want to support our farmers and celebrate agriculture.

The Ag Tag funds support K-12 and post-secondary opportunities to increase agricultural education and literacy, including MAEF’s Mobile Science Labs, professional development programs for teachers, ag literacy book programs, & “Lab in a Box”; kits, garden grants, Maryland Future Farmers of America (FFA) and support for ag science teachers, and much much more.

MAEF was founded in 1989 by farmers and teachers with a goal of doing all they could to teach kids about agriculture. The organization has since taken off! MAEF celebrated 1 million students reached through elementary education programming in 2019, and kept right on going, even through the COVID- 19 pandemic, providing online resources through their website and social media, issuing grants for garden kits, offering Virtual Farm Field Trips, and reformatting Maryland FFA competitions to online platforms.

MAEF reaches Maryland children from Baltimore to Ocean City, from Dunkirk to Deep Creek Lake with learning experiences that explain where our food comes from and how farmers produce it. The organization’s three Mobile Science Labs offer 50-minute experiments that allow students to really dig into agriculture.

MAEF also offers classes for Maryland teachers that show them how to use agriculture to help young minds explore the world around them. The teachers are able to use agriculture as an experiential teaching tool for the state’s core curricula of science, social studies, life skills, mathematics and language arts, and craft their love for the Bay and nature.

The Ag Tag is succeeding for our state. It supports all of this and more. Ag students become better informed citizens who will shape our future with at least some knowledge of where their food comes from. As for me, I always have Ag Tags on my truck.

To learn more about MAEF or order your “Ag Tag” today, please visit : maefonline.com

Garrett County Gran Fondo

Gran fondo guide

The Garrett County Gran Fondo has a ride for everyone from the recreational cyclist to seasoned professionals with five supported ride options. The 125 mile “Diabolical Double Metric”, the 105 mile “Savage Century”, the 63 mile “Masochistic Metric”, and the 44 mile “Fabulous 44” all contain very steep and challenging hills. The “Garrett’s Greatest 25” includes hills but is appropriate for the recreational cyclist not desiring to undertake the more extreme Gran Fondo ride offerings.

7 separate timed KOM climbs encompass a total of 11.8 miles and 4400′ elevation gain.  A true climbing test!

The Garrett County Gran Fondo “Diabolical Double” was selected in 2009 by Rapha Continental as one of the top 25 Epic Rides in North America and riders unanimously agreed the ride ranked was “one of the most stunning and demanding rides of the summer”. At 125 miles and 16,500 feet of climbing, this ride is an extreme challenge on par with any single day ride in the world, including the European climbing classics such as Etape du Tour, la Marmotte, and the classic Italian Gran Fondos. Compact cranks or triples are very strongly encouraged.

The “Diabolical Double” – the feature event of the Garrett County Gran Fondo, the Diabolical Double is a true, extreme epic on par with European climbing classics such as Etape du Tour, la Marmotte, and the classic Italian Gran Fondos. At 125 miles and 16,500 feet of climbing, the Diabolical Double is an all-day affair that is an extreme challenge for even the most fit rider. Included in Rapha Continental’s 2009 tour of the Top 25 Epic Rides in North America, and called by the Rapha riders “one of the most demanding and stunning rides of the summer”, the Diabolical Double is destined to become a true North American cycling classic.

The “Savage Century” – at 105 miles and 12,700 feet of climbing, the Savage Century is a very challenging century ride in its own right despite playing second fiddle to the Diabolical Double. The Savage Century shares the first 59 miles and final 15 miles of the Diabolical Double route.

The “Masochistic Metric” – at 63 miles and 8000 feet of climbing, the Masochistic Metric can stake its claim as the toughest metric century route in North America. The Masochistic Metric shares the first 47 miles of the Diabolical Double and Savage Century routes and includes some of the most stunning rural scenery and vistas you are ever to encounter on a bike as well as the vast majority of the steepest climbs encountered in the Savage Century and Diabolical Double routes

The “Fabulous 44” – at 44 miles and 4800 feet of climbing, the “Fabulous 44” is an excellent option for anyone looking for a longer, more challenging ride than the “Garrett’s Greatest 25”, but is not ready to undertake the extreme challenge of the Masochistic Metric Century.

The “Garrett’s Greatest 25” – A beautiful 25 mile ride through the rolling Garrett County farmland with a challenging 3 mile climb to the finish atop Wisp Mountain.

espite the extreme nature of the some of the Garrett County Gran Fondo rides, there are no qualifying standard or time cutoff restrictions beyond event closure at dusk. The Gran Fondo rides include supply stations, tech/sag support and riders will be provided detailed cue sheets and elevation profiles. Even so, participants should prepare to be self-sufficient for up to 25 slow, hilly miles between checkpoints and supply stations.

To read the full article click here.

Tourism sees record increases in westernmost county

 Cumberland Times-News

MCHENRY — Deep Creek Lake and Garrett County saw record increases in tourism during 2021 with a 34.3% increase in county accommodations sales, an 8.1% increase in visitors to the Garrett County Chamber of Commerce website, a 56.8% increase in guests to the Visitors Center and a 45.7% increase in Garrett County Visitor Guide requests.

Due to lodging growth between 2017 and 2019, the chamber secured a 10.4% increase in state tourism marketing match grant funds for fiscal 2022.

“By utilizing innovative and strategic marketing strategies, Garrett County was able to avoid the fate of many tourism areas who saw drastic drops in tourism during the pandemic,” said Sarah Duck, vice president of tourism and marketing of the chamber. “We have confidence in our marketing strategies and these stats validate that our efforts are effective and yielding strong results for our community. However, as tourism begins to rebound across the country and the world, tourism advertising has become more competitive than ever, so we must continue to be inventive and deliberate in reaching our audience with the right message.”

To read the full article click here.

Lake Effect: Revisting the Genius Mountain Maryland Visit of Albert Einstein — From Allegany Magazine’s January 2022 edition

Allegany Magazine

Many people consider Albert Einstein the smartest man who ever lived. Yet when this man who knew almost everything needed to unwind one warm season during the war, the vacation spot he smartly chose was in the Mountains of Maryland — Deep Creek Lake to be more specific.

Einstein vacationed for two weeks in September 1946 at the lake. He was seeking a place where he could find escape from the unwanted media that wrote about how his theories had led to the creation of the atomic bomb. That giant brain needed a rest. Even people who are considered the smartest of all time get criticized, as it turns out.

And John Steiding – a resident of Midland here in Allegany County invited Einstein to take a vacation at the lake. Steiding was a chemist at the Celanese plant at the time and came to know Einstein through a co-worker’s wife, who was sculpting the great man’s bust.

“Einstein, who wasn’t very tall, found it uncomfortable to pose for the artwork since his feet would not touch the floor. Steiding, being a handyman, made a footstool for Einstein,” according to Francis Tam in an article called “Einstein in Western Maryland.”

Besides being able to relax out of the national spotlight for a while, Einstein was also able to have Dr. Frank Wilson examine him for an aneurysm of the aorta of the abdomen. And this news also could be kept from the prying public eyes – and a news media at the time that was looking for any reason at all to be critical of the man.

Einstein stayed at Dr. Wilson’s lake cottage, named the “Mar-Jo-Lodge” for two weeks. “He took daily walks along the lake, frequently stopping to chat with strangers who had no idea who he was. He was sometimes seen fishing and also bird-watching with binoculars. He never skipped a meal but was a light eater. He drank a lot of water and lemonade; his favorite vegetable was fresh corn-on-the-cob from Garrett County,” Tam wrote.

In particular, Einstein loved sailing, either with friends or alone.

“During one of his many hours spent on the lake with Steiding, Einstein remarked that ‘here you can get nearer to God,’” reported the Cumberland News.

Born in 1879, Einstein was a German theoretical physicist, widely credited to be one of the greatest physicists of all time. He is best known for developing the theory of relativity, but he also made important contributions to the development of the theory of quantum mechanics. Relativity and quantum mechanics are together the two pillars of modern physics. “E = mc2” — which arises from his relativity theory, has been dubbed “the world’s most famous equation.” Einstein received the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics “for his services to theoretical physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of the photoelectric effect.” a pivotal step in the development of quantum theory.

As word began to get out that the great Albert Einstein was vacationiong at Maryland’s “Best Kept Secret,” people began to look for him – hoping to run into the man, chat, take a photo or get an autograph. On these days, when he knew he was being sought after as a celebrity, Einstein sought solace on the water.

“People would realize that he wasn’t around, go searching for him, and find him in Harry Muma’s little sailboat, ‘single-handing,’ on the Turkey Neck inlet,” according to the Garrett County Historical Society’s “Deep Creek Lake, Past and Present.”

During a visit, Steiding’s brother Fred asked Einstein to explain his famous theory of relativity in layman’s terms.

“Put it this way,” reportedly said Einstein, “If you sit on a park bench with your sweetheart, an hour seems like a minute. If you sit on a hot stove by mistake, a minute seems like an hour.”

Einstein later said that his vacation at Deep Creek Lake was “one of the most restful and zestful vacations.”

When the vacation ended, Einstein showed himself to be a generous guest, giving Blair Thompson, who had attended him during the vacation, a $50 gratuity, which would equate to more than $1,000 today.

Following the vacation, he was back to work. In October of that year, he wrote that the United Nations should “form a world government that maintained peace under the threat of nuclear devastation,” according to Ze’ev Rosenkranz in “The Einstein Scrapbook.” Einstein also published his papers on his unified field theory in the 1950s.

On April 17 1955, Albert Einstein experienced internal bleeding caused by the rupture of an abdominal aortic aneurysm – the same one that caused him seek refuge in Garrett County nine years before. The condition had also been reinforced surgically by Dr. Rudolph Nissen in 1948. Einstein took the draft of a speech he was preparing for a television appearance commemorating the state of Israel’s seventh anniversary with him to the hospital, but he did not live to complete it.

Einstein refused surgery, saying, “I want to go when I want. It is tasteless to prolong life artificially. I have done my share; it is time to go. I will do it elegantly.” And so he did. Einstein died in Penn Medicine Princeton Medical Center on April 18, 1955 at the age of 76.

To the world, Einstein’s vacation at Deep Creek Lake remained a secret until a reporter with the Cumberland News interviewed Robbie Steiding – the son of John Stieding – and published the story of the visit in 1979.

Top 14 Deep Creek Lake Winter Activities For Non-Skiers

Taylor-Made Deep Creek Vacations & Sales Blog

t’s a common conundrum – what’s a non-skier to do when friends and family are hitting the slopes at Wisp Resort? Deep Creek Lake winter activities offers lots of options that can keep every member of your crew entertained. It’s a great way to enjoy a weekend getaway near Pittsburgh, Baltimore, or Washington, DC.

Here are just a few of our favorite Deep Creek Lake winter activities for the non-skiers staying at a Deep Creek Lake vacation rental:

Deep Creek Lake winter activities

Hiking at Swallow Falls State Park
Crisp white snow makes this beautiful place even more spectacular, and it’s definitely a must see throughout all four seasons. If you’re up for some serious hiking, explore trails to all three of the waterfalls – Swallow Falls, Muddy Creek Falls, and Tolliver Falls. There is also a handicap accessible trail and view platform at Muddy Creek Falls for those that need an easier route or just want to take a short stroll. Be sure to bring your camera and wear sturdy hiking shoes or boots. Trails can be slippery during the winter months. Get more info.

Simon Pearce Tours
Watch master glassblowers at work, then shop for the beautiful items they make in the retail store. You can also choose from a wide variety of second-quality glass. Located in Mountain Lake Park, it is just a short drive from most Deep Creek Lake vacation rentals. Find out more.

Guided Snowshoe Tours
Weather permitting, All Earth Eco Tours offers another great way to experience Swallow Falls State Park. Their snowshoe tours are a “no experience required” way to cruise through the woods and take in the scenery. For those seeking high adventure, ask about their trips to Big Savage Mountain and Lost Lands.

Sleigh Rides at Deep Creek Lake

Sleigh Rides
One of the classic Deep Creek Lake winter activities, you can take a ride back in time as you swish through open fields and over hills listening to the sound of muffled hoof beats in the snow. Sleigh rides at Pleasant Valley Dream Rides are an ideal way to enjoy the outdoors no matter what your age.

Cold Drinks By a Warm Fire
Get cozy by the fire place at local restaurants like Firewater Kitchen & Bar, Uno Chicago Grill or Dutch’s at Silver Tree, and warm-up with your favorite beverage.

Sled Riding at Blackwater Falls State Park
Within one hour of the Deep Creek Lake area, you’ll find the ultimate sledding hill! Head to Blackwater Falls State Park to ride up on a conveyor, sled to the bottom, and repeat! Bring your own sled or rent one on-site.

Sample Award Winning Cheeses
Stop by Firefly Farms in nearby Accident, to check out their award winning goat cheese and browse their selection of gourmet foods. They can even make you a personalized cheese board to go.

Cross Country Skiing
With minimal instruction, you can kick and glide on cross country ski trails at Herrington Manor State Park and New Germany State Park. Call ahead to check for availability of rental equipment.

Shops & Antiques
Avoid the cold temperatures when you visit area shops and antique stores. Schoolhouse Earth, Bear Creek Traders, A Mountain Fix, and High Mountain Sports are a few of our favorites at the lake. Take a short drive to Oakland to browse antiques at Englander’s or Cabin Fever. While you are there, hit up Flipside Sounds – a vinyl shop in downtown Oakland.

Deep Creek Axe Throwing Co.
Test your skills in the Deep Creek Lake axe throwing arena! This fun indoor activity is suitable for ages 8 and up.

Museum Tours
When visiting Oakland, history buffs should stop at the two museums operated by the Garrett County Historical Society. Return to the past as you explore area treasures, learn about early settlers, and check out Model T Fords. Call for hours of operation.

Snow Tubing & Mountain Coaster Rides
Wisp Resort is well-known for skiing, but they also offer a variety of activities that anyone can enjoy. Reserve a snow tubing session or take a ride on the mountain coaster.

Arcades
Everyone in your group will enjoy playing a wide variety arcade games and snacking on great food at Deep Creek Fun Zone.

Deep Creek Lake Discovery Center
Fun for kids of all ages, the Discovery Center is a one-of-a-kind environmental center with hands-on exhibits that showcase the natural resources of Western Maryland. Open weekends during the winter season.

Maryland property values rise 12 percent

The Garrett County Republican

BALTIMORE — The Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation has announced its 2022 reassessment of 704,430 “Group 1” residential and commercial properties.

In Maryland, there are more than 2 million property accounts that are split into three groups, each appraised once every three years. The overall statewide increase for “Group 1” properties was 12% over the past three years according to SDAT.

The overall statewide increase was higher than 2020’s 8.1% increase. This represents an average increase in value of 12.7% for all residential properties and 9.7% for all commercial properties over the three-year period since the last Group 1 reassessment in 2019.

“All 23 counties and Baltimore City experienced an increase in residential property values for the fourth consecutive year, while commercial property values increased in 22 counties and Baltimore City. This is a good indicator that the market remains strong and growth is steady here in Maryland,” SDAT Director Michael Higgs said.

“The department’s real property assessors continue to work hard work to ensure that all of Maryland’s properties are assessed uniformly and fairly. As part of our Tax Credit Awareness Campaign, each reassessment notice includes information about the Homeowners’ and Homestead Tax Credits, which save Marylanders more than $260 million in taxes each year,” he said.

The 2022 assessments for Group 1 properties were based on an evaluation of 74,673 sales that occurred within the group over the last three years. If the reassessment resulted in a property value being adjusted, any increase in value will be phased-in equally over the next three years, while any decrease in value will be fully implemented for the July 1, 2022, tax bill.

For the 2022 reassessment, 93.9% of Group 1 residential properties saw an increase in property value.

The Homeowners’ Tax Credit provides relief for eligible homeowners by setting a limit on the amount of property taxes that are owed based on their income. Residential property owners who complete a one-time application and meet certain eligibility requirements can also receive a Homestead Tax Credit, which limits their principal residence’s taxable assessment from increasing by more than a certain percentage each year regardless of their income level.

To read the full article click here.

Garrett had only growth in Maryland tourism during pandemic

The Garrett County Republican

McHENRY — While Garrett County has experienced a boom in tourism during the COVID-19 pandemic, the rest of Maryland is struggling to recover.

While the state’s tourism industry as a whole experienced a 64% decline during the pandemic, Garrett County actually posted a 36% increase from pre-pandemic levels, according to Liz Fitzsimmons, managing director of the Office of Tourism for the Department of Commerce.

“Garrett County was the anomaly,” Fitzsimmons said. “The only region, the only county that was able to do this.”

In 27 years with the Office of Tourism, Fitzsimmons said the Office of Tourism never had to go before any group and say that there were decreases. That changed in 2020, when the industry was dealt a severe blow.

Sales figures for overnight stays in hotels, motels and rental units are key indicators of the state of tourism, she said, as those visitors spend money in other areas, such as food, entertainment, recreational activities and retail items.

For the category of hotels, motels, apartments and cottages, sales figures for the 2021 fiscal year totaled $56.05 million — a 56% drop from pre-pandemic 2019’s $128.6 million. For hotels and motels selling food, the results were even worse: from $35.4 million in 2019 to $10.7 million in 2021. That constitutes a 69.7% drop.

The Garrett County Chamber of Commerce hosted its annual tourism update Tuesday morning at its Business Before Hours meeting, hearing from state officials just how hard the pandemic hit Maryland recreation.

“I last attended this meeting two years ago,” said Tom Riford, assistant secretary of the Department of Commerce’s Division of Tourism, Film & the Arts. “What a different world it was two years ago to today. Just totally, totally different.”

Riford said tourism is the fourth-largest industry in the state, employing people, providing tax revenue and helping the quality of life.

“Maryland’s tourism industry was especially hard-hit in March of 2020. And the last 20 months has seen the tourism industry working together to move forward to get to the other side,” he said. “I’m very proud of what was accomplished in this county in 2020, and in 2021. You led the state.”

The Wisp Resort’s ski school in 2021 had its best year since it opened in 1955, he said.

In continuing with the Autumn Glory Festival through the pandemic, Garrett County “has shown many other jurisdictions that it can move forward, and move toward a positive tomorrow,” Riford said.

Garrett County’s accommodation sales would have been even higher, but Gov. Larry Hogan had ordered the closing of hotels and motels at the start of the outbreak. When they were allowed to reopen, rooms and houses throughout the Deep Creek Lake area were rented almost immediately. Many were people who were seeking to leave areas of Maryland and Virginia that were experiencing early rises in COVID-19 cases.

That has spilled over into the Garrett County real estate market, where home sales have been strong for months, with houses now averaging $431,461.

However, those same eager visitors now have other options, Fitzsimmons said, with borders reopening and international travel now possible.

Six of the 10 richest counties in the United States are located in Northern Virginia, she said, and those are the customers that Garrett County needs to continue to attract — even as options such as Europe are now available again.

“They are the people who helped drive these increases,” Fitzsimmons said, encouraging business owners to reach out and continue to develop the relationships they’ve developed with visitors during the pandemic.

Deep Creek Lake Water Levels for the Winter 2021/2022

Garrett County Government

Brookfield Hydroelectric facility has agreed to lower the Deep Creek Lake water levels near the lower end of the “Rule Band” for several month during this winter. The lower rule band lake level for December and January is set at 2,455 feet.The lower lake levels during the winter months will have the following benefits:

  • allow Garrett County Department of Public Works – Public Utilities Division to install pipes for the McHenry to Thayerville water connection project,
  • provide opportunities for lake property owners to conduct maintenance on shoreline stabilization projects,
  • potentially reduce nuisance or invasive submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV) in shallow habitats by exposing the plants to freezing temperature.

Deep Creek Lake Rule Band for monthly water levelsInformation on the Deep Creek Lake water level “Rule Band” can be found at the following Department of the Environment website: https://mde.maryland.gov/programs/water/water_supply/pages/deepcreeklake.aspxand on the Department of Natural Resources website: https://dnr.maryland.gov/pprp/Pages/DeepCreek/results.aspx

118 Sears Lane Price Improvement

Price improvement! PRIVATE setting near the southern part of the lake, just off of Sky Valley Rd. Well maintained home with hardwood floors, spacious kitchen and plenty of room for entertaining! Large master suite, huge rec room and lots of storage options. Ample parking, shady lot & yard area. Just a few miles to Deep Creek Lake State Park and shopping, dining, entertainment!

for more info click here