Jenny McConnell became director of sales at the Gettysburg (Pa.) Convention & Visitors Bureau this past June. Previously, she worked at the York County (Pa.) CVB. McConnell is a native of the Gettysburg area.
How does it feel to be working with such a historical site? It's awesome. People think they know about the battle from reading about it in history books, but when you come here and walk upon this ground, and see how vast the battlefield is and how little it has changed over the years, you get a sense of the Civil War as a real event, a feeling that real people fought and died here. It's a very special place.
What does the area offer for groups? We have a number of fine hotels here, such as the Best Western Gettysburg Hotel; it's one of the oldest in the country, having opened in 1797, and offers 9,000 square feet of meeting space. There's also some terrific Wyndham and Courtyard by Marriott properties. Downtown Gettysburg is really charming, with lots of great shops for antiques and collectibles. And next year we begin a four-year commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the battle, which took place in 1863, so there'll be all sorts of special events.
What do you like best about your job? Well, it's great to be promoting such a vital part of my home state, and then there are surprises like when I'll be walking down the street in downtown, and some Civil War re-enactors will walk by wearing their period uniforms, and I'll just stop in my tracks and say to myself, "What year is this again?"