The official announcement is scheduled to be made during a Wednesday morning press conference.
Jerry Gottlieb, the owner of Charm City Hospitality, got the news of the award last week. "I'm very excited. I've been part of Artscape for many years," Gottlieb said. Artscape celebrates its 30th anniversary on July 15-17.
When BOPA announced its decision to move to a single-vendor system last October, it listed as a partial reason the difficulty of managing the 60-some individual food vendors and coordinating such details as "menus, pricing, electricity, water access, sanitation/recycling, grease and gray water, truck parking, vendor fees, deposits/payments, neighborhood impact, overall presentation, etc."
Gottlieb talked shoring up the festival's green component and instituting better practices for composting and waste disposal.
The contracting of a single vendor does not mean that Charm City will be squeezing all of the festival's lemonade. Familiar vendors will return, but in the role of sub-vendors, and under the watchful eye of Charm City Hospitality. "My goal is to incorporate local flavor and eclectic vendors and to start locally before I go elsewhere." Asked whether veteran vendors would return, Gottlieb said, "definitely."
"We'll be bringing a more uniform look to the event," Gottlieb said. He offered, as examples of Charm City's coordinated approach, the recent Virgin Festivals, at both the Pimlico Race Course and Merriweather Post Pavilion.
Gottlieb said that part of Artscape's overall look might find its inspiration from local artists, who may be asked, through BOPA, to contribute ideas for the booths' signage and backdrops. A call for entries for this new visual arts project will be posted on www.artscape.org by next Monday.
As the official Artscape concessionaire, Charm City Hospitality has exclusive alcohol and soft beverage, water and food sales rights, according to a BOPA press release. The multi-year contract carries through 2013.