Monday, June 11, 2001

The Famous FAM Tour ~ by Gina M. Larson

Journalists from trade and business publications are trolling the state of Pennsylvania this week to see the forward thinking companies, new attractions and economic development projects that are pulling the state to our South away from its heritage of steel and lumber and forging a new future for its economy.

A group of ten reporters -- including yours truly -- gathered on Sunday night in Philadelphia at the new Parisian-styled Sofitel to kick off the eight-day trip. New media representatives such as Robert Fisher from and Rick Risemberg from the are also part of the group, which has kept a frenetic pace schmoozing with city engineers, university professors and CEOs.

Of course, the tour isn't all business. Monday night's hand-shaking event was held at the sophisticated Opus 251 restaurant housed in Philadelphia's old Rittenhouse Square. Michele Sharon from the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce and Anthony Pipitone from The Center City District came out that night to share some sumptuous cuisine at the former Arts Alliance building which still plays host to art installations upstairs.

The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania with the help of its PR group, Bozell Worldwide in Pittsburgh, orchestrated the tour, which is snaking its way through various cities from Philadelphia to Pittsburgh. So while the traveling is taking a toll on this Cyber Scene correspondent, a full report of the destinations and highlights will be available here next week exclusively. Stay tuned.