GSA Boosts County Per Diem

The federal General Services Administration has raised the per diem for federal government employees traveling to Loudoun County to $102--after lowering it last year to $75.

Last year's decrease, from $115, alarmed local hotels and Loudoun Tourism Council officials, who went to work to find out how it happened and to get it raised again. They expressed concern about a drop in hotel revenue as well as in funds collected for the county's transient occupancy tax. They were also concerned about the effect of the decrease on the many Loudoun-based corporations that handle government contracts.

Cheryl Kilday, the council's executive director, determined that the GSA had calculated the per diem by surveying only three hotels that handle overnight stays for the government, all of them in Leesburg. Working with Rep. Frank R. Wolf (R-Va.) and the Xerox Document University in Leesburg, which books business conferences, the council was able to persuade the GSA to conduct a new survey that included hotels throughout the county.

"We are absolutely delighted," Kilday said. "Had the GSA held to the $75 rate, it would have posed disastrous consequences for many business factions throughout the county."

On a related note, the Tourism Council is seeking interested individuals to serve on its Transient Occupancy Tax Review Committee. The tax is collected through overnight stays at inns, hotels and bed and breakfasts, and 3 percent is set aside to be dispersed annually to nonprofit organizations for tourism marketing.

For information, call 703-771-2170.

Realtor Names Top Producers

Coldwell Banker/Hetzel & Associates Inc. in Leesburg has announced that its top producers in the first half of 1999 were Joe Boddicker, Rebecca Hanley and Karen Rees.

Coldwell Banker offers a home price comparison index, which compares home prices in nearly 350 markets in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, through its World Wide Web site at www.coldwellbanker.com. Click on "infobooth."

The research for the index is based on a 2,200-square-foot single-family home with four bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths, family room and two-car garage.

Regis Group Names Director

Richard B. Storey has been named executive director of association services for the Regis Group in Leesburg, which works with health care, telecommunications and legal organizations in transition.

Regis President Marc P. Chinoy said Storey, who lives in Potomac Falls, has 30 years of experience in managing state, national and international associations. He has served on the board of directors of the Greater Washington Society of Association Executives. He is chairman of the board of the Blue Ridge Speech and Hearing Center of Loudoun County, a past president of the Leesburg Sunrise Lions Club and a member of the Leesburg Day Break Rotary.

Please fax items for Thursday's business page to Sarah Schafer at 703-777-8437 or send them by e-mail to schafers@washpost.com or by regular mail to 305 Harrison St. SE, Leesburg, Va. 20175.