MAY 2018

ConventionSouth magazine is the leading resource for meeting planners who book all types of events, conventions, conferences and group travel in the south.

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⎜ ConventionSouth ⎜ M A Y 2 0 1 8 w w w . c o n v e n t i o n s o u t h . c o m 76 V I R G I N I A • Hilton Crystal City at Washington Rea- gan National Airport: 25,000 square feet of meeting space; 393 guest rooms • The American Management Association Conference Center at Washington D.C.: 10 executive meeting rooms ranging from 390 to 1,640 square feet to accommodate up to 90 participants; state-of-the-art A/V equipment Fairfax Mount Vernon, the historic home of our first president. The Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Cen- ter, the sister site to the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum on the National Mall. Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts, where some of the world's greatest musi- cians perform year-round. Those are just a few of the reasons you'll want to visit Fairfax County, a large county situated just west (extending north and south) of Arlington and Alexandria – which puts it quite close to Washington, D.C. There is also a new – and very good – reason to visit Fairfax. George Washington's Mount Vernon opened two experiential projects recently. "Be Washington: It's Your Turn to Lead" is a first-person interactive experience that gives the sense of what it was like to be first president and commander-in-chief. And Mount Vernon reopened its Revolutionary War Theater in December 2017 following a $2.2 million renovation to the 4-D theater. Moving forward, Fairfax County's Fort Belvoir, near Mount Vernon, will be the site of the National Museum of the United States Army. The museum is under construction and projected to open in late 2019 or early 2020. It will celebrate and honor all the men and women who have served in the U.S. Army since 1775, with interactive galleries highlighting the Ar- my's history, an art gallery and a special-event venue that will seat up to 400 for banquets. Until the new museum opens, the Fairfax County area has some 60 meeting hotels and about 70 event venues overall, including two conference centers. (See Breakout Spotlight on this page.) Fairfax County Venues • Sheraton Premiere at Tysons Corner (Tysons): 52,000 square feet of meeting space; 35 meeting rooms; 685 guest rooms; adjacent to Ronald Reagan Washington Na- tional Airport • Westfields Marriott Washington Dulles (Chantilly): 40,000 square feet of meeting space; 31 meeting rooms; 335 guest rooms; AAA Four Diamond property • Hyatt Regency Reston (Reston): 32,000 square feet of meeting space; 22 meeting rooms; 631 guest rooms • Bechtel Conference Center (Reston): 5,700 square feet of conference space; 10 meeting rooms Alexandria Just south of Arlington and Washington, D.C., Alexandria is a convenient location for meeting planners' consideration and its Potomac River waterfront property continues to thrive. Last year, the city's first waterfront hotel – the 120-room Hotel Indigo Old Town Alex- andria – opened. Its Hummingbird restaurant dining room and outdoor patio are available to rent. King Street Park at the Waterfront, a public plaza and retail corridor, is scheduled to open within the next year. On the lodging front, all 107 guestrooms at the Kimpton Lorien Hotel & Spa in Old Town Alexandria were redesigned along with all public areas, the adjacent restaurant and the hotel's 5,600 square feet of meeting space. The new look was introduced in April. "Groups visiting Alexandria love our his- toric backdrop juxtaposed with new offerings, like chef-driven restaurants and attractions like the Torpedo Factory Art Center," said Lorraine Lloyd, senior vice president of sales and inter- national marketing for Visit Alexandria. "From walking tours to river cruises, we have some- thing for groups of all sizes. Plus, Alexandria offers a great value. In fact, Money magazine recently named Alexandria the #1 Best Value U.S. Travel Destination 2018." Alexandria Venues • Hilton Alexandria Mark Center: 55,000 square feet of meeting space; 500 guest rooms A special-event venue that will seat up to 400 for banquets will be part of The National Museum of the United States Army, slated to open by early 2020 on an 84-acre site at Fairfax County's Fort Belvoir. Plans call for 185,000 square feet of museum space, a theater, an experiential learning center with state-of-the-art technology and an exceptional collection of U.S. Army artifacts. Outside, the museum will have an amphitheater, a memorial garden, parade ground and a trail. Dean Miller, national sales manager for Visit Fairfax, the county's award-winning DMO, is already working with numerous Army reunion groups and other associa- tions with Army affiliations to assist them with planning their gatherings in 2020, 2021 and beyond. "This is going to be a one-of-a-kind, world-class facility," said Miller. "Prior to this, the Army has never had a museum to tell their story so dramatically and we know that every American – and countless foreign visitors – will have the museum on their 'must see' list when they come to Fairfax County and the Washington area." Miller said that attendance at the museum is expected to average 700,000 visitors annually. n Contact: Courtesy Visit Fairfax National Museum of the U.S. Army B R E A K O U T S P O T L I G H T : Fairfax

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