Change Is On the Way for Washington, D.C.

There will be a new President at the end of the year, but that's not all that's new in the nation's capital

Washington Monument memorable backdrop

Sure, we're going to elect a new president at the end of the year, but that's not all that's new in our nation's capital. There are 14 new hotels set to open in Washington, D.C. within the year and 16 in 2017, adding more than 2,200 rooms to the present inventory.

The name Trump isn't just splashed all over newspapers across the globe, it will be emblazoned on a new hotel that is set to open in September right in the middle of Pennsylvania Avenue's power corridor. Trump International Hotel, set in the city's Old Post Office, will include 263 guest rooms and suites, as well as 38,000 square feet of meeting and event space, including the 13,200-square-foot grand ballroom.

Other hotel openings include The Watergate, which reopened in May after a $125 million renovation with 336 guest rooms, and the 178-room Kimpton Mason & Rook Hotel, which opened in February. The 154-room Kimpton Glover Park is set to open this month.

Last year, Events DC -- the official convention and sports authority for the District -- hosted, produced, and supported more than 450 events, welcoming more than 1.8 million visitors, who are estimated to have generated more than $415 million in spending. The Walter E. Washington Convention Center alone has contributed more than $4 billion to the District's economy.  

For Events DC, the best is yet to come, since in fiscal year 2017, the city will welcome 21 citywide meetings with projected direct spending of more than $600 million for the city. Some highlights include OTAKON, the Japanese and East Asian anime and culture convention, which will bring approximately 23,000 attendees to Washington, D.C. and generate $25 million; and U.S. Travel Association's IPW, the largest annual international show for those who book global travel to the U.S.  

"Events DC doesn't want to just help fuel the city's economic growth. It strives to make it a great place to visit, live, work, and play, for residents and visitors alike," says Greg O'Dell, president and chief executive officer of Events DC.
Sights and Sports
Six new restaurants and retail outlets are opening around the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. The new retail additions, opening in 2016, will effectively fill the entirety of the once-vacant retail space around the Convention Center and connect with the bustling Shaw neighborhood to the north and vibrant retail to the south. The new tenants will not only bring economic activity and jobs to Shaw, but will also provide community resources to the Shaw corridor, further demonstrating Events DC's commitment to connecting to the fabric of communities across D.C.'s diverse neighborhoods.

The city's sports landscape is alive and thriving with a "four-sport" offering -- teams in each of the major professional sports leagues, as well as a WNBA team, a professional soccer team, and a World Team Tennis franchise. Led by Events DC, the Entertainment & Sports Arena (ESA) is the latest venue development by the city under Mayor Muriel Bowser and in collaboration with Monumental Sports and Entertainment.

Scheduled to open in September 2018, the Arena will serve as the first multipurpose venue of its kind, not only providing a new practice facility for the Washington Wizards, but also becoming home to the WNBA's Washington Mystics and an NBA Development League team.

This $55 million project is bigger than basketball, as it will open doors to cultural and community-based events, giving residents and visitors the opportunity to enjoy the rich diversity of the District in a brand-new space.


A Year of Anniversaries
As part of its 75th anniversary this year, the National Gallery of Art will open its doors to an exhibit featuring over 100 works of art by the likes of Edgar Degas, Vincent van Gogh, and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, donated by one of its largest benefactors, and called "In Celebration of Paul Mellon."

The popular Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum celebrates its 40th anniversary with the reopening of the Boeing Milestones of Flight gallery on July 1.

Another Smithsonian Institution museum, the National Museum of African American History and Culture, will open its doors on Sept. 24 on the National Mall. The 400,000-square-foot venue will tell the rich and diverse story of the African-American experience through exhibits, art, panels, and special programs.

"Through these projects, we are reminded that Events DC is more than just venues, meetings, or sports matches," says O'Dell. "Events DC forges all of these things together to keep D.C.'s economic engine running strong while providing positive community benefits for residents to thrive."   



Questions or comments? Email [email protected]



This article appears in the June 2016 issue of Successful Meetings.

ESSENTIAL Tool Box
CONVENTION CENTERS & FACILITIES
Walter E. Washington Convention Center
(2.3 million sf)

ROOM TAX
14.5 percent


READERS RECOMMEND
 Destination DC

Where to…
STAY - The Watergate Hotel
This famed property has been updated to a luxurious Potomac River-side perch with a $125 million renovation by Euro Capital Properties. The 338 guest rooms are topped with a rooftop lounge boasting 360-degree views including Roosevelt Island, the neighboring Kennedy Center, and Georgetown University's towers.

PLAY - Lansdowne Resort & Spa
Forty-five holes of championship golf, a full-service luxury spa, five swimming pools, and a state-of-the-art health and fitness center are just the beginning of the ways you can let your group loose. A multimillion-dollar renovation has repositioned this renowned 476-acre Loudoun County property into a sophisticated-yet-approachable retreat.

MEET - The Mayflower Hotel
This property has hosted inaugural balls, meetings, and royal receptions. The 581-room Mayflower Hotel's 15 conference rooms, District Ballroom, and Palm Court Ballroom have all been renovated, and further restoration work will be done this August.


Sights and Sports
Six new restaurants and retail outlets are opening around the Walter E. Washington Convention Center. The new retail additions, opening in 2016, will effectively fill the entirety of the once-vacant retail space around the Convention Center and connect with the bustling Shaw neighborhood to the north and vibrant retail to the south. The new tenants will not only bring economic activity and jobs to Shaw, but will also provide community resources to the Shaw corridor, further demonstrating Events DC's commitment to connecting to the fabric of communities across D.C.'s diverse neighborhoods.

The city's sports landscape is alive and thriving with a "four-sport" offering -- teams in each of the major professional sports leagues, as well as a WNBA team, a professional soccer team, and a World Team Tennis franchise. Led by Events DC, the Entertainment & Sports Arena (ESA) is the latest venue development by the city under Mayor Muriel Bowser and in collaboration with Monumental Sports and Entertainment.

Scheduled to open in September 2018, the Arena will serve as the first multipurpose venue of its kind, not only providing a new practice facility for the Washington Wizards, but also becoming home to the WNBA's Washington Mystics and an NBA Development League team.

This $55 million project is bigger than basketball, as it will open doors to cultural and community-based events, giving residents and visitors the opportunity to enjoy the rich diversity of the District in a brand-new space.


A Year of Anniversaries
As part of its 75th anniversary this year, the National Gallery of Art will open its doors to an exhibit featuring over 100 works of art by the likes of Edgar Degas, Vincent van Gogh, and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, donated by one of its largest benefactors, and called "In Celebration of Paul Mellon."

The popular Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum celebrates its 40th anniversary with the reopening of the Boeing Milestones of Flight gallery on July 1.

Another Smithsonian Institution museum, the National Museum of African American History and Culture, will open its doors on Sept. 24 on the National Mall. The 400,000-square-foot venue will tell the rich and diverse story of the African-American experience through exhibits, art, panels, and special programs.

"Through these projects, we are reminded that Events DC is more than just venues, meetings, or sports matches," says O'Dell. "Events DC forges all of these things together to keep D.C.'s economic engine running strong while providing positive community benefits for residents to thrive."   



Questions or comments? Email [email protected]



This article appears in the June 2016 issue of Successful Meetings.