For More Information, Contact: Andrea Blackford, Communications Officer, at 703.519.3489
Yesterday, the Alexandria City Council unanimously approved $1.3 million in funding for a three-tiered initiative related to preparing the City for the opening of the National Harbor Development, scheduled to open April 2008. The development, located in Prince George’s County, Maryland, is a 300-acre, mixed-use development that will include five hotels, the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center. The 4,000 hotel rooms at National Harbor, along with eventually up to one million square feet of retail and restaurant space, and a half-million square feet of office space, condos, and the convention center, have the potential to generate tens of thousands of new visitors to the City annually.
The funding (which includes $700,000 from the FY 2008 General Fund balance set aside for National Harbor readiness purposes and $600,000 from other sources) will support high priority projects identified by the National Harbor Collaborative Work Group, convened in 2006 by the Alexandria Chamber of Commerce at the request of Mayor William D. Euille. The Collaborative, with input from stakeholder forums and citizen organizations, identified, developed, and prioritized projects designed to achieve four goals: (1) to attract visitors to Alexandria’s waterfront; (2) to welcome them to the City; (3) to orient and direct them to places they may want to visit; and (4) to disperse them from the Marina area out to King Street’s attractions, business, and retail. The projects in the first tier presented to Council included expanded marketing initiatives to attract visitors to the City; City Marina area improvements, lighting, and security; improving and increasing heritage services and living history programs; providing a rubber tire trolley service on King Street; and, supporting business and retail in preparation for increased patronage of visitors from National Harbor.
The funding of these projects marks a major step in the City’s long-term efforts to prepare for the National Harbor’s positive effect on Alexandria; to gain an opportunity to attract new tourism and retain existing tourists, meetings, and restaurant customers; and to create and expand economic opportunities for the City, its business community, and its residents.
For more information about the National Harbor Collaborative report and recommendations, visit the City Council page on alexandriava.gov, and click “Dockets and Video.”