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PGC TOURISM NEWS & NOTES 
    APRIL 2016
Prince George's County Tourism News & Notes is presented by the Prince George's County Conference & Visitors Bureau (CVB), the official Destination Marketing Organization of Prince George's County, Maryland. 

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SFA RIDES MILLENNIAL WAVE WITH MID-ATLANTIC'S FIRST VIRTUAL REALITY ROLLER COASTER
Six Flags partners with Samsung to offer the world's first virtual reality coasters, with one in PGC...
"Goggle up" folks because this is epic. Now at Six Flags America, virtual 3D and live action come together for one over-the-top thrill ride . The first virtual reality roller coaster is here. 

The  "Superman Ride of Steel" is now equipped with Samsung's new Oculus-powered "Gear VR" headset. Slip these puppies on and whoosh, you'll feel like you're flying Caped Crusader-style. This new "ride tech" was brought about by a corporate partnership between Six Flags Entertainment and Samsung. And, it is only available at a few select Six Flags parks across the country (SFA being one of them). 

On the new Superman Virtual Reality Coaster, riders will be fully immersed in the 360-degree comic book world of Metropolis. They'll encounter Lex Luther creating chaos with an anti-gravity gun and soar along with Superman as he saves the day. 
 

NAT EXPANSION PLAN CALLS FOR NEW MIXED-USE OFF UPPER TIP OF CASINO COMPLEX
500-room hotel, timeshares, residential, restaurants envisioned for parcels on north end of casino tract...
National Harbor plans to add weight - in a major way. Future development calls for a M-X-T addition that includes  a 500-room hotel, 702 multifamily residential units, 189 tineshare units, 22k sf of retail, restaurants, gas-n-go, and other features. All to be constructed on 46+ acres directly adjacent to the new $1.3 billion MGM National Harbor resort/casino. The parcels are on the upper north end of Harborview Ave and Oxon Hill Road. 

Based on initial plans, the hotel, timeshares, and multi-fam (which all sit on the same parcel) will be flex designed to be constructed collectively, or in stages depending on construction and market conditions. The hotel and multifam serve as anchor buildings and will share a similar curved design. The timeshare building will be centered between the other two buildings.  [See 3D rendering]

Once built, the new hotel will be the second largest (in guestrooms) at NH behind the Gaylord National (2k). It will also place 800+ guestrooms around the casino. The MGM National Harbor, which is schedule to open the latter part of 2016, has 308 rooms.

In addition to the pending MGM, and GNat, National Harbor also has AC Marriott, Westin, Hampton Inn & Suites, Residence Inn, and the Wyndham Vacation Resort.
 

D&B IN CAP HEIGHTS ALMOST COMPLETE, GRAND OPENING TENTATIVELY SET FOR LATER THIS MONTH
Now in PGC, Dave & Busters at Ritchie Station Marketplace is only the location third in the region...
In the world of dine, the joint is ginormous. Directly overlooking the Beltway at Exit 13, and at a whopping 40,000 square feet (with an estimated build-out cost of $20 mill), it makes a powerful impression.

The Grand Opening of the new Dave & Buster's at the burgeoning Ritchie Station Marketplace is tentatively scheduled for April 25. New to PGC, it will be just  the third D&B location in the region (Springfield, Anne Arundel) for the nation-wide chain. And, D&B is one of several dine options in the pipeline or under consideration for the RSM. 

As for D&B, it's a family-friendly casual dine and entertainment palace featuring an extensive menu, colorful libations for adults, over $1 million in arcade games, and massive flat screens (making it a must-dine for the sportsaholic).
 

PEEP THIS - NATIONAL HARBOR EATING CONTEST PUTS SWEET LITTLE BIRDS ON ENDANGERED LIST
Popular store's signature marshmallow treats will be swallowed in bunches for bucks and a record...
In the world of competitive eating (known to grandmothers everywhere as mad gluttony), NYC has Nathan's, DC has Ben's (Chili Dogs), Philly has the Cheesesteak Challenge, now National Harbor has "Peeps". 

On April 3, as part of National Harbor's Peeps Day, the National Harbor World Peeps Eating Championship will take place with an all-star roster of amateur and pro eaters.  The amateur contest begins just after noon, with the pro throw-down at 1. In the zany world of Major League Eating (yes, there is such a thing), this will be a top meet. According to emcee and MLE rep Sam Barclay, it is unusual for any eating contest to attract four of the top ten eaters as this one has. 

In addition to the eating competition, Peeps Day will include a host of kids activities, Peeps character, a "Dance Like A Peep" contest, the family movie "Up" on the Plaza jumboscreen, music, prizes, and special kids discount at The Capital Wheel. Also, select NH restaurants will enhance the day's menus with Peeps-inspired desserts and drinks.  Peeps Day runs from noon to 4 pm. The  festivities take place at National Plaza on the beautiful Potomac River waterfront. 
Learn more>>     
 

NEW PROP TO BE BUILT JUST OFF THE "DOWNTOWN" LARGO CORRIDOR, AT BELTWAY EXIT 16
Will be an extended-stay brand with the possibility of second hotel next to it...
Richmond-based Sandpiper Hospitality plans to develop one - possible two - extended-stay props on the vacant 5.3-acre tract at the corner of Arena Drive and Brightseat Road. 

The DSP calls for two identical 47,624 sf, four-story props.  Each will be 124 rooms. Sandpiper has the option to build one only, possibly build both, or sell the rights for the second hotel to another developer. 

As for the initial prop, the confirmed flag is WoodSpring Suites. WoodSpring is the new name and brand of the ValuePlace extended-stay props. Sandpiper currently operates the ValuePlace on Allentown Road in Camp Springs.  
 

MONTPELIER FESTIVAL OF HERBS, TEA & THE ARTS CELEBRATES ITS 20TH ANNIVERSARY THIS MONTH
Annual Montpelier Festival will soon bloom with variety of spring things to experience...
One of the area's most unique events has reached a remarkable milestone. The Montpelier Festival of Herbs, Tea & The Arts celebrates its 20th Anniversary on April 30, from 10-4 pm.

Held at the Montpelier Mansion Historic Site in conjunction with the adjacent Montpelier Arts Center, it is a fun family-oriented fest featuring over 30 vendors and lots to do. There will be lectures on gardening, medicinal herbs, home-made herbal beauty products & remedies, and other interesting applications in the world of herbs. And for the kids, there's "Blast-In-The-Past", a hands-on history playground. 

The day wouldn't be complete without a spot of tea in the beautiful east wing of the mansion. The "Afternoon Tea Sampler" features finger sandwiches, finger sweets, scone, jam and clotted cream, and a pot of tea - featuring the Montpelier loose leaf blend (Earl Gray Darjeeling) and a delightful herbal decaf. But, you must purchase a ticket for the "Afternoon Tea" and seats are limited.   
 

OVATION FILES CHAP 11 TRIGGERING SELECT CLOSURES OF OCB'S INCLUDING ONE IN PGC
In nationwide trimming of 92 Ovation locations, Forestville "Old Country Buffet" a casualty...
Early last month, the owner of Ovation Brands (also known as Buffets LLC) placed the company into bankruptcy proceedings. Within hours, Ovation began shedding weight (to restructure debt and liabilities) by closing select Old County Buffet, HomeTown Buffet, Ryan's and other brand locations across the country. 

Caught in the crossfire was the OCB at Forest Village Park Mall (Donnell Drive) in Forestville. It officially closed March 6. 

The county's other OCB, in Laurel on Fort Meade Road, is not part of the restructuring and is fully operational. 
 

"ART HOUSE" NIGHT SPOT ON ROUTE 1 NOW SLATED FOR POSSIBLE DECEMBER 2016 DEBUT
New restaurant and music venue combines resources of Clarice, UMD, and Philly entertainment group...
Quick update on an item we shared around this time last year. The coming "Art House" space in College Park is now projected to open at year's end.

Originally (and wishfully) scripted for as early as spring 2016, December now appears more likely. Art House (at 7416 Baltimore Ave) will be  restaurant, bar and music venue developed in partnership between the University of MD, Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, and the MilkBoy group out of PA. MilkBoy is an entertainment company and restaurateur that will operate and manage the space. Their eclectic 200-person MilkBoy Philadelphia is the inspiration for Art House. 

Art House will fill the vacant former Barking Dog food & bar spot. Total space is 14K sq ft and there will be two floors with programming, music and performances daily.
 

LONG-AWAITED STAYBRIDGE SUITES, AT THE INTERSECTION OF LANHAM/GREENBELT/GLENN DALE, NOW OPEN
After years in the pipeline, 122-room Staybridge brings new brand to the PGC hospitality scene...
The new Staybridge Suites Washington DC/Greenbelt is officially open. Located just off the intersection of 193 and Lanham Severn Road, the 4-story, 122-room, all-suites prop is located directly behind the Eastgate Shopping Center. It features lavish rooms, top-shelf amenities, and is one of the few pet-friendly props in the area. For dine service, it has teamed with the popular Sobe Restaurant & Lounge, also located at the Eastgate Center. The hotel is within minutes of the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and close the the New Carrollton Metro/Amtrak station.   
 

SEASONED EXEC WHO GOT HIS "GM" START IN PGC, RETURNS TO TAKE THE HELM AT GAYLORD NATIONAL
After stints across the Marriott brand, Doug Ridge returns as new GM of Gaylord National...
Sometimes you can come home again. Doug Ridge, who's first hotel General Manager position was with the Greenbelt Marriott, makes his return to PGC as the new Area GM for Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center.

Ridge brings over 30 years of experience in the hospitality and hotel management industry. In addition to 26 years with Marriott, he's also worked with the Westin and Sheraton brands. Ridge has served the last eight years as GM at the Orlando World Center Marriott. 

A highly-decorated hospitality executive, Ridge received the Marriott International General Manager of the Year award in 2014. 

In addition to the GNat, Ridge also takes the reigns of GNat overflow property - AC Marriott National HarborCongrats Doug, and welcome back!
 

APRIL - EXTRAORDINARY "SPRING" THINGS ARE HAPPENING THIS MONTH IN PRINCE GEORGE'S
Extraordinary things are HAPPENING this month and every month in Prince George's. The colored banners throughout "News&Notes" are just some of the many events on deck. Click them for more information and VISIT US ONLINE - VisitPrinceGeorges.com (or on app) for extended listings of events, exhibitions, and performances for the entire family.
 

BY THE NUMBERS: TOURISM'S IMPACT IN PGC
Prince George's County Tourism's impact - thru visitation and taxes generated - runs across every aspect of development including lodging, food & beverage, retail, recreation, major events, transportation, and transportation-related services.
  • Visitors - 6.520 Million
  • Total Tourism Employment - 31,965
  • Tourism Industry Sales - $2.474 Billion
  • Total Tourism Tax Receipts (combined Federal, State/Local, Hotel) - $608 million
  • Admission/Amusement Taxes Collected - $15,860,936
  • Room Taxes Collected -  Over $20.5 million
  • Tourism Promotion Act State Sales Taxes - $52,408,296
  • Total Direct Consumer Tax Impact - $88,842,991

Source: Tourism Economics, December 2015
 

   
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Largo, MD 20774

301.925.8300 | visitorinfo@co.pg.md.us

 

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