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Visit Fairfax Insider December, 2016
What's New, Marketing Sales & News, Tourism Industry News
New! Visit Fairfax Launches Improved Partner Extranet
Revenue Fairfax County Named a "Cool Spot for Summer Events"
Send Us Your Stuff Submit Your Seasonal Events, Programs and Packages
Businessman Visit Fairfax Sales Team Updates
Calendar Fairfax County Events Calendar
Roll Call Roll Call
Staybridge logo Staybridge Suites Tysons McLean Honored by IHG
Caboose Brewing logo Caboose Brewing Co. Approved for Second Location
Tourism by the Numbers Fairfax County Tourism by the Numbers
What's New Header

Visit Fairfax Launches New-and-Improved Extranet Portal for Stakeholders
New Extranet Portal

Visit Fairfax has just launched a new-and-improved Extranet Portal for our stakeholders. This portal is where our partners typically respond to sales leads and/or update web listings on FXVA.com.

All the capability that you're used to in the system remains, but the interface received a fresh, new look. Partners can engage with FXVA.com by updating web listings and amenities, by adding special offers, packages, and events, and/or by browsing some general analytics for your account.

Designated lead catchers can view and bid on sales opportunities, look at past RFP history, and more.

There are also a few new features that we're sure you will love, like an easy drag-and-drop option for uploading images to your website listing and a Post Board that provides the opportunity to interact with other partners to share offers and news.

Log-in to the new extranet here. If you would like some general training of the new system, please browse our help guide. If you still need a log-in, or have questions about the new interface, please contact Ali Morris at amorris@fxva.com.


Fairfax County Makes List of Cool Spots for Summer Events

The votes are in and Fairfax County has made the list of "The South's Cool Spots for Summer Events" by readers and Facebook fans of ConventionSouth Magazine. Fairfax County placed third, after Chattanooga, Tennessee and Fort Smith, Arkansas.

In late fall, ConventionSouth editors compiled a Facebook ballot with a list of 35 meetings destinations that are well fit for summer meetings as they offer escape from the summer heat. From those 35 "Cool Spots," fans were asked to vote for their top picks. These top picks will be featured in the January issue of ConventionSouth.

Fairfax County is the only Virginia destination that made the list. Read the press release here to get more information and to see all 10 picks. Thank you for making us a "Cool Spot."

Convention South - South's Top Cool Spot for Summer Events

Share Your Upcoming Seasonal Programs, Events & Packages

Visit Fairfax would love to feature your upcoming seasonal programs, events, special offers/packages, and other content in our marketing. We're especially looking for winter promotions (yes, we're still looking for last-minute New Years Eve content), upcoming holiday events and special offers (think Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Valentine's Day, and St. Patrick's Day), as well as early spring programming surrounding cherry blossom season.

Please send any information, images, video, and other content that you would like help promoting this season. You can upload special offers and events through the new Visit Fairfax Extranet, or send directly to Marketing Manager Ali Morris at AMorris@fxva.com. We greatly appreciate your support.

Send Us Your Stuff - Icon
Happy Holidays!

From the staff at Visit Fairfax, we would like to wish our tourism industry partners happy holidays. May peace, prosperity and happiness be yours throughout the holidays and New Year.

Marketing Sales & News Header

Visit Fairfax Sales Staff Busy Selling Fairfax County

The Visit Fairfax sales team is busy selling and promoting the county at various tradeshows and events. Here is a list of recent activities as well as what will be happening over the next few months:
Meeting hotels representatives
Family Reunion Workshop Attendees
Associations and Reunion Market:
  • In October, Visit Fairfax traveled to Richmond, VA for the 11th consecutive year to exhibit at the Virginia Society of Association Executives (VSAE) Fall Educational Symposium & Expo. Representatives from ten Fairfax County meeting hotels joined Visit Fairfax in the booth, which was themed to the Presidential election. (see photo)
  • In November, Visit Fairfax met face-to-face with 13 military reunion planners at the Your Military Reunion Connection (YMRC) event in Newport News, VA, to generate additional military reunion bookings.
  • This month, Visit Fairfax will be in Washington, DC for a new meeting planner event, Connect DC. Visit Fairfax will be one of the featured sponsors of this show, and will meet one-on-one with association and corporate meeting planners.
  • Also in December, Visit Fairfax will attend the VSAE Holiday luncheon in Richmond, VA, in search of additional state association business.
  • And in February, Visit Fairfax will host the 9th Annual Visit Fairfax Family Reunion Workshop at the Falls Church Marriott Fairview Park hotel, promoting Fairfax County as the ideal spot for family reunion groups to get together. Visit Fairfax will be joined by more than 20 Fairfax County hotels, attractions, and service providers for this exciting annual event. Learn about the Workshop here. (see photo)
  • Visit Fairfax will attend the Society of Government Meeting Professionals (National Capital Area Chapter) Silent Auction/Holiday Cocktail Party on December 15, 2016.  Eric Kulczycky is on the Special Events Committee of the organization, so please email him at ekulczycky@fxva.com if you would like to donate an auction item. 
  • In October, Visit Fairfax sponsored the "1st Annual Tee Off to Successful Partnerships" golf tournament hosted by SGMP NATCAP and HSMAI DC Chapter. A special thank you goes out to Holly Williamson ( Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center ) and Nayka Mendoza ( Homewood Suites Washington/Dulles ) for donating raffle items for this fundraising event.
Peruvian familiarization tour.
German tour operators
Tour and Travel:
  • In October, Virginia Tourism Corporation (VTC) organized a familiarization tour for Canadian tour operator Porter Escapes, so that they could better sell Porter Airlines' direct flight from Toronto to Washington Dulles International Airport. Fairfax County was a quick stop on their trip but provided a wonderful introduction to the area for them.
  • Visit Fairfax participated in a Peruvian familiarization tour organized by Northern Virginia Visitors Consortium (NVVC), which took place in mid-November. This tour was in conjunction with Latam Airlines to help boost tourism from Peru to DC through its direct flight from Lima to Washington Dulles International Airport. Many thanks to all the partners who assisted with this FAM. (see photo)
  • United Airlines and Marriott International teamed up to bring a familiarization tour to the Capital Region this past November, in which Visit Fairfax was included. We hosted seven top German tour operators, showing them attractions and activity options within Fairfax County to add onto future tours to the Washington, DC area. This is a lucrative market for this region, as last year saw 179,000 German visitors visit. Thank you to all the partners who assisted with this FAM. (see photo)
  • Travel South International took place this year in Atlanta, GA from November 28-30. This appointment-based show allowed Visit Fairfax to get in front of international tour operators who want to go more in-depth with their U.S. itineraries and get a better understanding of the Southern United States. We partnered with George Washington's Mount Vernon and Loudoun County to show off some of the best of Northern Virginia for the creation of new tour product. Please reach out to mmcclure@fxva.com for lead notes from this tradeshow.
  • Visit Fairfax will be attending American Bus Association's Annual Marketplace this year in Cleveland, OH from January 14-18, 2017. If you plan on attending, please consider joining Melissa McClure for the Virginia Caucus on Sunday, January 14 in room #6. We will have a sales appointment review from 5:45pm - 6:45pm. All Virginia attendees are welcome.
  • Special shout out to restaurateurs: If your Fairfax County restaurant is looking for more group business, we would love to meet with you. Please email mmcclure@fxva.com so that we can talk about future partnerships.
Sports Market:
  • On behalf of Visit Fairfax, Eric Kulczycky attended the Fairfax County Athletic Council's November meeting. The new chair of the Athletic Council is Rob Hahne, who has also served as President of the Fairfax County Baseball Council for 15 years. Visit Fairfax is providing support services to Rob and others involved in efforts to build a 6-field, turfed baseball complex adjacent to Willow Springs Elementary School in Fairfax. The complex will feature four 90-foot diamonds and two 60-foot diamonds.
  • Eric participated in the National Association of Sports Commissions' webinar, "Doing Your Homework: Evaluating Events Before You Bid or Sponsor." The featured presenter was Gina Mintzer, Director of Sales at the Albany County (NY) Convention & Visitors Bureau, who discussed best bid and sponsorship practices that destinations can implement to capture more of the growing sports travel market.
  • Visit Fairfax met with the Fairfax County Park Authority to discuss soccer and pickleball tournament opportunities. SoccerFest, an event managed by Brotman-Winter-Fried Communications, will be moving from Loudoun to Fairfax County in summer 2017.
Attendees at Paradise Springs Winery
Visitor Services:
Barry's Selfie
Public Relations/Communications:
  • ConventionSouth magazine named Fairfax County as one of the top three coolest summer meeting destinations in the South.
  • The October issue of MeetingsToday magazine prominently featured Fairfax County and four of our recently renovated meeting hotels in a major article on meetings in Virginia.
  • The September issue of Reunions magazine contained a special 16-page guide to holding family and military reunions in Virginia; Fairfax County and Visit Fairfax were prominently mentioned.
  • Visit Fairfax's President & CEO, Barry Biggar, was featured in Smart Meetings Magazine's CVB Selfie Contest, highlighting hidden gems that illuminate destinations. Barry's selfie was taken at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens' wondrous Korean Bell Garden. (see photo)
  • Visit Fairfax continues to see incredible growth on our social media accounts. Please help us continue to grow by tagging us (@VisitFairfax) on your own accounts and by using our hashtag, #FXVA.

Fairfax County Events Calendar
Please go to www.fxva.com/events for details and updates. Keep up with seasonal happenings at http://www.fxva.com/things-to-do/seasonal-holidays/.

Got an event coming up? Submit your Fairfax County event listing using this form on our website.
Through Dec. Christmas at Mount Vernon and Mount Vernon by Candlelight at George Washington's Mount Vernon
Through Dec. Festive Sully at Sully Historic Site
Through Dec. Meadowlark's Winter Walk of Lights at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens
Through Dec. Bull Run Festival of Lights at Bull Run Regional Park
Through Dec. Chinese Lantern Festival at Roer'sZoofari
December 10-11 Sugarloaf Crafts Festival at Dulles Expo & Conference Center
December 10-Feb Exhibition: "CUT" at Greater Reston Arts Center
December 10 WinterFest at Workhouse Arts Center
December 10 Christmastide at Gunston Hall at George Mason's Gunston Hall
December 10 American Festival Pops Orchestra's "Holiday Pops: Songs of the Season" at George Mason University's Center for the Arts
December 10 Holidays at Walney Farm at E.C. Lawrence Park
December 10 Civil War by Candlelight at Sully Historic Site
December 10-11, 14 The Death and Mourning of Washington Tour at George Washington's Mount Vernon
December 11 Tyler Hilton & Kate Voegele "One Tree Holiday" at Jammin' Java
December 11 Wassail at Claude Moore Colonial Farm
December 11 GJF Chanukah STEAM Party at Gesher Jewish Day School
December 11 Christmas at the Farm at Frying Pan Farm Park
December 10 Fort Ward Christmas in Camp at Fort Ward Museum and Historic Site
December 10 Santa at the Mill at Colvin Run Mill
December 16-17 Christmas Illuminations at George Washington's Mount Vernon
December 16-18 Sesame Street Live: Elmo Makes Music at EagleBank Arena
December 17 Wreaths Across America Ceremony at Chestnut Grove Cemetery
December 17 John Eaton's Holiday Songbook at The Alden
December 17 Victorian Candlelight Tour at Sully Historic Site
December 17 Cookies and Cocoa with Santa at Topgolf Alexandria
December 17 Snowman Fun at Hidden Oaks Nature Center
December 18 Vienna Boys Choir "Christmas in Vienna" at George Mason University's Center for the Arts
December 18 Happy Vaudeville Holidays at the Reston Community CenterStage
December 18 Cabaret Series: Holiday Hijinx at Workhouse Arts Center
December 19-20 Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker at George Mason University's Center for the Arts
December 21 Nutcracker Fantasy Puppet Show at Frying Pan Farm Park
December 22-23 Jammin' Java presents Todd Wright's 14th Annual Santa Clauster-f@%! Christmas Spectacular at Jammin' Java
December 24 Smithsonian TechQuest: Flying Circus at Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center
December 28 Holiday Concert with IONA at Sully Historic Site
December 31 New Year's Eve Community Concert and Buffet at ArtSpace Herndon
December 31 MELODIME Annual New Year's Eve Party at Jammin' Java
December 31 New Year's Eve Party at Workhouse Arts Center
December 31 New Year's Eve Scramble at Herndon Centennial Golf Course
December 31 New Year's Eve at the Mount Vernon Inn
January 1 Chinese Lantern Festival at Roer's Zoofari
January 1-8 Meadowlark's Winter Walk of Lights at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens
January 1-8 Bull Run Festival of Lights at Bull Run Regional Park
January 7 Astro-Bots: Astronomy at Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center
January 7 Family Fun: Parade of Plants at Green Spring Gardens
January 8 Build Your Own Time Capsule at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park
January 9 Liza Anne + Milo in the Doldrums at Jammin' Java
January 14 Kevin Griffin of Better Than Ezra at The Barns at Wolf Trap
January 14 Blending Teas: The Basics at Colvin Run Mill
January 14 Hot Drinks from Around the World at Green Spring Gardens
January 15 Bluegrass Barn Concerts with Chris Henry and Hard Core Grass at Frying Pan Farm Park
January 16 2017 MLK Birthday Celebration with Eugene Robinson at Reston Community CenterStage
January 18 Luke Wade "Only Ghosts" Album Release Concert at Jammin' Java
January 19 Inauguration Day at Walney at Ellanor C. Lawrence Park
January 19-Feb. 12 "Much Ado About Nothing" at NextStop Theatre Company
January 21 Date Night: Chef's Table at Workhouse Arts Center
January 21 Celebrate the 255th Birthday of Richard Bland Lee at Sully Historic Site
January 21-22 Cabaret Series: A Comedy Tonight at Workhouse Arts Center
January 22 Washington Wedding Experience at EagleBank Arena
January 22 Aquila Theatre's "Murder on the Nile" at George Mason University's Center for the Arts
January 22 Birding for Beginners – Woodpeckers at Huntley Meadows Park
January 28 The Five Irish Tenors at George Mason University's Center for the Arts
January 28 The CSS Shenandoah and the Last Shot of the Civil War at Civil War Interpretive Center at Historic Blenheim
January 29 Groundhog's Day Out at Frying Pan Farm Park
February 1 International Guitar Night at The Barns at Wolf Trap
February 2-26 "Trevor" at 1st Stage Theatre
February 3 Storytelling: Bootlegging Past at Riverbend Park
February 3 Justin Moore and Lee Brice: American Made Tour at EagleBank Arena
February 3 An Evening with The Nighthawks at Jammin' Java
February 3-19 McLean Community Players present "Company" at McLean Community Center
February 4 World Wetlands Day Celebration at Huntley Meadows Park
February 4-5 Chocolate Lovers Festival at City of Fairfax
February 4-5 Virginia Opera's "Der Freischütz" at George Mason University's Center for the Arts
February 9-Mar. 5 Blues in the Night at Creative Cauldron at ArtSpace Falls Church
February 11 Toys at Historic Huntley
February 12 All You Need is Love 5 – Jammin' Java's Songwriters' Circle: a Tribute to The Beatles & Love Songs at Jammin' Java
February 11 Premium Tea and Chocolate Pairing at Colvin Run Mill
February 12 Bluegrass Barn Concerts with Sweet Yonder at Frying Pan Farm Park
February 12 Maple Syrup Boil-Down at Colvin Run Mill
February 14 George Mason vs. Richmond Men's Basketball at EagleBank Arena
February 14-15 Cherish the Ladies at The Barns at Wolf Trap
February 18 Preamble Scramble and Presidential Trivia at Sully Historic Site
February 18 Date Night: Chef's Table at Workhouse Arts Center
February 18 Astronomy Festival at Riverbend Park
February 18-19 Cabaret Series: And The Award Goes To… at Workhouse Arts Center
February 18-20 Celebrate Washington's Birthday on Presidents Day at George Washington's Mount Vernon
February 22 What's Going On – The Marvin Gaye Project at Reston Community CenterStage
February 24 Marah Reunion Show at Jammin' Java
February 24 Lúnasa at Reston Community CenterStage
February 24-25 Mark Morris Dance Group at George Mason University's Center for the Arts
February 25 A Slave No More: Lewis Lee of Fairfax Court House at Civil War Interpretive Center at Historic Blenheim

Roll Call
Roll Call

You may have recently spotted Visit Fairfax at or with:
  • Big congratulations go out to Visit Fairfax's own Director of Marketing, Patrick Lennon, and his wife Sarah, on the arrival of their first child this past October – a beautiful and healthy son.
  • Networking with colleagues and learning about new trends and ideas in the digital marketing world and tourism industry at eTourism Summit in San Francisco, CA
  • Representing Fairfax County at the annual VA-1: Virginia Governor's Conference in Roanoke, VA
  • Meeting the regional sales team that represent several Applebee's locations in Northern Virginia
  • Grabbing lunch with our web partners at Simpleview while they were visiting from Tucson, AZ
  • Talking shop with the new marketing manager and brewer at Forge Brew Works to learn about their new brew system and some exciting upcoming projects
  • Celebrating 60 years with the fabulous team at Karin's Florist during their annual Open House
  • Meeting with the new marketing director at Clifton-based Adventure Links, and learning about some exciting new projects they are working on
  • Welcoming the newest (and quite spectacular) light show - the Chinese Lantern Festival - to Fairfax County, which takes place at Roer's Zoofari from now through Jan. 1

A few upcoming groups coming soon to Fairfax County:
  • Phi Rho Pi National Tournament – 2100 room nights
  • Cadillac & LaSalle Club, Inc. Grand National – 1670 room nights
  • USS Forrestal (CVA/AVT-59) Association Reunion – 705 room nights
  • Paintball Extravaganza International – 607 room nights
  • Living Proof Live – 364 room nights
  • The Society of the 39th Engineer Battalion Reunion – 200 room nights
  • National African American Mission Conference (NAAMC) – 180 room nights
  • Old Dominion Rottweiler Club Bart Bellon Seminar – 145 room nights

If you'd like to meet our team to talk about how we can help you, please contact us at 703-790-0643. We'd love to help in any way we can.
Tourism Industry News Header

Staybridge Suites Tysons McLean Hotel Receives Torchbearer Award

Staybridge Suites Tysons McLean Hotel was recently awarded the Torchbearer Award by IHG-InterContinental Hotels Group for exemplary service and outstanding quality accommodations.

The award honors the "best of the best" as measured by their guests and is presented to hotels that raise the bar even further. These hotels represent the highest achievement in quality and service and continue to carry the torch for the brand. For the Staybridge Suites brand, the top five percent out of over 220 hotels have received this prestigious award.

Congratulations to General Manager Mark Welker and his entire team at the Staybridge Suites Tysons McLean Hotel. This is a great honor and Visit Fairfax is proud that you call Fairfax County home.

Staybridge Suites

Caboose Brewing Co. Approved for Second Location in Mosaic District

Vienna-based craft brewery and farm-to-table restaurant Caboose Brewing Co. received approval from Fairfax County Board of Supervisors to open a second location in an old warehouse adjacent to Mosaic District in Merrifield.

The warehouse on Eskridge Road, just south of Lee Highway, will be converted into a 3,240-square-foot tasting room with about 160 seats and a beer garden on the building's south side. The brewery's plans also make improvements to the existing site, including a landscaped, urban green area with benches, public art, bike racks and space for a future bikeshare station.

Caboose Brewing Co.

This is good news for the local beer industry, as it has sparked conversation within the County government about possible zoning changes when it comes to opening breweries in the County. The possible zoning changes would allow these manufacturers to make up to 15,000 barrels of beer, 36,000 gallons of spirits or 5,000 gallons of wine, cider or mead per year.

Read the full story. Learn more about Caboose Brewing Co.'s Vienna location.


Fairfax County Tourism Indicators
Tourism Indicator
Fiscal YTD* through October 31, 2016
  • Occupancy: 75.2%
  • Room Night Leads: 31,965
  • Website Unique Visitors: 232,501

* FY16: July 1, 2016 – June 30, 2017

Did you know?
  • Fairfax County is one of the top contributors of expenditures to Virginia's tourism industry.
  • Visitors to Fairfax County contributed over 2.93 billion dollars to the local economy in 2015.
  • Fairfax County's tourism industry creates almost 30,000 jobs within the County.
  • On average, visitors to our website clicked on and viewed individual stakeholder listings approximately 40,000 times per month. Ask us how to maximize your property's results.

Source: Virginia Tourism Corporation's Tourism Economic Impact Data

*Share your information with us. Is there something you would like to share with the Fairfax County tourism community? Send your news to Visit Fairfax so that we can include it in the next newsletter. Email amorris@fxva.com.
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