WHAT'S NEW FOR GROUPS 2020
Phase II of the Silver Line Metrorail extension is set to open in July 2020. This extension will finally connect Washington Dulles International Airport and several new stations in Herndon and Reston with the existing Washington Metrorail service, which feeds Virginia, Maryland and the District of Columbia.
The newly renovated historic Ashland Theatre is open and will offer movies, live shows and concerts.
The Quirk Hotel has opened its second location in Charlottesville’s historic downtown. The boutique art hotel beautifully interweaves chic with vintage in minimalist contemporary design. The hotel boasts an eclectic mix of indoor/outdoor spaces for celebrations and business gatherings which include two restaurants, a rooftop bar and lounge, art gallery and outdoor lawn area.
Oakhurst Inn now features 35 guest rooms and suites across several buildings, an outdoor saltwater pool, the Chateau Lobby Bar, the Oakhurst Inn Cafe, the Oak Room and complimentary of services for groups and space for meetings up to 60 people.
The Looking Glass at the IX Art Park in downtown Charlottesville is open and it’s the first fully immersive art space in Virginia. The Looking Glass is a 3,000 square foot enchanted forest designed and built by 14 Virginia artists. Visitors will be able to relax in a jungle hammock, travel through a 50 foot caterpillar, engage with augmented reality vignettes, play music on golden goddesses, get to know a friendly family of gnomes and more.
Hampton Inn & Suites Culpeper is open with 98 guest rooms and a 600 sq. ft. meeting room.
Seaquest is now open! One of only 10 locations in the US, the new attraction brings the majestic wonders of our planet, ranging from rainforests and deserts to exotic marine life, to Lynchburg. Age-specific Field Trip adventures and Science Labs are available for student groups.
The Kirkley Hotel in Lynchburg has begun a multi year renovation of its 163 room property, upgrading its rooms, facade and restaurant.
Canopy Adventure Park is a new ropes course that opened October 2019. It has four courses ranging from easy to difficult, 10 ziplines and are already looking at expansion opportunities to include a lower-level course for younger groups.
The American Civil War Museum debuted its new expanded space on May 4, 2019 in the renovated historic Tredegar Iron Works site. The 28,500 sq. ft. space includes increased gallery space and a new permanent exhibit, ‘A People’s Contest: Struggles for Nation and Freedom in Civil War America.’
In spring 2020, the Richmond Marriott Downtown will be unveiling renovated guest rooms, a redesigned lobby and brand-new destination dining in the heart of Downtown Richmond.
Rosie’s Gaming Emporium is now open in Richmond, Vinton and at Colonial Downs. Rosie’s features HHR (historical horse racing) machines, dining, and a bar.
Wingate Inn in Stafford is undergoing a major renovation of the entire hotel including expanding and upgrading their meeting space. The meeting space will re-open in late summer 2020.
Tru by Hilton will open in Thornburg in the spring of 2020 at Exit 118 in front of Dominion Raceway.
One of Virginia’s beloved coastal resorts, the Tides Inn, received a new look and restaurant. The new coastal eatery called Fish Hawk features outdoor oyster roasting, a raw bar and various seafood classics. Also, new this summer, Duffy Electric Boats can be rented from the Tides Inn.
Samuel D. Outlaw Blacksmith Shop and Memorial Museum, a rare, completely intact blacksmith shop opened as a museum and community gathering place that will promote awareness of the contributions of African-Americans to the region. In 1927, he built his industrial shop on Boundary Avenue, serving watermen, farmers, neighbors and friends from 1927 until 1991. Tours and school groups are welcome by appointment.
The Starwood Hotel and Resort's Element Hotel at Peninsula Town Center is now open. The hotel offers 100 guest rooms and 27 suites as well as 1,040 sq. ft. of meeting space
Rosie’s Gaming Emporium recently opened their newest location in Hampton, bringing thrilling gaming experiences to coastal Virginia visitors. Rosie’s is located in the Power Plant shopping district of Hampton Roads.
The Marriott Oceanfront Hotel opened May 2020. The 24-story, 305 guest room hotel will also have 11 meeting rooms with over 25,000 square feet of flexible space including an oceanfront terrace off the 10,000 square-foot ballroom.
Delta by Marriott, Virginia Bayfront Suites, is also opening an all-suites product with 292 rooms along the Chesapeake Bay. The property is projected to open September
2020 and offers over 13,000 square feet of meeting space.
Zeiders American Dream Theater, a professional non-profit theater company, recently opened in Virginia Beach. Their mission is to provide artistic experiences to the community in a forum that fosters and introduces new, exceptionally gifted artists, composers and creative writers.
Glass Light Hotel, a Marriott Autograph Collection, will open in Norfolk's historic Rail District in May 2020. The boutique hotel and glass art gallery will be down the street from the nationally ranked Chrysler Museum of Art and its Glass Studio. The 1912 building features 113 guest rooms and intimate meeting and event spaces.
Busch Gardens' newest coaster, Pantheon, will be opening in 2020. The coaster will be the fastest multi-launch roller coaster in the United States and will reach a top speed of 72 mph and features a 95 degree drop.
The Hyatt Centric Old Town Alexandria is now open with 124 guest rooms and a French, southern inspired restaurant.
Work is underway to restore The George Mason Hotel to its roots. The historic hotel built in 1926 served as an office building for decades and is expected to open in 2021. The hotel will have two buildings located at 699 Prince St. in Old Town and will feature 141 hotel rooms, two restaurants, rooftop dining and outdoor dining.
At Waterfront Park , visitors enjoy Adirondack chairs overlooking the Potomac, swings, a rotating public art series and special events like the Portside in Old Town Festival, occurring in the fall and summer.
Coming in 2020, visitors can learn more Alexandria’s African American heritage through expanded interpretation and experiences presented by the Office of Historic Alexandria, including expanded interpretation along the Duke Street corridor, a series of film screenings and lectures, expanded programming at Freedom House Museum and special tours such as the African American Cemetery Tour.
Discover Alexandria will launch a new Architecture of Old Town tour in the summer of 2020, focusing on Alexandria’s great architectural history, investigating the built environment and the many layers of history imbued within it.
The Arlington House, the Robert E. Lee Memorial on the grounds of Arlington National Cemetery has reopened after a multi-million dollar renovation and has been restored to its original 1860 appearance.
Opening summer 2020, the National Museum of the United States Army will be located in southern Fairfax County, adjacent to Fort Belvoir, and will be the first and only museum to tell the 244-year history of the U.S. Army in its entirety. The 185,000-square-foot state-of-the-art museum will be a technological marvel incorporating the latest advances in museum exhibits while providing advanced educational opportunities. Admission will be free (timed tickets required) and will include meeting and event spaces, performance venues and more.
The Turning Point Suffragist Memorial dedication will be held August 26, 2020, the Centennial of ratifying the 19th Amendment. The monument will provide an overview of the entire movement, including African American suffragists who are often left out of the history books. The Workhouse Arts Center, once a DC prison that notoriously housed incarcerated members of the National Women’s Party, will open the Lucy Burns Museum in early 2020, which will focus on the Party’s efforts to win the right to vote.
The Hyatt Regency Dulles has recently completed a top to bottom multi-million-dollar renovation on its 316 guest rooms, restaurant and IACC and Silver LEED Certified meeting space.
The Tysons Corner Marriott has completed a major renovation of its 393 guest rooms and meeting space (replacing the pool with space) for a total of 9,731 square feet of meeting space.
The Sheraton Reston has begun work on an exterior facelift, plus will be renovating its 287 guest rooms and 22,306 square feet of meeting space (also turning its outdoor pool into outdoor event function space for weddings/receptions/etc.) with a completion date of mid-2020.
The Westin Tysons Corner is doing a major renovation of its 16,580 square feet of meeting space with a completion goal of mid-2020.
Loudoun County is seeing a rise in joint wineries and breweries. The newest on the block include Notaviva Craft Fermentations, which offers mixed wine and beer flights, and Hillsborough Winery & Brewery where the Baki brothers bring their wine-making and craft beer backgrounds under one roof.
Beginning in 2020, Lansdowne Resort and Spa will enhance guest experience by interweaving new ideologies dedicated to total mind and body well-being. In coordination with these new ideologies Lansdowne Resort is currently undergoing renovations that will transform its 55,000 square feet of meeting space into a luxurious and state of the art location for team building, conference or group meeting space.
The Black Sheep | Whiskey + Wine + Noshery (Located on Farm Brew Live’s campus) is a spectacular, two-story, historic dairy barn with exposed-beam vaulted ceilings and terrace. The vintage barn features a dedicated arts and entertainment space as well as private dining rooms in the lower level barrel-aging quarters. They are committed to promoting locally sourced food and supports local farms and farmers. The restaurant offers seating for more than 215 patrons, with two full-service bars (inside and outside).
The National Museum of the Marine Corps has completed its $100-million project to document the service’s history from the end of fighting in Vietnam to this generation’s conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. The facility has grown from 112,000 square feet to 200,000 square feet. The Legacy Walk Exhibit tells the story of the nearly 250-year history of the Marine Corps. The new final segment of the gallery will guide visitors through the evolution of the Marine Corps in the post-Vietnam era. The centerpiece of the new gallery is the “Terror Strikes” exhibit that includes the events of September 11, 2001. In addition, the extension includes “No Better Friend,” which explores the non-combat roles of Marines, and “Semper Family,” which speaks about the universal experiences of Marine Corps family members.
Construction was just recently completed on the new Townplace Suites by Marriott in Front Royal.
The Springston Regals at Massanutten Resort, 140 new luxury two bedroom duplex units, will be available in late 2020.
The Explore More Museum in Harrisonburg is adding a kitchen for culinary experiences and classes for children and a meeting space on its third floor.
The Miller’s House Museum, dedicated to interpreting the industrial and transportation history of the Lexington area, is adding a 2.5 x 8 ft. working model of a canal lock complete with gates, canal boat and running water.
Opening March 2020, the Stonewall Jackson House Museum’s new orientation center will be showcasing artifacts owned by the Jackson family and rarely seen by the public.
Sugar Maple Trading Company – a specialty items boutique store with a collection of new, vintage and handcrafted items.
The Patton Room at The Georges Inn in Lexington is a brand new event venue available for parties, wedding receptions, corporate retreats and meetings.
The Blackburn Inn is renovating a large historic building behind the Inn into a Wellness and Conference Center. When finished the Center, which is just over 20,000 sq.-ft, will consist of one 6,000 sq.-ft. meeting and banquet space, plus several other private spaces of various sizes. Opening in fall 2020.
Biteseeing Staunton is a new food tour exploring Staunton’s locally owned restaurants and specialty shops. New restaurants opening in Staunton in 2020 include Blu Point Seafood Co., 101 West Beverley – “The 101” and the Green Room.
The Depot, formerly located in Fort Defiance, is a late-1800s train depot relocated to the Valley Pike Farm Market in Weyers Cave and refurbished in 2019. The Depot joins the beautifully refurbished Sellers Barn, home to The Market and The Granary and where one can enjoy Sweet Creations fine candies and desserts, Virginia wine & beer offerings, crafts from local artisans and other Virginia made products.
The Trails at the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley, opening mid-2020, will be the largest outdoor art exhibit in Virginia and will have more than three miles of trails.
Brunswick County launches the Brunswick Stew Tour in early 2020, which will provide the history as well as fresh samples of the popular Virginia dish.
The Grizzly Hatchet House is a new ax-throwing range and bar opening in Danville in 2020.
Richlands Creamery in Dinwiddie recently opened on Richlands Dairy Farm and will provide guided tours and special event series in 2020, including a Dinner on the Dairy series, a Fall Festival and Family Farm Days. The creamery sells an array of dairy products, such as fresh milk and ice creams made on-site, and hosts private events in its Creamery Party Room.
Tree Time Adventures in Prince George opened in late 2019. The park has three different treetop obstacle courses ranging from intermediate to advanced, with just over 45 elements to climb through, hiking trails throughout the property and seven zip lines of varying lengths.
The historic Jefferson Pools, owned by The Omni Homestead Resort in Hot Springs, are undergoing renovations and scheduled to re-open late summer 2020.
Franklin County, an area considered to be the Moonshine Capital of the World, will be celebrating the Centennial of Prohibition. Visit the Blue Ridge Institute & Museum to learn more about Franklin County’s history and stop in at Franklin County Distilleries to taste it.
BLUE RIDGE HIGHLANDS
Opening in spring 2020, Snow’s Fine Meats & Provisions is Abingdon’s first whole animal butcher shop and delicatessen. Located on Main Street, Snow’s Fine Meats & Provisions will offer pastured local meats, deli items and grab-n-go sandwiches, as well as cooking classes.
The highly anticipated Sessions Hotel opened in Spring 2020 as a Tribute Hotel by Marriott in Bristol on State Street. The 70-room, $20 million project includes Southern Craft BBQ Restaurant, indoor and outdoor music venues, rooftop space and a luxury spa.
Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion and Bristol Motor Speedway announced a Rhythm and Racing Super Ticket, which will give music and race fans the opportunity to experience three-day weekend festival pass and three-day ticket to all the races.
The Patrick County Barn Quilt Trail was designed to connect with barn quilt trails in neighboring counties to promote tourism.
HEART OF APPALACHIA
After several years closed to the public, 2020 will bring the grand reopening of Pocahontas Exhibition Mine in Pocahontas. Renovations have been made to increase safety when touring the mine and will also be made to the museum.
POW Memorial at Cedar Bluff Overlook Park was unveiled in Spring 2019. The memorial features flags from all branches of the military, as well as the state and the POW flag.
FOR MORE EXCITING DEVELOPMENTS SEE WHAT'S NEW IN VIRGINIA