held March 6, 2018
While the Alexandria Planning Commission held their regular monthly meeting on Tuesday night, the City Council was also meeting, considering items on their first legislative agenda of the month. Two items of economic development interest included the Consideration of a License Agreement between the City and Spirit Cruises for use of the City Marina and a Work Session on Tourism in Alexandria.
Details on these items can be found and below.
Item: License Agreement with Spirit Cruises for Use of the City Marina
Action: Unanimous vote to receive the report and schedule it for public hearing
Next Steps: City Council will hold a public hearing and vote at their Saturday, March 17, 2018 public hearing; following action, the City Manager will be authorized to execute the agreement
Description: License agreement that allows for Spirit Cruises (Potomac Riverboat Company) to continue to operate a water taxi service, site seeing tours and charter vessel rentals from the City of Alexandria Marina
Details & Issues of Interest:
– Current license agreement expires March 31, 2018
– Initial period of new license is for five (5) years with the mutually agreed license extensions of one (1) additional five (5) year period
– The City has six (6) slips available- in recent years the Potomac Riverboat Company has had licenses to utilize five
– Points of interest served have historically included the Mount Vernon Estate, National Harbor, Georgetown, the National Mall, Nationals Stadium, and Washington DC Waterfront. New points of interest to be served will now include the new Audi Soccer Stadium and the Wharf in Washington, D.C.
– The agreement requires Spirit Cruises to undertake certain activities to market the City, to assist in developing a cooperative events and marketing agreements with other riverboat destination/origins, to assist in the City’s annual Potomac River holiday boat parade and requires Spirit Cruises to inform its patrons as to parking facilities near the City’s waterfront
– Council discussed language in the agreement that prohibits commuter service
Item: Work Session: Alexandria Tourism Update
Action: None. This item was for discussion purposes only
Next Steps: None.
Description: Staff from Visit Alexandria presented an update on visitor spending, job creation, hotel occupancy and other key performance indicators.
Details & Issues of Interest:
– Visa credit card data shows 71% of consumption taxes (eg. hotel and meals tax) are paid by visitors vs. Alexandrians
– 1.94M web visits annually- www.VisitAlexandriaVA.com
– New efforts in FY 2018:
NSF opening- realized 40,000 hotel room nights
New MGM and Amtrak marketing partnerships
Build on two new efforts: Wedding Showcase & LGBT travel
– Planned for FY 2019:
King Street Park at the Waterfront
Arrival of Tall Ship Providence
Regional Waterfront Partnership
Specialty Tours with Office of Historic Alexandria
Running race packages to attract runners to stay
Leverage major events like MLB’s All Star Game