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locationreport


leading provider of economic impact data for destinations around the world. Beyond direct sales, the amount of business sales generated by tourism spending was $2.2 billion, when indirect and induced impacts were considered. This includes spending on things like construction, retail, recreation and entertainment, and food and beverages.


In 2016, tourism spending supported 4.1 percent of all jobs in Montgomery County, employing close to 20,000 people. With more new construction and improvements to existing inventory, the outlook for tourism-related jobs is positive.


Valley Forge Casino Resort in King of Prussia, PA


stress and improve their health and hap- piness.


Days Inn Horsham Philadelphia just underwent renovations and added luxury touches like an atrium lobby and granite floors.


The Crowne Plaza Valley Forge and Doubletree Valley Forge both have renovations planned for 2018.


In addition to improvements among the county’s hotels, new properties are join- ing the market. These include the Fairfield Inn and Suites Willow Grove, which opened last year. Coming soon, the Residence Inn in Collegeville was designed to serve the local corporate markets as well as sports travel teams competing at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center in Oaks.


“We’re very optimistic about tourism in Montgomery County,” said Mike Bowman, president and CEO of the Valley Forge Tourism and Convention Board. “With some spectacular new hotels coming into the county and all the improvements being made to our exist- ing facilities, people have their pick of


86 November z December 2017


places to stay. And when they’re here, we know they’ll have a great time learn- ing about our rich history, exploring our vibrant arts scene, experiencing the best shopping in the country, and dining in our over 1,600 restaurants. All of this contributes to the economy in a positive way.”


According to Smith Travel Research, the industry leader in hotel data, Montgomery County hotels’ RevPAR (Revenue Per Available Room) grew sig- nificantly (21 percent) between 2015 and 2016, mostly due to the Democratic National Convention (DNC) held in Philadelphia; much of that growth was lost from 2016-2017 with a 16.8 percent RevPAR decline. However, despite losing 16,000 DNC room nights this year, Montgomery County is keeping pace with demand. The 2017 RevPAR increase of $0.85 compared to 2015 represents a $153,288 increase in revenue.


Tourism is a major driver of Montgomery County’s economy. In 2016, tourism spending in Montco reached $1.5 billion and grew by 3.2 percent from the prior year according to Tourism Economics, a


Montgomery County’s hotel sector out- performed Pennsylvania’s in 2016, and


Montco ranks first among the Philadelphia region’s suburban counties with a 41 percent share of the $3.7 bil- lion in total visitor spending.


The Valley Forge Tourism and Convention Board (VFTCB) has launched a new marketing campaign: “We’re Ready,” which is part of an aggressive out-of-market media push in Washington, DC, Baltimore, and Northern New Jersey. The TV commer- cial takes viewers on a journey through Montgomery County, announcing that “We’re Ready” to welcome visitors from across the nation and around the world.


The “We’re Ready” theme was carried on in campaigns for the organization’s other brands, including Adventure Montco and Destination Shop Montco, and will be seen in upcoming campaigns for Arts Montco, Valley Forge Sports, and the Revolutionary Events meetings brand.


King of Prussia Mall just underwent a multi-million expansion connecting the Court and the Plaza to create an unpar- alleled shopping experience all under one roof. This spring, LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Philadelphia opened in


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