PlacestoMeet This year, as National Harbor celebrates its ten-year anniversary, this water-

front resort destination also reaches many milestones. 2017 brought more than 12 million visitors, including many from meetings, events and conven- tions. With the 2017 opening of the 16,000-square foot RiverView Ballroom (a freestanding waterfront ballroom) at Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center, National Harbor grew its meeting and event space to more than 660,000-square feet of space in total.

Ranked consistently in Cvent’s top 50 U.S. Meeting Destinations in the U.S., the 350-acre destination boasts eight hotels and 3,254 total sleeping rooms, 40 restaurants and 160 shops, including Tanger Outlets with 85 premium brands. The destination also is centrally located with easy access to additional properties in downtown Washington, DC and Old Town Alexandria.

Larger meetings and conventions at National Harbor take advantage of the ability to book the citywide venue that also offers outdoor flex space throughout. In National Harbor’s Waterfront District, two 10,000-square foot platforms adjacent to National Harbor’s 700-foot piers provide prime flex, waterfront meeting locations.

National Harbor also has introduced a new clear dome tent that is situated waterside - “Harbor Dome” provides a creative space for a memorable event or meeting.

National Harbor offers groups a variety of after-meeting gathering locations, too. A new open-air bar and restaurant, Flight Deck, located beneath the iconic 180-foot Capital Wheel, provides picturesque views of Washington, DC monuments, Old Town Alexandria, VA and beyond.

Attendees can also visit Fleet Street, the entertainment area within the Waterfront District that has everything from bull riding at Cadillac Ranch to dueling pianos at Bobby McKeys. The street has also serves as the perfect location for meeting and event block parties.

The destination is home, too, to Gaylord National Resort and MGM National Harbor - two of Maryland’s nine Four Diamond rated hotels. Gaylord National Resort, the largest non-gaming resort and convention center on the East Coast, has close to 2,000 guest rooms and boasts 600,000- square feet of indoor and outdoor meeting space.

MGM National Harbor, celebrating its second anniversary this year, holds more than 50,000-square feet of luxury meeting space, including a state- of-the-art 3,000-seat theater. MGM National Harbor recently debuted a 38,000-square foot second level casino with an expanded poker room, off- track horse betting, more slot machines, a new bar and fast casual dining.

The two properties also each hold the largest spas in the Washington, DC region. Rêlache Spa at Gaylord National and The Spa at MGM National Harbor.

For smaller meetings or overflow space, National Harbor’s portfolio includes AC Hotel National Harbor with its European vibe and contemporary style. It has 192 rooms and 3,700-square feet of meeting and event space. The contemporary Harborside Hotel has 194 spacious rooms and suites has 7,700-square feet of meeting space with a 6,100-square foot ballroom.

ThingstoDo National Harbor’s wide, walkable streets in the Waterfront District

feature unique shops and boutiques as well as outdoor art by national and internationally renowned artists. A 3,200-foot promenade, known as American Way, has everything from murals to sculptures.

New statues commemorating the American military are being added this year along with a Guide-By-Cell program that will allow visitors to learn the history of the artworks as well as information about the people they represent.

Rated by Expedia as one of the top locations in the U.S. to watch the best sunsets, National Harbor is defined by its sweeping river views and waterfront activities, from renting pedal boats to chartering a yacht; riding the 180-foot Capital Wheel or the carousel; watching movies or sporting events on National Harbor’s big waterfront screen; attending concerts, or participating in any of the many other events and activities including yoga, Zumba and exercise classes. Water taxis will take visitors to Washington, DC, Old Town Alexandria, or historic Mount Vernon.

Located just 15 minutes from the nation’s capital, National Harbor’s location is easily accessible from major interstates including I-95, I-495 and I-295, as well as three area airports: Washington Dulles International, Baltimore Washington International Airport and Reagan National Airport. There are two nearby Amtrak stations, and National Harbor also can be reached easily by boat, as the National Harbor Marina has 64 slips. Marina amenities include private changing facilities, dock side power and concierge service.

“Harbor Dome” provides a

creative space for a memorable event or meeting.

Mid-Atlantic­EvEntS Magazine 77

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