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Virginia Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau

March 17, 2023

Dear Valued Tourism Partners,

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! It’s finally here - the high-spirited holiday when the Beach goes green as we host thousands of athletes, their families and friends! It was super exciting to feel the energy in the air earlier today at the opening of the 2023 Shamrock Expo, the official start of the celebration of the 51st Annual Shamrock Marathon Weekend. The events, which include a Marathon, Half Marathon, 8K, other challenges and an Expo, are expected to draw approximately 20,000 domestic and international participants to our coastal destination. Let’s hope that many here this weekend for their first experience will be so delighted that they decide on a return visit! Even if your contribution is cheering on the crowds of runners, I hope you can enjoy some of the fun this weekend. For race information, course maps and more, click here. For your convenience, here is the official Road Closure Notification.

Convention Center Hosts Virginia Beach State of the City Address - It was exciting to be in the audience Wednesday at the Convention Center for the annual Virginia Beach State of the City address. In celebration of Virginia Beach's 60th anniversary, the theme this year was a focus on "The Next 60 Years and Beyond." The presentation highlighted major city initiatives, key business happenings, recognized several organizations, new event announcements, and provided a look forward for the city.  

Partners, if you would like to use the City’s new 60th anniversary logo for your Virginia Beach business(es), visit Requests to use the logo, or any variation of such, should be submitted to the Virginia Beach Communications Office via email at

At this year’s event, Mayor Bobby Dyer and City Manager Patrick Duhaney took turns listing off many of the city’s recent accomplishments, like bringing back Pharrell William’s Something in the Water music festival, the addition of the new BEACH IT! Festival and a special video announcement that Tony Hawk, the skateboarding legend, will be headlining the free JACKALOPE Sports Festival June 2-4 at the Oceanfront. Originally announced at the 2022 State of the City event, the JACKALOPE festival will also feature BMX, surfing and other extreme sports. 

The leaders touted a planned Old Dominion University data science school to be located at Town Center. The pair also applauded developments across Virginia Beach Boulevard, where the owners of Pembroke Mall are spending $200 million to turn the property into Pembroke Square, a multi-use development with retail, senior housing, upscale apartments and a new hotel for the area. Other topics included upcoming public input opportunities. Duhaney noted that Virginia Beach residents will have an opportunity to comment on the future of the city’s new 10-1 district voting system via a survey which can be accessed from March 25 through April 3 at Find a full article on the event written by Trevor Metcalfe of Inside Business at this link.

Excitement Builds As Closures Allow For Construction Activity - In more exciting news, the city received the antcipated two week notice that the parking lots at 19th Street will officially go offline on March 31, 2023. Please pass this information along to the members of your team that need to know.

VBRA Announces “Something on the Menu” - From Back Bay to Chesapeake Bay, Oceanfront, Town Center and beyond, there’s “Something on the Menu” at Virginia Beach restaurants April 23-30, 2023. Participating restaurants are spreading the spirit of the Something in the Water Festival with a casual groove, cool vibes and great eats all week. Locals and visitors are encouraged to enjoy daily menu specials highlighting food and beverage items exclusively created for this celebratory week. Find out all the details here including participating venues. 

Beyond Van Gogh, The Immersive Experience – We are thrilled to be selected as a host venue for this highly-anticipated experience. One of the hottest tickets in the region this summer, “Beyond Van Gogh: The Immersive Experience" comes to Virginia Beach in partnership with Virginia Arts Festival July 6th through Sept. 2nd. Imagine being completely immersed in more than 300 of the greatest works of post-Impressionist artist Vincent van Gogh. Now imagine experiencing all of this art liberated from its two-dimensional limitations into a three-dimensional experience that exhilarates every sense and brings to life one of the most influential artists the world has known. Find out more information and get tickets here

March Into Spring at Town Center - From cafes and fine dining to boutique shopping and locally-made sweets, there is something for everyone at the beautiful Town Center of Virginia Beach. Find their Spring Calendar of Events here

Sales Activity - After several successful sales missions and site visits last week, the team is busy doing the needed follow-up work. This past week, Dee Mittman represented the bureau at a United Negro College Fund event which she attended with several local clients. Speaking of Dee, congratulations are in order as she was featured in a member spotlight article in the March edition of ReConnect, the newsletter of the Georgia chapter of Meeting Professional International. Jamie Mitchell conducted a site visit with Virginia State Literacy Association this week and was also in Richmond for a Virginia Society of Association Executives meeting. Special thanks to our Visitor Information Center team who have been busy sending out our 2023 Visitor Guides to AAA offices throughout the country. AAA member bookings account for 31 percent of all U.S. overnight hotel business and claims more than 56 million members in the United States and Canada. 

Convention Center Activity - After a busy week hosting almost 1,100 attendees for the Virginia Beach State of the City luncheon, the VBCC is excited to welcome approximately 20,000 runners and their families to the Shamrock Sports & Fitness Expo. In addition, on Saturday about 500 people will attend the Community Association Institute’s annual conference. The VBCC remains busy throughout next week and finishes the month with dance, treasure, and the World Culture Festival.

Sports Tourism Activity - This weekend will be action-packed with a variety of sports activities - in addition to the marathon and related races -  in our coastal city! At the Sports Center, track and field athletes will participate in the 2023 Adidas Indoor Nationals where an expected 2,000 top-athletes will showcase their talents. Also in the house at the Sports Center this weekend is the 2023 Big Shots Tip Off, expected to draw 2,000 basketball athletes to Virginia Beach over two days. At the Hampton Roads Soccer Complex,  the 2023 VB Spring Classic will bring 2,500 soccer athletes to town to battle it out on the soccer fields. Across the city at the U.S.Field Hockey Training Center, the highly-anticipated 2023 Saint Play Days Field Hockey tournament is expected to showcase some of the country’s top youth field hockey competitors.

Events & Happenings 

Our current Calendar of Events is available here. Take a look and see more of what’s on the horizon for the first half of 2023. 

My team and I are committed to you and our industry and are here to help. Please let me know how we can assist. 

Nancy Helman 
CVB Director









Hotel Performance for the week of February 26 – March 4 - According to Smith Travel Research, Virginia Beach’s hotel occupancy hotel occupancy rate for the week of February 26 – March 4 was up 4.0% at 53.7% occupancy and was up 1.7% for the running 28-day trend. ADR was up 8.1% at $117.57 for the week and up 5.6% for the running 28-day trend. RevPAR was up 12.4% at $63.16 and up 7.3% for the running 28-day trend. In comparison to the month of February 2019, we have an increase in occupancy of 7.4% and an increase in ADR and RevPAR of 41.41% and 51.86% respectively.

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Virginia Beach Convention & Visitors Bureau

600 22nd Street, 2nd Floor, Virginia Beach, VA 23451

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