As The Weather Channel and anyone with seasonal allergies can tell you, the pollen level in the D.C. area right now is very high.
It’s something of an annual spring rite of passage — tree pollen levels rise as temperatures get warmer, allergy sufferers start suffering, and everything gets covered with a fine, lime green layer of a tree’s reproductive cells.
In particular, cars — especially cars parked under trees — are prone to becoming covered. Perhaps that’s why, at 2:30 p.m., there are long lines at the Mr. Wash car wash at 101 N. Glebe Road.
Dave Coulier, of Full House and America’s Funniest People fame, will be performing a “special family-friendly comedy show” at the Drafthouse on Mother’s Day weekend. Tickets to see “Uncle Joey” — on Friday, May 6 and Saturday, May 7 — are $23 apiece.
Just one week after Coulier’s squeaky-clean stand-up act, the only performer ever banned for life from MTV will take the stage.
Andrew Dice Clay, described in promotional materials as the “most controversial and outrageous comic of all time,” was the first comic to sell out Madison Square Garden two nights in a row. Now, having just landed a reoccurring role on HBO’s Entourage, he’s coming to Arlington for two nights of comedy.
Dice will be performing at 7:30 and 9:55 p.m. on Friday, May 13 and Saturday, May 14. Tickets are $40.
In January, the National Mastitis Council brought its annual meeting to Arlington. Approximately 400 people from around the country and around the world gathered for four days and three nights at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City to discuss the latest advances in improving milk quality and maintaining the health of cow udders.
The total estimated economic impact for local businesses: $400,000. Total estimated hotel tax revenue: $11,250.
Each year, dozens of such specialized industry events quietly come to Arlington, spend bundles of money and leave without most residents even knowing they were here. All told — while there’s no official accounting of it — there are likely hundreds of meetings, conventions, tour groups and reunions that stay in Arlington hotels on an annual basis. And there are millions of dollars to be made from those gatherings — by hotels, restaurants, taxi companies and the county government.
The average size of a meeting booked through the Arlington Convention and Visitor’s Service is 175 people, according to Arlington Economic Development spokeswoman Karen Vasquez. The average meeting attendee spends $116 per day in Arlington on things like meals, transportation, shopping and attractions. Meanwhile, the average hotel room in Arlington is just over $165 per night.
Put that together, and you have the average three-day meeting producing about $118,650 worth of spending in Arlington County. Of that spending, the county collects a 4 percent tax on meals and a 5.25 percent tax on the hotel room. Not a bad haul for a random meeting of a group that most people have probably never heard of — like the International Society for Medical Publication Professionals.
(The hotel tax will be going down to 5 percent in 2012 thanks to political wrangling in Richmond. The 0.25 percent that Arlington will lose had been going to fund Arlington’s tourism promotion efforts. In its new budget, the County Board included one-time funding to keep the tourism office open through the middle of 2012.)
After a jump, a list of some of the other meetings that have recently come or will be coming to Arlington.
Conte’s (3924 Wilson Blvd) in Ballston will hold its first group ride of the summer on Tuesday, May 3.
The group rides take about 350 cyclists on an hour-long route through local neighborhoods. The course can get hilly, but the rides are open to cyclists of all skills and abilities.
“No one will be left behind,” Conte’s says. The store also offers an “introduction to group riding skills” course for group ride beginners.
The rides are held every Tuesday, with the second Tuesday of every month reserved for a fast-paced, 15-mile women’s ride. A free Baja Fresh BBQ is provided on the first Tuesday of every month.
The rides depart from Mosaic Park, behind the store, at 6:30 p.m. Helmets are required A police escort is usually provided for safety.
Flickr pool photo by Chris Rief
A granite sign that went missing from the side of Columbia Pike has been found.
The sign (shown above, before it went missing) was placed on the east end of Columbia Heights to announce to drivers that they were entering the neighborhood. On Tuesday we reported that it had disappered.
Christine Nixon, chief of the county’s Neighborhood Services Division, said someone may have tried to steal the sign and then simply gave up.
“Parties unknown at present unscrewed the sign and left it lying in the median,” Nixon said in an email last night. “It’s really, really heavy so I’m assuming that they tried to lift it and couldn’t. Our keen-eyed folks at [the Parks Department] noticed the sign lying there and picked it up and took it to their storage area. So we are going to reinstall it shortly with bolts that can’t easily be unscrewed (and maybe a more attractive rear view).”
The sign would have cost $900 to replace.
Empty Courthouse Office Building for Sale – The big, white Verizon office building at 1320 N. Courthouse Road is actually vacant — and for sale. After nearly 30 years as a tenant, Verizon left its offices in the building. The owner is now seeking interested buyers or joint venture partners. [GlobeSt.com]
Westover to Hold Easter Egg Hunt — Children 9 years old and younger are invited to participate in Westover Village’s Easter egg hunt on Saturday. The event is being held from 10:00 a.m. to noon next to the Westover Library. Admission is free and yes, the Easter Bunny will be there. [VisitWestover.com]
State Senate Candidates Forum — Democratic candidates for the 30th District state Senate seat participated in their first public forum of the campaign. Del. Adam Ebbin, Alexandria City Councilman Rob Krupicka and Arlington School Board member Libby Garvey answered questions about their stance on business issues and other policy matters. [Del Ray Patch]