Contact:  John Golden, Director of Communications

Valley Forge and Montgomery County, Pa., Eagerly Anticipate the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia

County offers world-class hotels in close proximity to proceedings, plus the chance to spend the off-hours in unique ways

KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa. (February 12, 2015) - Philadelphia steps again to the fore of historical events with the announcement of the arrival of the Democratic National Convention (DNC) in July 2016. Depending on which candidate emerges as the next presidential nominee -- and the possibility that it be a woman for the first time ever -- the area is an apt choice for a monumental shift from the past.

The prospect of a watershed moment in the country unfolding locally reverberates well in Valley Forge and Montgomery County, Pa., whose role in shaping significant shifts in our development as a nation go back to Colonial times.

"This is a great day for Philly and our region and shows that we can accomplish big things when we work together. This all started with a small meeting at the Union League with a handful of us more than a year ago and grew into a massive, bipartisan, inclusive, regional effort that will bring people, revenue, and civic pride to our region. I can't wait for 2016!," says Josh Shapiro, Chairman Montgomery County Commission.

The accent history - plus its 70 hotels and 8,400 rooms - makes Valley Forge and Montgomery County, Pa., an apt destination for conventioneers, according to the Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board (VFTCB). The County's proximity to the Pennsylvania Convention Center is also a significant plus, as attendees can commute the 18-mile distance either by car or, even more conveniently, rail or bus.

"We are extremely excited with the decision of the Democratic National Committee to hold its 2016 convention in Philadelphia," says VFTCB President Bill Fitzgerald. "We congratulate them on their vision and enthusiasm for our area and can commit to welcoming the delegates and their families from across the U.S."

The economic impact of the DNC's choice of Philadelphia will be significant. Four years ago, in 2012, the convention in Charlotte brought in a total of $163.6 million. Prior conventions in major metropolitan areas in the past led to significant compression of available hotel rooms. Demand then sent attendees to nearby suburbs, a situation that Fitzgerald says Montgomery County hotels are not only ready for this time but also welcome.

Visitors staying in Montgomery County for the convention will find more than just comfortable accommodations. "One demographic that the DNC is particularly looking to court is Millennials," Fitzgerald says. "That is a market for which we have a lot to offer: Montgomery County has taken off in the past decade in its appeal to people in their 20s, offering lively main streets, vibrant concert venues, an exciting casino and dozens of craft breweries and specialty restaurants."

The VFTCB also hopes to attract fans of the political process that are also interested in history. "Our presentation of some of the key events related to the Revolutionary War are second to none," Fitzgerald says. "These include Valley Forge National Historical Park, Pennypacker Mills, Peter Wentz Farmstead and Pottsgrove Manor. We also have sites that speak loudly to the qualities of patriotism and heroism, especially the Medal of Honor Grove at the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge, which contains a marker for every Congressional Medal of Honor ever awarded."

The VFTCB has just finished packaging significant 18th-century sites in an online tour, Patriot Trails. The web-based itineraries take visitors on a trek across all parts of the county, engaging them in the story through interactive details about what to see and where to go. Comprehensiveness and convenience were woven into the experience, as each location describes not only its significance but also what places are nearby for a meal or an overnight.

"Patriot Trails are only one way out of many that visitors can explore Montgomery County. Delegates can also come here to experience our art and culture scene, an exciting nightlife or, after an active day on the floor, a chance to simply unwind and unplug on one of our inviting trails or open spaces," Fitzgerald concludes.

# # # 

The Valley Forge Tourism and Convention Board is a nonprofit, membership-based sales and marketing organization that actively promotes the Valley Forge area and Montgomery County, Pa., as a convention site and leisure visitor destination by encouraging patronage of its 300-plus member hotels, restaurants, attractions and services. The Board's website serves visitors, meeting planners, tour operators and residents, as well as hosting The Pursuit, a twice-weekly blog.