Contact: John Golden
Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board Forms Sports Commission; Welcomes USA Weightlifting National Junior Championships & Senior Trials to Montgomery County
$1.7 Million in Economic Impact Anticipated for the USA Weightlifting Event; More Sports Business on the Way
KING OF PRUSSIA, Pa. (February 17, 2016) -- Today, the Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board gathered 100 representatives from the hospitality industry in Montgomery County, Pa., at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center at Oaks for the announcement of its newly formed sports commission, Valley Forge Sports. The initiative aims to attract lucrative sports meetings and events business to the region. The announcement was held in conjunction with move-in day at the Expo Center for the USA Weightlifting National Junior Championships & Senior Trials, an Olympic qualifying event booked by Valley Forge Sports.
The four-day USA Weightlifting event, to be held at the Expo Center, February 18-21, will bring more than 400 top athletes and their families from throughout the country to Montgomery County. It is expected to generate 880 room nights for area hotels and result in more than $1.7 million in economic impact for the region.
The 15-member Valley Forge Sports commission includes professionals drawn from the region's sporting venues and businesses, as well as other hospitality industry stakeholders such as the Montgomery County Planning Commission and the Philadelphia Sports Congress.
"We are excited to welcome USA Weightlifting as we accelerate our efforts to grow Montgomery County as a sports tourism destination," said Mike Bowman, president and CEO, Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board. "Our newly formed sports division is working collaboratively with our 400 member hotels, attractions and businesses to showcase the numerous attributes that make us an appealing destination to coaches and event and meeting planners. From our accessibility and accommodations to our family-friendly attractions and sporting venues, we are ensuring the highest level of service to our customers and their guests," he said.
"We are thrilled to host this year's National Junior Championships & Senior Trials in Montgomery County," said Phil Andrews, interim CEO, USA Weightlifting. "The convenience, venue size and other amenities are of great resources for our athletes and their families, and we're looking forward to a memorable event."
"As Chair of the County Commissioners, I'm all for this step taken by the Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board, but as a parent, I'm even more excited. I know from watching my own four kids in competitions how a location can make or break an event. I applaud the VFTCB's efforts to embrace not only the competitors but also the parents, guardians and chaperones who travel with them, recommending things to do before and after the whistle blows. And fortunately, Montgomery County has plenty to recommend," said Josh Shapiro, Chairman, Montgomery County Board of Commissioners.
Andrew Carl, sales manager, Valley Forge Sports, said, "This is an excellent example of the sporting events we want to host here in Montgomery County. The sports meetings industry continues to grow, and through the efforts of our sports commission and hospitality partners, along with our sales and marketing initiatives such as sales calls and trade shows, our website, video and new sports app, we are working to get a bigger piece of that business here in Montgomery County," he said.
According to the Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board, the 2015 fiscal year generated 40,426 room nights, 400,000 visitors and $20 million in economic impact from sports business bookings. In 2016, the Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board and its Valley Forge Sports will welcome USA BMX Keystone Nationals, Senior PGA Players Championship, U.S. High School Team Squash Championships, AAU Girls Basketball East Coast Championships, MyHockey and the USGA Women's Amateur, which booked 14,000 room nights.
Montgomery County Commissioner Dr. Val Arkoosh said, "Attracting sports to our area brings an undeniable boost to our economy. As a physician, I am a long-standing advocate of exercise and fitness. The types of tournaments coming to Montgomery County promote health in a setting of good-natured competition and team spiritedness. An organization like the Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board promoting those assets on a national basis is a great advantage."
Valley Forge Sports is touting Montgomery County's many attributes to coaches, event and meeting planners, including the region's climate, convenient location and affordable accommodations and services for team training, tournaments and other sporting events. The sales pitch also includes information on the region's:
- Premier training and instruction venues for baseball, cheerleading, field hockey, gymnastics, soccer, softball, as well as for general training in speed and agility;
- Training facilities for baseball, basketball, ice hockey, soccer, softball and volleyball;
- 60 miles of interconnected trails that provide a natural background for training related to biking, hiking and other high-cardio sports;
- Fresh powder all winter, natural and man-made, at Spring Mountain Adventures, the closest skiing and snowboarding in the Philadelphia area;
- Stadiums, arenas, sports facilities and other facilities, both public and private.
At the Valley Forge Sports kickoff event, the sports commission also debuted the Valley Forge Sports Playbook Mobile App. The app promotes the areas attributes, including venues such as the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center, BucksMont Indoor Sports Center, Competitive Edge Sports, Valley Forge Casino Resort, Center Ice in Oaks, YSC Sports, Trilogy Park BMX, United Sports Training Center, The Hatfield Ice Arena, The Training Center, The Proving Ground, The Hill School, Plymouth Whitemarsh High School and Germantown Academy.
For more information visit valleyforge.org/sports or teamusa.org/usa-weightlifting.
The Valley Forge Tourism & 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 400-plus member hotels, restaurants, attractions and services. The Board's award-winning website, valleyforge.org, serves visitors, meeting planners, tour operators and residents, as well as hosts The Pursuit, a nationally recognized twice-weekly blog. The VFTCB recently added Valley Forge Sports, Montco 360, Montgomery County Weddings and Patriot Trails to their portfolio of brands.