The Prince William County/Manassas Convention & Visitors Bureau was officially unveiled for a second time Nov. 8 by county leaders and business officials. The unveiling is part of the county’s new, more aggressive efforts to increase Virginia’s tourism. The Prince William-Manassas region, sometimes known as the “Washington, D.C. area’s best kept secret,” is making new changes in preparation of the 150th anniversary commemoration of the Civil War.

The Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) had a ribbon ceremony on Friday for its new office on Balls Ford Road, which was attended by more than 200 elected officials, tourism partner representatives and civic leaders. As the Prince William-Manassas region’s primary agency for increasing county revenues through tourism promotion, CVB has marked a milestone with this event, which is concurrent with efforts to promote the Civil War’s 150th anniversary.

Activities for The American Civil Wars Anniversary, slated to begin in July, will consist of living history, lectures, concerts, exhibits, academic pursuits, educational programs and re-enactments. Ann Marie Maher, executive director of CVB, assured that the bureau will dramatically improve its local, regional and national image to maximize visitation at these events. “Prince William and Manassas is one of the most authentic and beautiful places for people from across the country to visit,” said Maher in a press statement. “We can no longer be the ‘Washington region’s best kept secret,’ but instead must work to aggressively drive travelers to our area and bolster our county’s economy through a vibrant tourism sector. The CVB is perfectly positioned to do that.”

The Convention & Visitors Bureau, which receives financial support from an appropriation by the Prince William Board of County Supervisors and the county’s Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT), also receives a grant from the city of Manassas. With this funding, Steve Nelson, chairman of the Prince William County/Manassas Convention and Visitors Bureau, and Maher reported the CVB would rebrand its logo, marketing materials, website and social media platforms to enhance its visibility.


Lee Ann Bohene

Special to the AFRO