Luz Lazo | The Washington Post
When it comes to business, the areas around Dulles International and Reagan National airports couldn’t differ more, a hospitality executive told business and government leaders recently.
Hotel rooms are booked fast in Crystal City near the robust National airport, a vibrant employment center with access to multiple modes of transit. Combined, those factors make the perfect equation for strong hotel occupancy rates, said Mark Carrier, president of B.F. Saul Company Hospitality Group, which owns hotels near Reagan and Dulles.
By contrast, it’s a challenge to fill rooms near Dulles where business is down dramatically. The area around the airport is car-centric and lacks the vast public transit options available near National. Hotel rooms were built around the idea that by now Dulles would have 30 million to 35 million passengers annually, Carrier said last week at a transportation forum in Tysons. Last year, 21.6 million passengers flew through Dulles, a significant drop from 27 million in 2005.
“The employment growth immediately around the airport is not as robust either and as a result it is a challenge,” he said.
But Metro’s Silver Line, scheduled to arrive at Dulles in 2020, provides hope that it could contribute to turning that around. The rail extension to Loudoun County is projected to drive up economic development in the Dulles corridor, boosting not only current businesses but also the airport’s growth opportunities. Read more