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Events DC Announces $18 Million Hospitality & Tourism Relief Package Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

April 9, 2020

Funds support local DC restaurants, hotel industry, destination marketing and undocumented workers

Events DC, Washington DC’s official convention and sports authority, today announced an $18 million hospitality and tourism relief package to address the impact of COVID-19 pandemic. This critical initiative is designed to provide emergency funding to help DC’s local hospitality and tourism industry that is in dire need of immediate support. The relief package, approved by Events DC’s Board of Directors, will provide support to restaurants, hotels and undocumented workers in Washington, DC.

“The hospitality and tourism industry has been upended by the pandemic and Events DC plays an important role with the ability to provide aid and support to our local partners, the backbone of our city’s economy,” said Max Brown, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Events DC. “This $18 million relief package will provide a vital lifeline of support to our local economy, by helping to lay a strong foundation for the recovery and supplements what Mayor Bowser and the Council of the District of Columbia have approved over the last several weeks. We’re all in this fight together and we remain dedicated to helping our city get back on its feet.”

The full relief package includes:

  • $5 million for hospitality and restaurant recovery efforts, inclusive of both worker and operator relief;
  • $5 million for hotels recovery efforts, including both worker and operator programs;
  • $5 million for undocumented workers across Washington, DC; and
  • $3 million dedicated to destination marketing efforts, with the focus first on bringing visitors back to DC

“As this unprecedented global health crisis is severely affecting all of us – our city, our hospitality industry and our residents, it is our duty to act responsibly and do what we can to support our industry,” said Greg O’Dell, president and chief executive officer of Events DC. “The goal of this $18 million relief fund is not only to help our local hospitality and tourism industry now, but will help fuel Washington, DC’s recovery. I am grateful for the resiliency of our industry and everyone’s willingness to support each other and stand in solidarity during these difficult times.”

The programs included in the funding package will be designed to help hospitality, restaurant and hotel workers specifically, as well as certain operator-related expenses for qualified restaurants and hotels. Proposed programs are currently being evaluated and developed. Events DC will formally execute agreements to ensure that processes and the appropriate safeguards are in place prior to providing the funds.

The hospitality and tourism industry is Washington, DC’s second largest industry, employing more than 80,000 people. Events DC remains committed to helping to drive the economic recovery for the city, through the ongoing promotion and support of the hospitality and tourism industry.

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About Events DC
Events DC, the official convention and sports authority for the District of Columbia, delivers premier event services and flexible venues across the nation's capital. Leveraging the power of a world-class destination and creating amazing attendee experiences, Events DC generates economic and community benefits through the attraction and promotion of business, athletic, entertainment and cultural activities. Events DC oversees the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, an anchor of the District's hospitality and tourism economy that hosts more than 1.7 million visitors and generates more than $400 million annually in total economic impact, and the historic Carnegie Library at Mt. Vernon Square. Events DC manages the RFK Stadium-Armory Campus (RFK Campus), including Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium, Festival Grounds at RFK Campus, The Fields at RFK Campus, the non-military functions of the DC Armory and the Skate Park at RFK Stadium. Stay current on the 190-acre RFK Campus Redevelopment Project at Events DC also built and serves as landlord for Nationals Park, the first LEED-certified major professional sports stadium in the United States. Events DC manages Gateway DC, R.I.S.E. Demonstration Center and the Entertainment and Sports Arena (, all conveniently located in the Congress Heights neighborhood of Washington, DC.

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Washington DC