National Museum of the U.S. Army at center of new tourism plan

National Museum of the U.S. Army.

Fairfax County officials just launched a tourism plan that could impact commerce in Prince William County in an indirect way, solidifying the global economics theory on a smaller scale.

While there is a river boundary between the two counties, the main elements in Fairfax County’s plan are within easy access to key river crossings, making it an easy trip if taken during the right time of day.

Fairfax County’s plan was launched in late February when Mount Vernon District Supervisor Dan Storck created the Tourism Task Force at the National Museum of the U.S. Army.

The museum was scheduled to open June 4, but its timeline has been delayed due to the coronavirus.

“The museum will open when the conditions can ensure the health and safety of the museum visitors and staff, and the museum is ready to begin daily operations,” said a statement on the museum’s website.

The museum built on an 84-acre site right off the Fairfax County Parkway, close to the Richmond Highway intersection, at 1775 Liberty Drive, Suite 400 in Fort Belvoir. The 185,000 square-foot museum facility will use tanks, helicopters, weapons, and technology to tell the 240 years of Army history, similar to the Marine Corps museum in Quantico.

This massive undertaking is led by a joint effort between the U. S. Army and non-profit organization, the Army Historical Foundation (AHF).

“The National Museum of the United States Army will certainly be a tourist highlight of Fairfax County, which has been a great partner on this project. We also expect the entire National Capital Region and Commonwealth of Virginia to also benefit once the Museum opens,” said retired U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Roger Schultz, President of The Army Historical Foundation.

The new military museum will bring increased interest to existing destinations in Northern Virginia and the Richmond corridor, including Prince William County.

“Prince William County shares a regional vision to elevate the quality of life, by harnessing tourism and economic development opportunities showcasing the many Northern Virginia cultural, recreational and visitor attraction assets. We do this through fostering partnerships including the Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail, the Northern Virginia Tourism Partnership, NOVA Economic Development Alliance, and other regional collaborations,” stated Ann Marie Maher, Prince William County’s Director of Tourism.

Museum tickets must be reserved in advance, but they are free.

The Workhouse Arts Center recently opened a suffragist museum that will act as another magnet for tourism along with the resident artist attractions, live presentations, and a unique living quarters built in former prison buildings.

In addition, the attractions in southern Fairfax County include George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate, Mason Neck Park, bicycle facilities at Fountainhead Regional Park, and along the GW Parkway, a planned ski slope on a landfill in Lorton, historic Woodlawn, and Frank Lloyd Wright’s Pope-Leighey House.

These are all within close proximity to the Occoquan River and Prince William County.

“It is our vision that this collaboration will accelerate South County economic development and provide new opportunities for residents and visitors alike,” Storck said.

Tourism in Fairfax County has created around 30,000 jobs and brought in nearly $6o million locally, according to a press release.

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