NATIONAL HARBOR, Md., June 30, 2020— As Prince Georges County begins to lift more restrictions on opening up, National Harbor is kicking off its Welcome Back campaign and STARTS initiative. STARTS stands for the expanded actions that National Harbor is taking in light of COVID-19—Sanitizing, Touchpoints, Advanced technology, Reinforced social distancing, Teaching & educating, and Security.
The Capital Wheel officially opens today (hours 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily) with extensive safety measures including the use of electrostatic germicidal pre-treatment, ultraviolet light treatment for touch screens, thorough disinfecting of gondolas after each use, masks are required, social distancing and more. The full list of safety measures is available here. Tickets must be purchased online in advance.
“While safety has always been our top priority, we’ve added some procedures and want guests to be informed before they visit,” explained Derek Lovato, general manager and vice president of ICON Attractions, the company that oversees The Capital Wheel. “Our team members have all gone through COVID-19 training, we’ve updated operating procedures, deep cleaned everything and we look forward to welcoming guests back.”
“The Capital Wheel is one of the D.C. region’s most iconic modern landmarks,” said Kent Digby, executive vice president asset management and operations, National Harbor. “Throughout the pandemic, the wheel has shown continued support for the community with lights that have provided hope and inspiration. We are excited to invite everyone back to National Harbor to enjoy The Capital Wheel, our many restaurants, hotels, retail stores, attractions and outdoor activities.” In celebration of the week, The Capital Wheel will display multiple color schemes nightly.
The Carousel at National Harbor will also resume operations today and will be open noon to 8 p.m. daily. As with The Capital Wheel, tickets must be purchased online in advance.
The National Harbor opening celebration begins on Friday, July 3, with a sidewalk sale from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. in the Waterfront District with candy apples from Savannah Candy Kitchen, sales, live demonstrations and paint to-go kits from Muse Paintbar and other retailers including Danforth Pewter, ZAAF, BrookieGirl and Brackish Waters.
National Harbor has followed CDC and local guidelines property-wide in making preparations for reopening. The property has implemented some extraordinary measures including an anti-microbial lacquer painted on elevator buttons. This lacquer lasts three months. Hand washing and sanitizer stations have been placed throughout, masks are available and social distancing is being enforced. American Way is closed to traffic to allow for increased pedestrian traffic. Security personnel are located throughout National Harbor and cleaning crews are located throughout cleaning all touchpoints regularly.
While most of National Harbor’s restaurants have been able to provide takeout, delivery and/or curbside pickup throughout COVID-19, many have opened their patios and indoor dining within the guidelines. Restaurants including McCormick & Schmicks, Redstone American Grill, Bond45, Grace’s Mandarin and Succotash, along with others, now offer indoor dining as well as outdoor. National Harbor has also installed socially distanced picnic tables on the waterfront plaza so guests may carry out food from any of the many restaurants and dine on the waterfront.
The National Harbor website will be updated regularly with information on restaurants, retail, and attractions. Visit www.NationalHarbor.com/welcomeback for the most up-to-date information.
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About National Harbor and the Waterfront District at National Harbor
Situated on the banks of the historic Potomac River and just minutes from the nation’s capital, National Harbor is a waterfront resort destination unlike any other. National Harbor is home to eight hotels including two of Maryland’s Four Diamond rated hotels—Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center and MGM National Harbor. Also within National Harbor is Tanger Outlets’ 85 designer brands. The vibrant Waterfront District features boutique shops, restaurants and entertainment options along picturesque promenades as well as the iconic Capital Wheel, a 180-ft observation wheel and the Guide by Cell outdoor art gallery tour. Prior to COVID-19, National Harbor was known for its robust calendar of events at this destination that typically welcomes more than 12 million visitors a year. For more information, visit www.NationalHarbor.com.
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