July 2, 2014
Tourism experts predict a lot of people will be traveling to the Charlottesville area for the upcoming holiday weekend not only for the festivities, but also because of the affordability.
The holiday also comes at a time when the city has been in the national spotlight in the early weeks of summer.
"Charlottesville has been in the news quite a bit in the last two weeks," said Brigitte Belanger-Warner, director of sales and marketing for the Charlottesville-Albemarle Visitors and Convention Bureau.
Among the accolades are being named the best college town in the United States and a top-five foodie destination.
And the attention is expected to continue.
"Fourth of July is always peak time," said Kico Hedrick, the director of sales and assistant general manager at Hyatt Place Charlottesville.
Experts around the country agree that Charlottesville is the place for a cheap Independence Day getaway.
"Of course, the students are away," Belanger-Warner said. "There's not as many people traveling here for UVa, and so there's more hotel rooms affordable, so the rates are a little more affordable."
Now that most events at the university wrapped up for the year, it's generally a slow time for many area hotels. The Fourth of July is often a great boost for the summer months.
"Of course, you have all the wineries to tie in, you've got the Downtown Mall, all the art and culture we have here," Hedrick said. "You can make it a three-day weekend very easily."
Hyatt Place in Albemarle County is celebrating its first Fourth of July since opening in September. The staff is looking forward to what's coming this weekend.
"A lot of disposable income comes in, so it's just not the hotel for us here at Hyatt Place Charlottesville," Hedrick said. "That will bleed into the Shops at Stonefield."
And the economic boost extends beyond that.
"These are new dollars coming into our community and being spent in our hotels, in our restaurants, in our shops, gas stations," Belanger-Warner said. "And that all helps our local economy to roll of course."
Compared to other Fourth of July destinations like Washington, DC, Charlottesville is also the more economical option, especially for families.
"Washington would be at twice of what you would be looking at here [for cost]," Hedrick said. "I think we offer a little bit more in some ways than Washington."
Some other accolades include being named the most exciting place in Virginia and a top-five destination that every American should visit. Tourism officials say those lists only add to the potential economic boom the Charlottesville area can see over the summer.