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by Karen Goff June 25, 2015 at 9:30 am 3 Comments

Reston Town Center The thousands of firefighters, police officers, friends and family members expected to attend the 2015 World Police & Fire Games could have a $50 million impact on the Fairfax County economy, says Barry Biggar, president and CEO of Visit Fairfax.

The World Police & Fire Games start Friday and will run until July 5 at 53 locations, mostly in Fairfax County. About 12,000 athletes from 6o countries are expected to compete.

While tickets to the events are free, the visitors have to be fed, housed and entertained, Biggar says. The economic forecast started out larger when the Games were in their planning stages, he added. But because the athletes are coming here on their “own vacation time and own dime,” the forecast has been revised to reflect lower numbers, said Biggar.

“When we were forecasting initially, we were looking at a larger amount of actual athletes coming in,” he said. “But at end of day, it is a very positive thing for the community. Whether we have 1,000 visitors or 14,000, the impact on the community is considerable and exceptionally positive.”

The most recent World Police & Fire Games were held in 2013 in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Those games featured 7,000 athletes and an estimated 3,000 friends/family. The Games earned 7.3 million Euros (or about $8 million US), according to Belfast 2013 officials.

The last week of June and first week of July is usually a slow time for businesses here, said Biggar. The Games were purposely scheduled in this time frame to give a boost to the bottom line, he said.

Reston in particular should be a very busy place through July 5. Reston Town Center is the site of the Games’ Athletes Village, where participants and their family and friends can come to gather each afternoon and evening.

There will be live entertainment, social events and food trucks in the Reston Town Center pavilion and at special areas in the surface parking lot on New Dominion Drive and at President’s Park near the Hyatt Regency Reston. There are also a number of athletic events in Reston, including the triathlon, the half marathon, wrist wrestling, ice hockey and more.

“Reston is truly the gathering point for participants in these games every single afternoon and night,” Biggar said.

But it remains to be seen what kind of an impact that will have on locals who may not be able to find a parking spot, get a table at their favorite restaurant, or even get down Reston Parkway during the Games.

Officials are already telling visitors to town center that overflow parking is available at the former Sunset Hills Park and Ride lot (12050 Sunset Hills Road), a few blocks from Reston Town Center.

by Karen Goff February 19, 2015 at 12:00 pm 0

WPFG_final_games_logo_color_horizThe World Police & Fire Games is headed to Fairfax County this summer. With 12,000 or so public safety athletes competing at 53 local venues — including many in Reston and Herndon — organizers are putting out the call for thousands of volunteers.

Organizers will be holding an information Saturday on volunteering for the games, which will take place June 26 to July 5. Volunteers must be 18 or older.

The info session is at 10 a.m. at Reston Community Center Lake Anne. There will also be a session on March 4 at 6:30 p.m., also at RCC Lake Anne.

Reston will host 10 of the sports competitions — including the lake swim and the triathlon — and the Reston Town Center will be the Games Village, the center of WPFG activity and special events. Herndon will also host Pocket Billiards at Breakers Sky Lounge and the Weightlifting categories of Bench Press and Push Pull at the Herndon Community Center.

Fairfax 2015 organizers said volunteers are needed in many areas, ranging from greeting athletes and spectators to assisting with medal ceremonies to assisting athletes at the transportation hubs to blogging for the communications team.

To sign-up for the session, please send the name and email address of each attendee with the date of this session to [email protected].

Check out Fairfax 2015’s Volunteer Page, which has answers to FAQs and more info on all types of volunteer positions.

by Karen Goff January 22, 2015 at 11:00 am 11 Comments

World Police & Fire Games Cross-Country (Photo via Flickr/Trevor Mills) Reston is shaping up to be one of the major competition sites at this summer’s World Police and Fire Games.

Reston Association is expected to approve at its meeting on Thursday the use of its pools, lakes and trails for the games’ triathlon, half marathon and open water swim.

The biennial games are expected to attract more than 12,000 police officers and firefighters  — as well as thousands more spectators — to Fairfax County June 26 to July 5.

There will be competition in more than 60 sports — some of them typical olympic events such as track and field, others more esoteric, such as climbing flights of stairs at an office building.

Here’s what Fairfax 2015 has in store for Reston:

Open Water Swim, June 28 — Swimmers will swim two-one mile laps in Lake Audubon.

Triathlon, July 3 – About 300 athletes will participate. The World Police and Fire Games will use the same course as the Reston Triathlon, which uses Reston Association paths, streets in the area of South Lakes High School, the track at South Lakes High School and Lake Audubon.

Half Marathon, July 5 — About 800 athletes are expected to run on the course that will begin and end at Reston Town Center and take place in part on Reston trails.

Other events in Reston include indoor rowing (on rowing machines) at the Hyatt Regency Reston and wrist wrestling at the Reston Town Center pavilion.

RA documents say all costs to use RA locations will be paid by organizing group Fairfax 2015. RA maintenance crews will insure the trails are passable and the aquatics team will assist in coordinating lifeguards for the swim events, but there will be no budget impact, RA documents say.

Additionally, the Hyatt Regency Reston will serve as the Athletes Village for the competition. The Athletes Village will not be where the participants stay, but is the location for registration, information, competitions, nightly entertainment and socializing with fellow athletes.

Games officials estimate that the Fairfax County economy will see a direct benefit of $60 to $80 million dollars from the event.

Opening Ceremonies will be held at RFK Stadium in Washington, DC. Closing ceremonies will be held at the Filene Center at Wolftrap.

To see a full schedule of events and locations and other World Police and Fire Games information, visit the Fairfax 2015 website.

Photo: Runners at previous World Police and Fire Games/file photo

by Karen Goff March 31, 2014 at 4:30 pm 2 Comments

policegamesWhen more than 20,000 police officers and firefighters converge in Fairfax County for the 2015 World Police and Fire Games, many of them will be spending lot of time in Reston.

The Hyatt Regency Reston will serve as the Athletes Village for the competition, which will take place June 26 to July 5, 2015, said Fairfax 2015 President and CEO Bill Knight.

The World Police and Fire Games are held every other year. The 2013 Games were held in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The 2015 Games will feature competition in 61 sports.

At a briefing with the Reston Associaton Board of Directors last week, Knight said the Athletes Village is the location for registration, information, competitions, nightly entertainment and socializing with fellow athletes.

Games officials are counting on Metro’s Silver Line to be key to getting people to Reston. The Silver Line’s Phase 1, which will run from East Falls Church to Wiehle Avenue, is expected to open this year.

“Athletes can go to Reston Town Center every night and find something to do,” said Knight. He says about 2,000 athletes would be visiting Reston daily during the Games.

Games officials estimate that the Fairfax County economy will see a direct benefit of $60 to $80 million dollars from the event.

Reston will also be the venue for some of the sports competition, though details are still being finalized, said Knight. Weightlifting and Honor Guard competitions will be at the Hyatt. Officials are also looking into a Dodgeball competition held here, as well as the open water swim and a cycling event.

Opening Ceremonies will be held at RFK Stadium in Washington, DC. Closing ceremonies will be held at the Filene Center at Wolftrap.

Meanwhile, delegates from the California Police Athletic Federation, the global parent organization of the World Police & Fire Games, will be in Fairfax County this week to tour facilities.

“Many elements of 2015 Games program remain in development, but we are pleased for the opportunity to show how far we’ve come and to reconfirm our plans,” Knight said.

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