Sen. Mark Warner visits Hampton Roads on Thursday, Friday for socially-distant events


PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-Va.) traveled across the Hampton Roads community on Thursday and Friday for a series of socially-distant events focusing on tourism and transportation relief efforts.

His visit began Thursday afternoon at the American Theatre in Hampton where he met with representatives from the Hampton Coliseum, Virginia Beach Amphitheater, Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center, American Theatre, Attucks Theatre, the Chrysler Museum of Art and other venues in the region.

Their conversation was focused on the impacts COVID-19 has had on the industry, as well as financial assistance now available, including the Shuttered Venue Operators Grant.

Warner met with transportation leaders at the Virginia International Gateway on Friday morning to discuss the $56 million provided for transit systems in Hampton Roads by the American Rescue Plan.

Finally on Friday afternoon, he was scheduled to host a tourism and small business roundtable in Williamsburg to discuss the impact of COVID-19 on the industry, as well as relief provided by the American Rescue Plan and Restaurant Revitalization Fund. Representatives from Great Wolf Lodge, Busch Gardens, the Williamsburg Area Restaurant Association, Williamsburg Hotel and Motel Association, and other others were expected to attend.

The Virginia tourism industry lost an estimated $10 billion in revenue in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, Norfolk tourism officials optimistic about 2021.

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