The Hampton Roads Chamber has supported the development of a new convention center hotel and Dome site entertainment complex in Virginia Beach. On July 7, the Chamber sent Virginia Beach City Council a letter urging council to transfer the land necessary for both projects to the Virginia Beach Development Authority this summer.
The letter, from the Chamber’s Virginia Beach Division’s Chair-Elect Richard “Tuck” Bowie, said, “From a private sector perspective, we are at a critical point with both developments to ultimately secure financing and approval of public-private partnerships. This will remove an obstacle and send a clear signal to all concerned that Virginia Beach is moving forward, pending a positive business deal being struck, with both a convention center hotel and a much needed oceanfront entertainment complex.”
The Dome site is an 8.6-acre development between 18th and 20th streets and is bordered by Pacific and Arctic Avenues. For more than 35 years, the Dome was an entertainment venue in Virginia Beach, featuring performances by Jimi Hendrix, The Rolling Stones and Ray Charles. Named for its golf ball-like appearance, the Dome existed on this site until 1994. It was demolished to make way for a bigger and better entertainment complex.
The City of Virginia Beach is currently negotiating with Dallas, Texas' Leisure and Recreational Concepts, Inc. (LARC). The plan is to develop the former Dome Site into a futuristic entertainment megaplex that may include the tallest Ferris wheel on the east coast, movie theatres, a bowling alley, an ice skating rink, a 2,500-seat Broadway-style theatre, children’s amusement rides and much more.
The Chamber believes these projects will be crucial to the hospitality industry in Virginia Beach in the years ahead.