Entertainment District

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​What is the Entertainment District and where is it?

Studies have led city officials to conclude that a mixed-use entertainment venue at the Dome Site, a sports and entertainment arena across from the convention center and an indoor sports center would best leverage the city’s assets within the district and maximize tax revenue from tourism. It would also fulfill the desires of residents and visitors alike for additional entertainment options and help bring life to the resort area during the off season.

Why do we want to be a year-round destination?

Tourism is actually what helps pay for the quality of life we enjoy. It is one of the city’s major economic drivers — generating nearly $1.49 billion in expenditures and almost $59.5 million in local taxes in 2015 alone.

Among all Hampton Roads cities, Virginia Beach has the lowest real estate and personal property tax rates, yet the best public amenities and services. Consider the fact that tourists come here, spend money, and then they leave. That means the hotel taxes, restaurant taxes and amusement taxes that they generate when they stay at our hotels, dine in our restaurants and visit our movie theaters are contributing funding for our roads, public safety, schools, etc. But, they don't actually utilize any of those things.

When tourists come to Virginia Beach and generate tax revenue, that's less money that the City has to collect from its residents. In fact, tourism saves about 10 cents on the real estate tax rate. Your real estate taxes and personal property taxes (the two primary sources of the city's income) are lower than any other city in Hampton Roads, primarily because of tourism revenue. And, the reason the City proposes projects like the Dome Site, the Sports Center and the Pier Project is to leverage the asset we have in our beach front and the tourists that come to enjoy it to its highest earning potential. 

Since most tourism revenue comes during the peak summer season, building more of a year-round destination would bring more activity to the city during the colder months (and hence, more business). This brings in more tax revenue from outside our city and provide​s money to support city services. Further, tourism projects are not funded using any of taxes you pay on your home or vehicle — instead, they are largely funded by tourists. Here's an explanation of how it works​

Public input opportunities

The City hosted a public workshop for the Dome Site on Jan. 31, 2018 and a second one about all Entertainment District projects on March 15, 2018 at the Virginia Beach Convention Center.

Citizens also had an opportunity to share their thoughts about the Dome Site via an online survey. A second survey, asking about the Pier Project and Sports Center, is open for comment through Friday, March 30 at PublicInput.com/VBEntertain
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