By Jaded Roberts
Special from The Garlic Times
In the past several years, a concerted effort has taken place in the greater Washington area to bring together its three jurisdictions — the District, Maryland and Virginia.
Although no one is sure who came up the handle, the nickname “DMV” has finally caught on. And just this week the new Greater Washington Partnership announced a first ever collaboration among CEOs and entrepreneurs from Baltimore to Richmond.
On the heels of the opening of the new MGM Casino and Resort at National Harbor, however, the harmonious effort has hit a major roadblock.
Yesterday, a coalition of business associations and Chambers of Commerce from the District announced the launch of a new marketing campaign designed to counter all the recent attention focused on National Harbor.
“Our business community," Vince Proschull, a spokesperson for the group said, "is very concerned about losing customers and the District is worried about losing visitors."
In the last few weeks National Harbor has grabbed major media attention. The MLB Network broadcast live for four days at their Winter Meetings held in the Gaylord National Hotel. Last week, the new MGM Casino opened to a crowd of thousands that packed the $1.4M casino and resort. This weekend, the Miss World pageant will be broadcast across the globe from the MGM Theater at National Harbor. The still growing neighborhood also features the Tanger Outlets, and an iconic Ferris Wheel that lights up the night sky on the Potomac shore below Oxon Hill.
The rupture between the District and Maryland has been growing. When articles about National Harbor are published at the Greater Greater Washington blog, a number of invective comments typically bash the place, mostly for not having Metro.
Last week, The Washington Post writer Barry Svrluga called National Harbor a “faux community.” He wrote that baseball executives were “promised a trip to Washington, D.C., and been snookered into convening at some outgrowth called National Harbor.”
Desiring to beef up their marketing outreach, The District group announced plans for a new DMV logo, one that would show the D larger than the M and the V.
“We’re serious,” Proschull said. “This is a battle for dollars, attention and image.” We want folks to know that National Harbor is not in the District.”
Informed the new MGM Casino is less than a mile from the DC boundary line, and that National Airport is not in the District, Proschull declined to comment.
A spokesperson for National Harbor who wished to remain anonymous, commented on the District’s effort.
“Let’s think win-win in the DMV,” she said.
“And can’t we all just get along?”