National Harbor is not in our nation’s capital. It is not located in Virginia, where we live, love and work. Yet it is connected to Alexandria and by the Potomac Riverboat Company, a short five minute drive across the bridge, and in full view of both Virginia and downtown DC. Strategically located and named to bring it the highest visibility.
Disappointing news surfaced late last week when Disney announced it has decided to pull the plug on its development plans for National Harbor. While it is a blow, I am sure, to the Peterson Cos., I see what may be a positive spin on the situation. As a frequent visitor and vacationer at National Harbor, I was concerned about crowding issue the Disney component might create. I understand creating jobs and revenue. I happen to have a job and enjoy the revenue it generates. I know it is business that helps create this climate, so I am not bashing big business. I do love exploring alternatives, however.
So, here is the flip side of this coin. Small businesses are beginning to fill the void in National Harbor. Wouldn’t it be great if these businesses would provide the backbone National Harbor needed to become a financially viable and secure venture? Yes, there is the requisite outlet shopping center, but National Harbor is offering so much more. As the development team at National Harbor “moves on to other opportunities”, perhaps they can use their “flexibility” to think outside the box. National Harbor has (other than its ridiculous parking prices) maintained a small town feel. Wouldn’t it be nice to keep it that way?