The best place to work in the world can be found right in Tysons, according to a new Fortune magazine ranking.
Hilton, the hotel company headquartered at Park Place II (7930 Jones Branch Drive), topped the 2023 World’s Best Workplaces list released yesterday by Fortune and Great Place to Work, a research and data platform that bills itself as the “global authority on workplace culture.”
Employing 4,300 people in the D.C. area and 460,000 people globally, Hilton has appeared on every iteration of the annual list since 2016, but this is the first time it’s snagged the no. 1 spot, the company said. It’s the first hospitality company to top the list.
“At Hilton, we are building a fully human experience at work, where our team members feel like they are seen, they are welcome, and they are part of something greater than themselves,” Hilton Chief Human Resources Officer Laura Fuentes said. “[This] recognition reinforces what employees are looking for — a workplace culture that helps them reach their full potential.”
The 25 companies on the World’s Best Workplaces list were identified based on surveys of 18 million workers from around the globe, according to Great Place to Work. Hilton is one of 13 U.S.-based companies to make the list.
To be eligible, businesses needed to have at least 5,000 workers, at least 40% or 5,000 of them based in a different country than their headquarters, and to appear on at least five of the Best Workplaces lists that Great Place to Work has released for individual countries.
Great Place to Work says the 2023 World’s Best Workplaces list was its most competitive since the tradition began 13 years ago, reporting that 28% more companies participated this year than last year and 40% more employee surveys were submitted.
The recognized companies were united by overall employee satisfaction, with 90% of workers calling them a “great place to work” compared to a little over half for a “typical” workplace. Employees also said they got fair pay, support for a healthy work-life balance and a say in “decisions that affected their lives.”
“This global list followed a rigorous process, one that assures that employees have spoken about what they think are exceptional workplaces where they feel trusted, empowered, and energized to do their best work,” Fortune editor-in-chief Alyson Shontel said in a statement.
Hilton says its benefits for both hourly and salaried employees, including expanded parental leave, adoption assistance and a Go Hilton travel program that gives workers discounts at its hotels and resorts.
The company announced last year that it had renewed its lease at Park Place II, where its headquarters have been located since 2009. It planned to add 350 jobs over the next five years and upgrade the office space and common areas.
Hilton President and CEO Chris Nassetta says the company is united by founder Conrad Hilton’s goal of filling “the earth with the light and warmth of hospitality.”
“[The] recognition by Great Place to Work and Fortune is validation that our team members were the people he imagined in his bright vision for the future,” Nassetta said. “It is their dedication, hospitality and passion for the stays they create that has made Hilton the No. 1 best place to work in the world.”
(Updated at 3:10 p.m.) A woman staying at the Courtyard Marriott in Merrifield was sexually assaulted yesterday (Thursday), Fairfax County police say.
Officers were called to the hotel at 2722 Gallows Road at 1:30 p.m. for the assault, which had just occurred, according to the Fairfax County Police Department.
“The victim, an adult woman, reported a man she just met sexually assaulted her in a hotel room,” the FCPD said. “Detectives from our Major Crimes Bureau responded to the scene to assume the investigation.”
Police are seeking the public’s assistance to identify a man who they believe to be the suspect, releasing a surveillance video today (Friday) captured by a camera behind the hotel’s front desk. The video shows a man entering the lobby just before 2 p.m. and exiting around 2:25 p.m.
According to police, time stamps on surveillance videos aren’t always accurate, since they might not be synced to the internet. The difference between the time on the footage and when police responded to the scene will be reviewed as part of the investigation.
“We cannot speak to the accuracy or differential of the time stamps on the surveillance system the video came from at this time,” the FCPD public affairs bureau said. “Detectives continue to investigate.”
The FCPD asks anyone with information to Major Crimes Bureau detectives at 703-246-7800, option 3. Community members can also submit a tip anonymously to Crime Solvers by phone (1-866-411-TIPS) or online.
Top photo via Google Maps
(Updated at 11:05 a.m. on 7/13/2023) A new dual-branded hotel in Reston Town Center is expected to open in late 2024.
The first combined Marriott AC and Residence Inn in the D.C. region, the hotel includes 267 guest rooms that will be managed by Donohue Hospitality.
(Correction: This article previously said this was the first-ever dual Marriott AC/Residence Inn. The first one in the world is in Charlotte City, North Carolina, and built in 2018, according to the hotel’s director of sales.)
The building will also includes a fitness center, indoor pool, ballroom, meeting areas, a restaurant, and a rooftop lounge and bar. There is nearly 34,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space in the building.
After breaking ground in January, the project is now as tall as it will get, as the company announced Tuesday (June 27) that placement of the building’s final structural element is complete. Donohue Construction and its subcontractors celebrated the milestone at a topping-out ceremony this week.
“We celebrate this significant milestone thanks to all the builders and stakeholders involved,” said Ralph Choueiri, development director for Donohoe Development. “We are grateful to our strong, dedicated team, project partners, the Reston community, and Fairfax County for their support through this journey.”
A spokesperson for the company told FFXnow that the project is valued at $110 million.
Construction on a new JW Marriott is underway at Reston Station.
A Fairfax-based developer is hoping to build a 4,000-seat concert hall and a 163-room hotel in Old Town Fairfax.
The application — first reported by Washington Business Journal — is Ox Hill Companies’ second crack at building an arts and entertainment venue in the City of Fairfax.
Fairfax City’s Planning Commission will discuss the pre-application for the project at a meeting today (Monday) at 7 p.m. Called The Ox, the project would be located at 4020 University Drive, 4029 Chain Bridge Road, 4031 Chain Bridge Road and 4057 Chain Bridge Road.
“The performing arts center, which will be managed by an internationally-known arts and entertainment operator, will attract musical acts and other performing artists to the city,” Walsh Colucci land use agent Robert Brant wrote in the April 20 application. “It will inject activity into the downtowns and transform Old Town Fairfax into an entertainment destination.”
In its first proposal, the company wanted to build a mixed-use project on nearly two acres of Main Street. But the project shifted to a mixed-use residential condominium building due to the pandemic and size constraints, WBJ reported.
With the new concept, nearly 19,000 square feet of ground-floor retail or restaurant uses are also proposed on the nearly 4-acre site. A four-level garage with 454 parking spaces is also proposed.
The applicant also plants to construct an east-west public street, with an extension of South Street from Chain Bridge Road to University Drive.
Most of the buildings on the site would be demolished, except for a two-story bank at 4029 Chain Bridge Road.
“The applicant is eager to work with the city and the community on this exciting proposal, which presents an opportunity to implement several key objectives of the comprehensive plan,” the application states.
The developer KM Hotels has partnered with Hilton to combine two of the latter’s brands in one high-rise building at the southwest corner of Route 123 (Dolley Madison Blvd) and Anderson Road, a legal agent for Cityline said in a rezoning application filed with Fairfax County on Monday (March 13).
The proposed Hilton hotel building will occupy half of a nearly 1.8-acre site known as the Westgate Block, replacing an 18-story office building envisioned by the Scotts Run South master plan that the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors originally approved in 2013.
With the change in plans, Cityline is “just responding to the market,” the developer’s managing director Donna Schafer told the Washington Business Journal, which first reported the application.
At 17 stories or 225 feet tall, including a penthouse, the hotel will have a Home2 Suites — an “extended stay concept” from Hilton — on floors six through nine, while floors 11 through 17 will be devoted to the boutique Canopy.
“Canopy is a relatively new offering by Hilton and is designed to draw on the spirit and character of the surrounding neighborhood. This includes food and drink options that will complement the area,” Walsh Colucci lawyer Lynne Strobel wrote in a statement of justification.
Planned amenities include a rooftop restaurant and bar, meeting rooms and courtyards for guests of the 263 hotel units.
With a maximum square footage of 227,312, the building will also have 4,846 square feet of ground-floor retail or service space and a four-level parking podium to serve hotel guests and visitors. It will have 172 parking spaces and two loading spaces.
According to the application, the switch from office to hotel won’t increase Scotts Run’s density, since the developer is instead shifting over space that was allocated but ultimately not needed for Archer Hotel, which opened just two blocks away in September 2021.
In addition to drawing visitors to the area, the application argues that the proposed hotel will benefit Tysons by adding “a number of employees,” contributing to the tax base, and providing conference rooms and other work-related amenities while having less of an impact on traffic than an office building would.
The developer projects that its new proposal will generate approximately 167 fewer vehicle trips during the morning rush hour on weekdays and 131 fewer trips in the afternoon than the existing plan.
“The Applicant’s proposal represents an essential stepping stone in the development of Scotts Run South and Tysons,” Strobel wrote. “The proposed hotel acts as a gateway to Tysons, and will add to the uses that have already begun to transform the Tysons East District into a vibrant mixed-use community.”
For the other half of the Westgate Block, Cityline has proposed either a 255,759-square-foot office building with up to 12,970 square feet of retail or a 259,412-square-foot residential building with up to 15,482 square feet of retail.
If approved, the block will be built in two phases, with the hotel coming first. Last year, Cityline got the county’s approval to create an temporary park on the lot at 1600 Anderson Road until construction begins.
Fairfax County hasn’t officially accepted the application for review yet.
The first pieces of the long-anticipated redevelopment of Springfield Town Center are officially moving forward.
At a Nov. 30 meeting, the Fairfax County Planning Commission voted to approve the replacement of a surface parking lot with a five-story hotel — a move that the applicant says could jumpstart the rebirth of the area that surrounds the mall.
David Gill, the applicant’s representative from Wire Gill, said the hotel — Home2 Suites by Hilton — is a “great first step in analyzing the vision that was thought of nearly a decade from now.” The building sits across two parcels fronting Loisdale Road on property owned by Philadelphia-based Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust (PREIT).
The Fairfax County Board of Supervisors will hold public hearings tomorrow on the hotel and a companion application for the Hanover, a mid-rise residential building with up to 460 units.
Overall, in 2007, the area was approved for 2 million square feet of commercial space and up to 2,736 residential units, in addition to the roughly 1-million-square-foot mall.
The hotel piece of the property only covers a roughly 5.4-acre piece of the overall development plan.
The latest proposal swaps the hotel with the original location of the first office building planned on the site. The plan also calls a reduction in hotel rooms from 225 to 140 rooms and a reduction in the ground-floor retail from up to 23,000 square feet to a small portion that will serve hotel guests.
Gill said that the applicant plans to build suites only.
Braddock District Commissioner Mary Cortina expressed concerns about the deferral of a Central Park that was previously set to be triggered by the development proposal, due to challenges with “no build” areas maintained by restaurants.
“When are we ever going to see the park part of this? Could this use be indefinitely put off? And I think it would detract from the property value overall,” Cortina said.
County staff noted that the applicant is still committed to the Central Park, but when market conditions and associated easements allow it to move forward in a realistic manner.
Planning Commissioner David Lagana lauded staff for their work on the project.
“We worked very hard to get this application ready for this board date. It was a Herculean effort,” he said.
A woman was sexually assaulted by a man who brandished a firearm at a hotel in the Tysons West area earlier this month, the Fairfax County Police Department says.
The department’s Major Crimes Bureau Sex Abuse Squad is investigating a rape that reportedly occured on Oct. 1 at a hotel in the 8600 block of Westwood Center Drive — likely the Hawthorn Suites, according to a news release published today (Monday).
“Officers responded at 5:30 p.m., after receiving a report of a man that sexually assaulted a woman and brandished a firearm,” the FCPD said. “The suspect entered the unlocked hotel room, physically and sexually assaulted the victim and fled. A man known to the victim learned of the assault, saw the suspect and gave chase.”
According to police, the suspect was able to escape after pointing the gun at the other man. The woman was transported to a nearby hospital for treatment.
Police say detectives have obtained surveillance footage from the hotel and Metro showing the man that they believe to be the suspect:
Detectives obtained video surveillance from the hotel of the suspect. As detectives continued to investigate, they also recovered video surveillance from the suspect entering the Metro at the Eastern Market station. The suspect switched to the Silver Line at the Capitol South station and exited at the Spring Hill station.
Officers with the Metro Transit Police Department determined the suspect entered the Metro at the Spring Hill station following the assault. The suspect took the Silver Line to Metro Center and switched to the Red Line in the direction of Glenmont. Detectives believe the suspect resides in the Washington D.C. area. The suspect is described as a Black man, 25-40 years-old, 5’8 – 6′, heavy build with short curly black hair that is partially dyed blonde.
A clip from the video shared by the FCPD shows a man wearing a necklace with a large medallion walking down a pedestrian bridge to a Metro station.
Police are asking anyone with information to contact the investigating detectives at 703-246-7800, option 3. Tips can also be submitted anonymously through Crime Solvers by phone (1-866-411-TIPS) and online.
For those who find the prospect of being 14 stories in the air exciting instead of terrifying, the Hyatt Regency at Tysons Corner Center has some available views without the rooms.
Dozens of rappellers will descend down the side of the hotel later this month for a charity fundraiser to support the nonprofit Helping Haitian Angels (HHA), which runs a school and orphanage in Delke, Haiti.
Now in its second year, the event is a partnership between the nonprofit and Over the Edge, an adventure company that was also behind a rappeling fundraiser at the Hilton in Arlington. That raised over $200,000 for the local nonprofit New Hope Housing in May.
“Hyatt Hotels has a long-standing history of supporting local nonprofit and global organizations,” said Jon Davenhall, the hotel’s general manager. “…Hyatt Regency Tysons Corner Center is excited to be the Presenting Sponsor and help make a lasting impact in the lives of children who are left vulnerable without the care of loving parents.”
The fundraiser has been split into two days, starting at 4 p.m. on Aug. 26 with a kick-off reception, media day, and local celebrity and sponsor participants. All of the fundraisers will then rappel down the hotel between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Aug. 27, according to a news release.
Funds raised by the event will go toward the construction of a secondary school and trade school at HHA’s Kay Anj Village campus in Haiti, HHA board member and Over the Edge event lead Carol Wallace says.
Founded in 2008 by a Christian missionary couple, HHA opened the Lekol Harvey Christian School for the children in its orphanage in October 2014 and now provides education and summer camps for up to 150 elementary school students and their parents, according to its website.
The new secondary and trade schools will serve older children as a complement to the existing school, which Wallace says “is thriving.”
“Children in the neighboring community of Dekle will also be invited to attend the secondary school once constructed,” Wallace said.
After landing 85 participants in 2021, HHA has upped the ante for this year’s Over the Edge event with a goal of 110 individuals. There are currently 44 people signed up, according to the event page.
Registration costs $50, which counts toward the minimum of $1,250 that aspiring rappellers must raise in order to participate.
(Updated at 4:10 p.m.) The Marriott in Tysons has finished a $25 million renovation that included redesigns of all 400 hotel rooms, expanded meeting space and the introduction of a new restaurant, the hospitality company announced this morning (Monday).
Replacing Shutters Bar and Kitchen on the hotel’s ground floor, Tysons Rickhouse is described as a “bourbon-inspired” restaurant that serves American food sourced “from the local Virginia area” as well as over 40 kinds of bourbons and whiskeys, according to a press release.
Marriott spokesperson says Shutters was successful, but the company felt the space was in need of a refresh.
“We chose to re-brand the restaurant to be up to date on current food and beverage trends,” Sasha-lee Vos, a senior marketing manager for Marriott, said. “Now, the food is focused on local Virginia flavors and sourced locally as well. We have over 40 bourbons/whiskeys to offer guests and residents, which is unique to the area. Also, we highlight local distilleries and local craft beer on draft.
Located at 8028 Leesburg Pike, the 14-story hotel also has a new fitness center, a 1,750-square-foot meeting room and a lounge for members of the Marriott Bonvoy loyalty program:
“The revitalization of our full-service hotel gives loyal Marriott guests a newly transformed option in the historic Washington, D.C. area,” said Tysons Corner Marriott General Manager AJ Atmonavage in the press release. “With our proximity to upscale shopping, numerous corporate offices and historic landmarks, these upgrades have resonated with both business and leisure travelers.”
Work on the renovation began in January 2020 after the hotel was acquired by new owners. Fairfax County records show that the Marriott was built in 1981 and was bought by MTC Hotel Owner LLC in 2018 for $60 million.
“We, along with our owners, felt that a complete renovation would better position us, which it has,” Vos said.
Because of the pandemic, the hotel shuttered from March 20 until Sept. 1, 2020 when it typically would’ve stayed open during construction. Despite “a few supply change issues,” the renovation didn’t experience any delays, according to Vos.
Fairfax County has made some efforts to boost the hospitality industry with grants and marketing campaigns, though Visit Fairfax CEO Barry Biggar predicted last summer that it could take until 2023 for business travel in particular to return to pre-pandemic levels.
Nationally, hotel occupancy rates remain down, and room prices are up compared to this time of the year in 2019, according to the data company STR.
More details on the Marriot Tysons renovation from the press release are below: Read More
The climb continues for Fairfax Peak, a long-anticipated project to bring one of the largest indoor ski facilities in the world to Fairfax County.
The county is considering partnering with Alpine-X, a Tysons-based company, to lease land at the county-owned I-95 landfill (9850 Furnace Road) in Lorton for the public-private project.
Alpine-X CEO John Emery said work on the project is ongoing, and the company plans to file an application to rezone the site this year.
“At this time, we continue to make progress on the design of the facility and are coordinating with the county on the timing for filing,” Emery told FFXnow in a statement.
In 2018, Alpine-X submitted the proposal to build a 450,000-square-foot snow sports facility with a planned 1,700-foot ski slope. The facility could include:
- Multiple ski slopes at a 20-degree angle
- An area for skiing and snowboarding with ramps, jumps, and rails
- A bunny slope for beginners
- A luxury hotel
- A gravity-powered, mountain coaster that will slide from the summit to Occoquan Regional Park
- A gondola to ferry riders from the park to the facility’s base
Other features could include a water park, a gravity ropes course, and recreation areas. SnowWorld, a partner of Alpine-X, has signed an agreement with the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority to possibly operate or own some of the planned facilities.
The county would lease the land to Alpine-X, allowing the company to build, own and operate its own facility.
A spokesperson for the county said negotiations with the company are ongoing.
The project is contingent on several factors, including land use entitlements, state regulatory requirements, and other considerations. In October of last year, the county’s Board of Supervisors voted to extend the negotiation period on the project until December 2023.