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The National Conference Center Voices Concern Over Recent Vote by
Congress to Freeze Travel Spending in Reaction to GSA Scandal

LEESBURG, Va., May 18, 2012 – The National Conference Center (NCC), one of the largest and most comprehensive conference centers in the country, annually hosts thousands of government departments and agencies for their training meetings.

“Our government meetings team at NCC works tirelessly with government meetings managers, planners and contracting officers in the federal government to streamline and cut meeting budgets, making sure dollars are spent most efficiently and effectively,” explained NCC General Manager Kurt Krause. “Also, most of these agencies are located within close proximity to our facility, helping to further reduce travel expenses.”

“While we hope that those individuals and organizations that played a role in the recent GSA scandal are brought to justice, we also hope that there aren’t penalties from this for the many government entities that play by the rules,” Krause continued. Congress’s recent vote to freeze travel spending is just one unfortunate reaction to this incident that will harm the meetings industry and cost America’s hospitality workers hours and, likely, jobs.

NCC recognizes that to be effective, companies, corporations and organizations require regular training, conferences and seminars to keep abreast of fast moving technology, rules and regulations and to help develop effective leadership skills. The federal government is no different. While some may see leadership development as an extra and potentially unnecessary expense, it actually does save money in the long run by eliminating wasted employee time in trying to understand processes and procedures. Cutting that training is short-sighted and results in poorly run organizations. In addition, much of the training hosted at NCC is with departments and agencies charged with making our country and communities a safer place for Americans.

The government’s reaction to the recent GSA scandal has inflicted draconian measures that severely limit training and leadership development, resulting in a negative financial effect on hotels and conference centers, particularly with hourly employees.

In essence, “government training has been put in a state of suspension,” says Eric Whitson, Director of Sales & Marketing at NCC where more than 150 hourly employees are likely to feel the effects of limited hours from canceled or shortened government training meetings, prolonging an economy still mired in uncertainty. According to Whitson, "the ripple effect of this government initiative imposes a dramatic setback for the industry that was just beginning to emerge.”

NCC has had their own struggles with GSA in initially setting up a designation for conference centers on the GSA Schedule.   Given the fact that NCC hosts so many government departments and agencies, this designation was significant—providing government planners a one-stop, cost-effective, planning option for planning and booking meetings and training.

“The GSA just needs someone to be able to evaluate and implement efficiencies and oversight.”  Krause added.  “Our greatest fear now is that, instead of setting up oversight and review, the government will overreact and punish the many government employees who carefully follow the rules in planning meetings and training, which is what’s happening with the congressional vote this week.”

The NCC GSA meeting package includes a General Session Room; breakouts to accommodate group; storage space before and after the meeting; registration desk; basic audio-visual package in general session including projector and screen; basic AV package in breakout room; pens, pads and candy at each station; two flipcharts with paper and markers; overnight accommodations; three buffet-style meals in guest dining; continuous beverage and snack breaks; complimentary internet access in guest room; free parking and  use of fitness center, all for the valued added price of $169.00 per person, per night.  Which is established based on the GSA per diem allowance in Loudoun County, Va.  NCC offers flexible meeting space for groups of 4 up to 1800 and is located on 100 safe acres just 12 miles from Dulles International Airport and 35 miles from Washington, D.C.

NCC received a Multiple Award Schedule Contract Number GS-33F-0005W awarded effective November 18, 2009 for conference center services (under SIN 599 99, Introduction to New Services/Products). The contract is good for one five-year basic contract period through November 17, 2014 and three five-year Evergreen option periods.

For more information, visit www.gsameetings.com or call 877-363-3108

About The National Conference Center

The National Conference Center (NCC), located in Northern Virginia 12 miles from Dulles International Airport and 35 miles from Washington, D.C., is one of the largest and most comprehensive conference centers in the nation. With 917 guest rooms and over 250,000 square feet of meeting space, NCC has become a hub for productive meetings and is on the GSA schedule.  NCC is also home to West Belmont Place, Northern Virginia’s largest ballroom with 16,500 square feet for holding an elegant wedding or accommodating a large trade show or special event.   For information call 800-640-2684 or visit www.conferencecenter.com, or www.westbelmontplace.com

The National Conference Center is managed by ARAMARK Conference Centers.  ARAMARK is a leader in professional services, providing award-winning food services, facilities management, and uniform and career apparel to health care institutions, universities and school districts, stadiums and arenas, and businesses around the world. In FORTUNE magazine's 2009 list of "World's Most Admired Companies," ARAMARK was ranked number one in its industry, consistently ranking since 1998 as one of the top three most admired companies in its industry as evaluated by peers and analysts. ARAMARK seeks to responsibly address issues that matter to its clients, customers, employees and communities by focusing on employee advocacy, environmental stewardship, health and wellness, and community involvement. Headquartered in Philadelphia, ARAMARK has approximately 260,000 employees serving clients in 22 countries. Learn more at the company's Web site, www.aramark.com.
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Contact:

James M. Mahon
JMMahon@aol.com

Kurt Krause
General Manager
kkrause@conferencecenter.com
703.724.5648

Eric Whitson
Director of Sales & Marketing
ewhitson@conferencecenter.com
703.724.5156


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US General Services Administration Awards the First – and Only – GSA Schedule Contract for a Conference Center, Hotel or Resort to The National Conference Center in Leesburg, Virginia / September 2010

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