Annual Report: www.valleyforge.org/about-us/annual-report
OAKS, PA – The Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board (VFTCB) shared an optimistic outlook for tourism in Montgomery County, PA to 600 attendees at the organization’s Annual Luncheon event at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center at Oaks.
With a theme of Focus, the VFTCB released its 2023 Annual Report highlighting the positive economic impact of the hospitality industry in Montco, reporting numbers within 98.9% of pre-pandemic levels. Tourism continues to be a key driver of the economy in the third largest county in Pennsylvania. In 2022, visitor spending in Montco generated $1.6 billion in positive economic impact, according to Tourism Economics. That’s a 14.4% increase, and 1.1% away from pre-pandemic numbers.
“I’m so proud of how the VFTCB staff has remained focused to support our hoteliers and our entire tourism industry in Montco!” said VFTCB President & CEO, Mike Bowman. “The team’s commitment to innovation and creativity is just remarkable and one of the many reasons why Montgomery County continues to lead and outperform the region.”
Montgomery County hotels are leading the suburban market with an average daily rate of $133, and producing over $200 million in hotel room revenue, a 9% year-over-year increase. June’s hotel room revenue was also the highest ever, reaching $28.3 million and an average daily rate of $147.
The VFTCB’s award-winning sports team also reported on a record-breaking summer, having hosted 35 sporting events with record high attendance, generating more than 85,000 total room nights resulting in more than $23 million in positive economic impact. That’s up 19% year-over-year, according to Lisa Karl, VFTCB Vice President of Sales & Strategic Partnerships. Overall, sports is contributing to more than 70% of the VFTCB’s total group business, an 11% increase from 2022, and 28% over 2019 levels.
Guest speaker and Philadelphia Eagles Quarterback, Jalen Hurts’, agent, Nicole Lynn, spoke about being a Black woman in sports business, staying focused with all of life’s distractions, continuing to build her brand since brokering one of the largest deals in sports history, and more.
Additionally, Dan Hilferty, Chairman & CEO of Comcast Spectacor, touched on the event’s Focus theme, the Philadelphia Flyers & upcoming FIFA World Cup 2026 Philadelphia, and America 250.
Guests were welcomed to a reception of networking, entertainment, appetizers, photo opportunities including a digital photobooth, and fun with Monty the Fox. Go Go Gadjet and the Norristown Chorale also performed for the VFTCB members, partners, key stakeholders, and county and town officials in attendance. Attendees were invited to the Forge Hospitality After Party at Hilton Garden Inn Oaks sponsored by Forge Hospitality.
The VFTCB’s marketing and communications team lead by Justine Garbarino, Associate Vice President of Marketing, and Rachel Riley, Associate Vice President of Communications, premiered a brand-new video the tourism board will use to promote its upcoming holiday campaign, and reported on total webpage views exceeding 1.5 million and a half-a-million new users.
Visit Valley Forge’s social following has grown to more than 210,000 with 3.5 million video views and the VFTCB has seen more than 1,100 editorial mentions – no. 1 in the region – with a reach of more than 2.4 million to date.
Sponsors and partners for the event included: Elmwood Park Zoo, Montgomery County Community College, IBEW Local 98, Valley Forge Casino Resort, Oliver Construction, The Proving Grounds, Neff Associates, LEGOLAND, BeMarketing, PECO, Pottstown Area Economic Development, Ursinus College, J. Alexander’s, Aloysius Butler & Clark, Infradapt, Madden Media, PHLCVB, Merrill Lynch, TopGolf, FreshFly, NBC10, Fogo de Chao, Simpleview, Amazing Escape Room, Bury the Hatchet, Workhorse Brewing Company, Business Owners Advisor Network, Fairfield by Marriott Valley Forge/ Great Valley, Black Powder Tavern, PPL Promotions, Brother’s Kershner Brewing, Mayne & Co., Olive & Shae, Nothing Bundt Cakes, Five Saints Distilling, A to Z Party Rental, Elysium Marketing Group, Greater Philadelphia Expo Center at Oaks, Film Garden, General Exposition Services, Insomnia Cookies, Party Rental LTD., Karley’s Specialty Linens, Neighborhood Films, Steel City Displays, and Synergetic.