PRESS RELEASE — Tourism officials from Virginia Beach to southern Delaware will gather April 5 to discuss utilizing upcoming launches from NASAâ€™s Wallops Flight Facility (WFF) and the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport (MARS) on Virginiaâ€™s Eastern Shore to attract visitors to the mid-Atlantic region.
During the luncheon meeting, the nearly 50 officials will learn about the upcoming Department of Defense ORS-1 satellite launch from MARS at WFF, on a Minotaur 1 rocket this spring or summer and will discuss how to use this and other launches this summer as an additional attraction to visitors in the region.
The group has been meeting for nearly two years to discuss the marketing potential of â€œAmericaâ€™s First Space Coastâ€ with traditional marketing themes they have used in the past.Â The area is widely known for its beaches and natural attractions. The group wants to take advantage of the rocket launches from Wallops as another activity that would attract visitors to the area.
Speaking during the luncheon at Wrightâ€™s Restaurant in Atlantic, Va., will be
- Valerie Skarupa, Special Assistant to the Director of the Operationally Responsive Space Office, Office of the Secretary of Defense;
- Julie Mears, Marketing Communications Manager, Goodrich ISR Systems; and
- Vicki Cox, Senior Communications Manager for ATK Aerospace Systems.
In addition to the Minotaur 1 launch, there are several NASA suborbital sounding rockets expected to be launched this year from Wallops. Also, Orbital Sciences Corporation is expected to conduct the first launch of its Taurus II launch vehicle later this year.
A steering committee has been formed to distribute the Wallops and MARS launch data and other information to the regionâ€™s hospitality industry, organizations and public officials. Liaisons from NASA Wallops and the Mid Atlantic Regional Spaceport will be working closely with the steering committee.
Steering Committee Members:
Keith A. Koehler, Sr. Public Affairs Officer, NASA Wallops Flight Facility
Laurie Naismith, Dir. Government Relations & Public Affairs, VCSFA/MARS
Donna Bozza, Director, Eastern Shore of Virginia Tourism
Lynn Lochen, VTC, Tourism Marketing/Development Specialist
Suzanne Taylor, Executive Director, Chincoteague Chamber of Commerce
Lisa Challenger, Tourism Director, Worcester County
Susan Jones, Executive Director, Ocean City Hotel-Motel-Restaurant Association
Kathleen McLain, General Manager, WMDT-TV, Salisbury, Md.Â + Greater Salisbury Committee
Scott Thomas, Director of Southern Delaware Tourism
Donna Bozza, Director
Eastern Shore of Virginia Tourism Commission
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