Newsletter

Morning Notes

Virginia Declares State of Emergency Ahead of Possible Snow — “The National Weather Service is calling for 2 to 3 inches of snow in the District of Columbia and the immediate suburbs in Northern Virginia, along with Fredericksburg. Western Fairfax and Prince William counties, along with Loudoun County, are in the zone where only 1 to 2 inches of snow is expected.” [Patch]

Regular Metrobus Service to Return — Metro will restore regular weekday bus service on Feb. 7, as COVID-19 case rates among employees start to decline. The transit system has been operating at only about 75% of its usual service since Jan. 10 due to a shortage of drivers, leading to reports of buses not showing up and students being stranded. [DCist]

Four Displaced by VITA Tysons Fire — An unattended candle started an apartment fire in the 7900 block of Tysons One Place at 4:02 p.m. on Wednesday (Jan. 26). The fire was extinguished by a sprinkler, but four residents were displaced, and there was $3,000 in property damages, the Fairfax County Fire and Rescue Department says. [FCFRD/Twitter]

Vienna Seeks New Planning Director — “Vienna Planning and Zoning Director Cindy Petkac has stepped down, town officials said at the Vienna Town Council’s Jan. 24 meeting. Petkac departed in December last year because she ‘wanted to pursue other professional opportunities,’ said Town Manager Mercury Payton.” [Sun Gazette]

Founders Row Restaurants Confirmed — The new casual, American concept Ellie Bird will be joined at the upcoming Falls Church development by Arlington-based seafood restaurant Chasin’ Tails, the fast-casual Roll Play Vietnamese Grill, and Vietnamese restaurant-bar Nue. Founders Row is under construction now but reportedly nearing completion. [Falls Church News-Press]

McLean Central Park Meeting Postponed — “The virtual public meeting originally scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 16, 2022 to present the revised McLean Central Park Development Concept Plan has been rescheduled. A new meeting date is now confirmed for Wednesday, March 2, 2022 at 7 p.m.” [FCPA]

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Morning Notes

The Lofts at Park Crest apartments after snow (photo by Tripp Piot)

Winter Weather Advisory in Effect — “The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Weather Advisory in effect from 6 a.m. until 1 p.m. tomorrow, Thursday, Jan. 20. Snow accumulations of up to two inches with locally higher amounts around three inches are possible, which could impact the Thursday morning commute.” [Fairfax County Emergency]

Tysons Vaccine Site Delays Opening — The Tysons Community Vaccination Center will open late today (Thursday) due to this morning’s expected winter weather. The site will operate from noon to 5 p.m., and anyone whose appointment has been affected by the change in hours can walk in to get a vaccination today. [Fairfax County Health Department/Twitter]

Police Identify Suspect in Cold-Case Murders — Fairfax County and Prince George’s police believe a man currently serving life in prison for a 2002 murder was behind two decades-old, unsolved crimes. Officials say Charles Helem confessed to killing a woman in Mount Rainer in 2002 and gave details about a 1987 Herndon murder that only the killer would know. [WTOP]

Food Left on Stove Starts McLean Fire — Two adults were displaced by a house fire that occurred around noon on Sunday (Jan. 16) in the 2000 block of Great Falls Street. Investigators determined that the fire was started by food left on a stove burner that ignited cooking oil and “nearby combustibles,” resulting in $93,750 in damages. [FCFRD]

Inova to Close Covid Testing Site — “Due to decreased volume in appointments at Inova’s Vehicle-Side COVID-19 Testing Center – Falls Church, the testing site will close on Fri, Jan 21. The testing site will remain open Wed, Jan 19 – Fri, Jan 21, 8am-2pm for symptomatic patients with appointments.” [Inova Health/Twitter]

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Morning Notes

Fairfax Connector Plans Regular Service — “In anticipation of more winter weather and snowy conditions overnight, Fairfax Connector will operate regular service on Friday, Jan. 7, 2022. Fairfax Connector officials want to remind passengers to check their route-specific information before heading out because detours on individual routes will be in effect in anticipation of poor road conditions.” [FCDOT]

Metrobus to Follow Moderate Snow Plan Today — “In a moderate snow service plan, service on some routes is suspended and detours will be in effect on certain routes to avoid areas prone to hazardous conditions such as hilly terrain and narrow streets. Approximately 119 out of 183 routes will operate. Bus supervisors will assess roads overnight to ensure they are safe for bus operations.” [WMATA]

Tysons Mass Vaccine Site Closed — “The Virginia Department of Health (VDH) is closing five of its Community Vaccination Centers (CVCs) on Friday, January 7, 2022, due to expected inclement weather with some areas of the state expected to see several inches of snow.” [VDH]

County Tweaks COVID-19 Protocols — “Due to the ongoing surge of COVID-19 cases in the Fairfax Health District, the Health Department will no longer provide individuals with clearance letters to return to work or school following COVID-19 infection or exposure. The agency will also stop providing written communications that exclude people from work or school due to illness or exposure.” [FCHD]

Tysons Area Ramen Offerings Highlighted — Northern Virginia Magazine recommends Jinya Ramen Bar, which has locations in the Mosaic District and Reston, and Hokkaido Ramen Santouka at The Boro for those craving a unique ramen bowl. [Northern Virginia Magazine]

Get Advice from Tysons Business Leader — “Aspiring entrepreneurs can get start-up tips from Pallabi Saboo, CEO of Tysons-based Harmonia Holdings Group during the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority’s next Entrepreneurship 101 virtual workshop on Tuesday, January 11.” [FCEDA]

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Morning Notes

New Year’s Day view from The Rotunda (photo by Kathleen Davey Mistry)

Reminder: Winter Weather Advisory Today — “A Winter Weather Advisory has been issued from 9 PM Thursday to 5 AM Friday. Expected snow in the county at this time is between 2-4 inches. Plan on slippery road conditions and continue to monitor the forecast.” [Ready Fairfax/Twitter]

Vienna Police Warn of “McAfee Antivirus” Scam — “The scam usually begins with an email that purports to be from McAfee informing citizens that they are being charged $300 for ‘McAfee Total Protection anti-virus software’ unless they cancel the order by calling a phone number provided in the email. If you call the number provided, you will be greeted by a scammer posing as a McAfee employee who will ask for personal information, including a bank account number supposedly to verify the account.” [Vienna Police Department/Twitter]

New Tysons Gym Opens Today — PureGym has a grand opening today (Thursday) for its new Tysons Square gym, the British company’s first in the U.S. PureGym says Tysons stood out for “its mix of office and residential, as well as its accessibility by car, bus and rail via Metro’s Greensboro station.” [Washington Business Journal]

Park Authority Board Reverts to Virtual Meetings — “The Fairfax County Park Authority Board’s regular meetings and committee sessions will return to a virtual format until further notice. Meetings will be accessible via livestream beginning Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2022. This change is reflective of current social distancing recommendations and safety concerns related to the current surge in COVID-19 cases.” [FCPA]

Tysons Nail Salon Relocates to Reston — “Beauty Nail Bar, currently operating out of Tysons, should open at its new location (1675 Reston Parkway) by the end of February, according to owner Nam Huynh of Wolf Trap. He said he decided to move his operation for more space, but it will otherwise be exactly the same.” [Reston Now]

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Morning Notes

Preliminary Snowfall Totals Reported — The amount of snow seen yesterday (Monday) varied widely across Fairfax County, with totals ranging in the Tysons area from 6.4 inches in Langley, as of 1:30 p.m., to 8.3 inches in Dunn Loring. All three major airports in the D.C. region recorded new records for Jan. 3. [NWS]

Tysons Mass Vaccine Site Closed Again — All of the Virginia Department of Health’s Community Vaccination Centers (CVCs), including the one at Tysons Corner Center, will be closed today (Tuesday). This will be the second consecutive day without the mass vaccination site due to the snowstorm, with freezing overnight temperatures expected to make travel challenging this morning. [VDH]

Power Outages Could Take Days to Resolve — Dominion Energy said that restoring power in the wake of yesterday’s snowstorm could be a “multi-day effort” after wet, heavy snow weighing down branches “wreaked havoc on power lines.” As of 12:15 a.m., more than 21,000 of the utility’s customers in Fairfax County were without power. [Inside NoVA]

Vienna Delays Town Government Openings — “Due to inclement weather and hazardous driving conditions, Vienna Town Hall and the Vienna Community Center will open at 10 a.m. tomorrow. All classes and programs at the Community Center and the Bowman House are cancelled until noon. For updates, visit http://viennava.gov.” [Town of Vienna/Twitter]

COVID-19 Boosters Approved for Young Teens — “The FDA has authorized vaccine boosters for children ages 12-15. However, we must wait for clinical guidelines from CDC and VDH, as we do with all vaccine authorizations, prior to booking appointments. Thank you for your patience.” [Fairfax County Health Department]

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Morning Notes

Winter Storm Warning in Effect — Fairfax County has its first snow of the year. The D.C. area will remain under a Winter Storm Warning until 4 p.m. today (Monday), with the National Weather Service forecasting 3-7 inches of snow and wind gusts of up to 35 miles per hour, making travel difficult. [NWS]

FCPS Closed for Day Due to Snow — Instead of returning to classrooms as anticipated, Fairfax County Public School students will have an extra day of winter break. In expectation of snow, schools have been closed today with no virtual learning, and all activities on school grounds have been canceled, including extracurricular programs and adult classes. [FCPS]

Snow Closes Tysons Mass Vaccine Site — The Virginia Department of Health is closing all of its mass COVID-19 vaccination sites, including the one at Tysons Corner Center, today “out of an abundance of caution for patients and staff.” Those with appointments will be notified and can visit vase.vdh.virginia.gov to reschedule. [VDH]

Vienna Authorizes COVID-19 Testing Site Extension — The Personic Health Care drive-through COVID-19 testing site on Maple Avenue will be allowed to continue operating through the end of January. The facility was supposed to vacate the Emmaus United Church of Christ parking lot on Dec. 31, but with cases still high, Town Manager Mercury Payton granted it a “wind-down period” in response to a request from the church. [Town of Vienna]

Dangerous Driving Filmed on Beltway — A Reddit user posted a dashcam video last week that showed a near-collision where a pickup truck tries to drive a sedan out of its lane on the Capitol Beltway inner loop near Tysons. While there was no crash, the Virginia Department of Transportation shared the video as an example of the dangers of road rage. [NBC4]

Woman Arrested After Police Pursuit Near Scotts Run — Around 4:53 p.m. on Dec. 26, Fairfax County police officers recognized a vehicle that was reported stolen in a neighboring jurisdiction and attempted to stop the driver at Chain Bridge Road at Colshire Drive. The driver, an 18-year-old woman from D.C., hit two occupied police vehicles and fled, striking four other vehicles before she was stopped and arrested. [FCPD]

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Morning Notes

Venus spotted behind clouds over The Boro (photo by ERTRIPP9/Twitter)

County Board to Vote on New Electoral District Map — “The Board of Supervisors’ last full meeting of 2021 will include an agenda of district-specific and countywide proposals. The major items up for consideration are redistricting of the Board of Supervisors and School Board districts as well as expansion of tax relief for seniors and people with disabilities.” [Patch]

Wet Snow Possible Tomorrow — A cold front headed for the D.C. region could bring the first measurable snowfall of the season. Forecasts suggest up to an inch of accumulation is likely, with a ceiling of 3 inches, and the precipitation isn’t expected to stick around long, though the timing could cause some trouble in coinciding with the morning commute. [Capital Weather Gang]

Falls Church Shuts Down New Taco Restaurant — The popular Arlington-based food truck La Tingeria has occupied its new brick-and-mortar site at 626 S. Washington Street in Falls Church for less than a month, but the city plans to revoke its certificate of occupancy, citing complaints about customers parking in nearby residential neighborhoods. [ARLnow]

Santa Hitches Ride in Mosaic District Autonomous Shuttle — “Santa Claus gave Rudolph and the other reindeer a night off as he rode to his Target appearance in the latest driverless technology, RELAY. Santa waved happily to the crowds in Mosaic as his sleigh, aka the autonomous shuttle,  wound its way down District Avenue.” [Department of Economic Initiatives]

Kansas Gives Preview of Capital One Hall Show — “Carry on all you wayward classic rock listeners! Kansas is ready to rock the brand new Capital One Hall in Tysons, Virginia, on Dec. 19…The band will perform the full “Point of Know Return” album, as well as other huge hits.” [WTOP]

Photo by ERTRIPP9/Twitter

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Morning Notes

New Early Voting Sites Open Today — “Fairfax County will open an additional 13 early voting sites starting Thursday, Oct. 21. In total, there will be 16 voting locations available across the county until the last day to vote early on Oct. 30 at 5 p.m. Early voting began last month starting with three sites open.” [Fairfax County Government]

Gallows Road Bridge to Be Demolished This Weekend — “Southbound Gallows Road travel lanes will shift to a new Gallows Road bridge over I-66 during the daytime hours on or about Thursday, October 21. Pedestrian access across I-66 will shift to the sidewalk on the east side of Gallows Road, with detours using the crosswalks at Cottage Street and Avenir Place/Bellforest Drive.” [VDOT]

Local DJ Brings New Restaurant to Tysons Corner — A new Spice Road-inspired restaurant from D.C.-based DJ and music producer Bikram Keith will open at Tysons Corner Center in early November. Located by Nordstrom’s, the 210-seat venue will serve cuisine from the Middle East, Persian Gulf, and Northern India in a 5,000 square-foot dining room, lounge, and patio. [Patch, Northern Virginia Magazine]

FCPS Allows for Limited Snow Days — “FCPS has announced updates to its inclement weather policy for the 2021-22 school year. The first five inclement weather days will be traditional inclement weather days…Once these five days have been taken, FCPS will use the flexibility provided by the General Assembly to have unscheduled virtual learning days, wherever possible, to maintain continuity of learning.” [FCPS]

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A vision that began snowballing with two Fairfax County residents — Niels ten Berge of Vienna and Jeff Hokenson of McLean — is closer to becoming a reality.

Based in McLean, their company Alpine-X is behind the Fairfax Peak indoor winter slope facility that will turn a landfill by I-95 in Lorton into what Fairfax County hopes will be a prime tourist destination for skiing, snowboarding, and more.

Hokenson says the idea for Alpine-X came from ten Berge, who was inspired by his experience with indoor snow sports venues in Europe.

“Niels had a simple but powerful premise: These venues are popular in many parts of the world — why shouldn’t they also be successful here in the U.S.?” Hokenson said by email. “Also, there’s a vibrant skiing, snowboarding and active-lifestyle culture here in the Washington, D.C. area, so this market seemed like a logical place for the first project.”

With Fairfax Peak as the flagship site, Alpine-X announced on May 25 that it hopes to bring more than 20 facilities to North America. Previously, the company stated that it envisioned 10 destinations in America.

The company told Tysons Reporter that the new number includes locations in the U.S. and Canada.

For Fairfax Peak, Alpine-X has proposed leasing land from the county, which would still keep parts of the landfill in operation.

Plans presented to the county called for several other elements, including an alpine coaster and a wave pool with surfing possibilities that could come with a second phase of the project. The indoor slope would have an approximately 20-degree angle.

“The proposed Snow Sports facility is expected to be approximately 450,000 sq. ft., with multiple slopes, the longest of which should be 1,700 ft. in length,” the company said in its proposal. “Additionally, the facility will have a terrain/fun park, snow tubing runs, a ‘bunny slope’ for new skiers, or for training, a ski shop, multiple restaurants and bars, a sky-bar and event space, an outdoor courtyard…and more.”

Alpine-X is the developer of the recreational project and has partnered with SnowWorld International B.V., a consulting subsidiary of SnowWorld N.V., which has indoor snow resorts in the Netherlands and has worked on other projects across the globe.

Alpine-X has a 50% ownership stake in SnowWorld USA, which will be the owner and operator of the snow sports facility and other elements, such as a 100-plus-room hotel.

Fairfax County supervisors approved an interim agreement for the project in November, extending a previous approval. It allows the company to explore the potential of the site and continue negotiations with the county. The interim agreement lasts until Dec. 31, 2021 and could be extended for another year.

The company initially suggested a 99-year lease with a potential buyout option for the property. The county’s public affairs office said it’s county policy to not comment on ongoing negotiations.

Proposed pricing for Fairfax Peak is not yet available, but the facility is expected to be more cost-effective than traditional slopes that have seasonal windows.

“The Alpine-X experience aims to complement established ski resorts — not compete — as we will have the opportunity to introduce new demographics to snowsports at large, ideally inspiring passion and potential interest in hitting the outdoor mountains down the road,” Hokenson said, noting that the company plans to partner with established winter resorts nationwide.

The new facility could also be a boon for local businesses like Alpine Ski Shop, which has a store at 9629 Fairfax Boulevard in Fairfax as well as a location in Sterling (21999 Shaw Rd.).

“We love the prospect of introducing the sport of skiing and snowboarding in a fun, controlled environment and bringing it to a wider audience,” owner Chris Bunch said in an email. “The proximity is an added bonus!”

Bunch also said the slope will “provide experienced skiers and snowboarders the opportunity to get a quick ride in during the work day or head over and ‘run laps’ to keep the legs in shape.”

Alpine-X believes Fairfax Peak could be in operation in late 2024 or early 2025.

Photo courtesy Alpine-X

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The National Weather Service issued a Winter Weather Advisory at 8:43 a.m. today for much of the D.C. area, including Fairfax County.

Precipitation started falling early this morning and could result in up to an inch of snow accumulation. The alert will remain in effect until 3 p.m.

Here is the full alert:

…WINTER WEATHER ADVISORY IN EFFECT UNTIL 3 PM EST THIS AFTERNOON…

* WHAT…Rapid onset of snow which will result in snow covered roadways. Snow accumulations of up to one inch.

* WHERE…Portions of central and northern Maryland and northern Virginia.

* WHEN…Until 3 PM EST this afternoon.

* IMPACTS…Plan on slippery road conditions. The hazardous conditions will impact the morning or evening commute.

“Slow down and use caution while traveling,” the NWS said. “When venturing outside, watch your first few steps taken on steps, sidewalks, and driveways, which could be icy and slippery, increasing your risk of a fall and injury.”

Photo by Jessica Fadel on Unsplash

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