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Newport News Facts

Where did Newport News get that name? No one knows for sure where Newport News got its name, but “Newportes Newes” first appears in the Virginia Company records in 1619. The most widely accepted folktale is that the city is the namesake of Captain Christopher Newport, commander of Susan Constant, flagship of the three-ship English fleet that landed on Jamestown Island in 1607. He made several voyages to Newport News in the early days of the Jamestown Colony, bringing “good news” of supplies and settlers.

Newport News settled in 1621, is approximately 23 miles long and 3 miles wide. It is the fourth largest city in size in the state, with its boundaries encompassing over 70 square miles. Newport News has a population of approximately 187,000 people (City of Newport News 2007 estimate).

Newport News played a major role in the Peninsula Campaign during the Civil War. Numerous earthen fortifications and attractions that relate to the Civil War can be experienced in Newport News. In addition, the famous "Battle of the Ironclads" took place off the shores of Newport News in 1862.

Collis P. Huntington, a Northern railroad tycoon from Connecticut, brought two magnet industries to Newport News: the Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad and Newport News Shipbuilding.

Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company, established in 1886, is the sole builder of all the U.S. Navy's nuclear-powered aircraft carriers, including the Enterprise, Lincoln, Washington, Vinson and Roosevelt.

Newport News was designated as a Port of Embarkation by the U.S. Army immediately after America's entry into WWI.

The final major military base during WWI was Camp Eustis, which later came to be known as Fort Eustis. Named after the founder of Fort Monroe's Artillery School of Practice and War of 1812 veteran, Brigadier General Abraham Eustis, the camp was created in 1918 to meet the need for an artillery firing range.

Hilton Village, the first government-subsidized "planned community" was constructed as a pilot program due to the housing shortage related to the war effort. Hilton was dedicated on July 7, 1918.

Here in Newport News, we experience all four seasons. In the winter, our average annual snowfall is less than 4 inches, so don't expect too many sleigh rides. Spring brings some showers for our blooming flowers and 4.37 inches of rainfall as the average per month. Summer's high temperatures average in the mid-80s, perfect for sunning, swimming, boating, and fishing. Fall's pleasant temperatures average in the mid-60s, ideal weather for viewing our fall foliage while cruising the James River, hiking along one of our many trails or canoeing on one of our lakes.

Newport News is located in the eastern part of Virginia, midway between Williamsburg and Norfolk and Virginia Beach. Part of the Tidewater/Hampton Roads region, Newport News is on the north side of the James River.

Newport News became an independent city in 1896. In 1958, the city merged with Warwick County. English colonists began settling in what is now Newport News as early as 1622.

Newport News is accessible by the Newport News/Williamsburg International Airport (Delta, US Airways Express and Air Tran), Amtrak, Greyhound and Interstates 64 and 664. The James River Bridge, the Monitor-Merrimac Memorial Bridge Tunnel and the Hampton Roads Bridge Tunnel provide easy access to other Hampton Roads cities.

Newport News is home to the following attractions:

Civil War battlefields and 1862 Peninsula Campaign sites

Endview Plantation

James A. Fields House

Ferguson Center for the Arts

Lee Hall Mansion

The Mariners’ Museum and The Mariners’ Museum Park

USS Monitor Center

Newport News Park

The Newsome House Museum & Cultural Center

Peninsula Fine Arts Center

Peninsula SPCA and Petting Zoo

US Army Transportation Museum

Virginia Living Museum

Virginia War Museum

Newport News has 49 hotel properties with over 4,000 guest rooms.

There are also 188 campsites and a municipal marina with transient boat slips.

Newport News has nearly 50,000 square feet of meeting space, including space at hotels and some attractions. Six Newport News properties offer full conference and meeting facilities.

Newport News is home to the following Sports Venues:

Achievable Dream Tennis Center

Huntington Park Tennis Center

Midtown Aquatic Center

Newport News Golf Club at Deer Run

Stoney Run Softball Complex

The Atlantic 10 Conference Headquarters


Virginia Tourism and Travel Facts

Location: Located midway between New York and Florida, Virginia is the gateway to the South. It is also sometimes classified in the Mid-Atlantic region. The Commonwealth is bordered by Washington, DC, the nation's capital, and Maryland to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the east, North Carolina and Tennessee to the south and West Virginia and Kentucky to the west.

Geography: Western Virginia is mountainous, covered by the Allegheny and Blue Ridge mountains with the great Shenandoah Valley falling between the ranges. The central piedmont region, with its rolling hills, flattens out into the sandy coastal plain toward the Atlantic Ocean.

Climate: Mild with four distinct seasons

Area: 42,767 square miles

Population: 7.6 million in 2006 (provisional)

Major Industries: Manufacturing, exports, tourism, which accounted for $13.1 billion in 2000 - up from $12.4 billion in 1999 - and employed more than 200,000 workers, high technology and agriculture.

Capital: Richmond (since 1780)

Tidewater: Williamsburg area, including Busch Gardens, Colonial Williamsburg, Jamestown, Williamsburg Pottery and Yorktown; Norfolk; Virginia Beach and Chincoteague/Assateague on the Eastern Shore

Transportation: Six interstate highways, 11 commercial airports and passenger rail service put Virginia within easy reach of major North American cities. Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport and Washington Dulles International Airport, both located in Virginia, are major gateways for foreign travel with 379 weekly departures to 31 destinations.

Facts courtesy of the Virginia Tourism Corporation


Travel Industry Fun Facts

Travel and tourism are a $1.6 trillion industry in the United States. If one dollar bill equaled a second of time, then $1.6 trillion would equal almost 51,000 years.

Travel and tourism generate $110 billion in tax revenue for local, state and federal governments. If you place 110 billion one dollar bills end-to-end, they would circle the world 419 times.

Each US household would pay $995 more in taxes without the tax revenue generated by the travel and tourism industry. $995 will buy about five weeks of groceries for a family of four, will fill the average car with gas 17 times, or will even pay the average cost of a ticket to a Michigan vs. Ohio State football game.

The travel and tourism industry is one of the country's largest employers with 7.5 million direct travel-generated jobs. You could fill the Louisiana Superdome a hundred times over with people directly employed in the industry.

Direct travel-generated payroll totals $178 billion and 1 out of every 8 U.S. non-farm jobs is created directly or indirectly or is induced by travel and tourism.

The travel and tourism industry are one of America's largest service exports. International travelers spent more on their visits to the United States than US residents spent while traveling abroad, creating a trade surplus of $8.3 billion for the US in 2006.

Dining is the most popular domestic trip activity and is included in 31 percent of all domestic trips. Shopping is the No. 1 leisure/recreational activity for overseas visitors.

Approximately 2.8 million hotel room nights are sold every day in the United States. That is enough hotel rooms to lodge every person living in Dallas, Detroit, Denver and Orlando combined.

56.2 million people visited a casino in 2006. That's more than a quarter of the total US population over the age of 21.

Spending by resident and international travelers in the US averaged $2 billion a day, $84.5 million an hour, $1.4 million a minute and $23,500 a second.

Just a 1 percent increase in US worldwide market share would equate to 8.4 million more visitors, $14 billion more in expenditures, 152,000 new jobs, $3.6 billion more in payroll and $2.2 billion more in federal, state and local tax revenue.

Courtesy of The U.S. Travel Association
Note: 2006 preliminary data, updated December 2007.