WASHINGTON — It’s a place known for its big-screen movie theatres, its bowling alleys and its iconic skyline.
But the most iconic attraction in the world is the Washington Convention Center.
The city and its surrounding suburbs are home to more than 150 national and international organizations and more than 4 million people.
Its an enviable spot to catch a few days of the city’s most popular shows.
But it’s also home to a number of attractions that visitors don’t want to miss.
“It’s a bit of a strange city to visit,” said Robert Siegel, author of “The Book of Travel,” which covers the region.
“We’re not exactly a place that people would go to to have a vacation.
People think we’re not a great place to have an adventure, but we do.
The Washington Convention and Exhibition Center (WCEC) is one of the biggest attractions in the city, with more than 8 million square feet of indoor space, 2,000 rooms, restaurants, bars and shops.
It has a collection of about 500 hotels and more popular attractions like the Zoo, the Grand Canyon and the Blue Ridge Parkway.
But for the past three years, it’s been home to the Washington Tourism Corporation, which has been struggling to find enough funding to keep the city afloat.
The WTCEC recently announced that it will shut down for at least five years.
That includes a portion of the Convention Center, which was recently remodeled.
In recent months, WTCEO President David L. McDaniel said he would be willing to make changes in the convention center’s design to help attract visitors to the area.
But with the current state of the building, it won’t be until 2019 that any changes will be made.
“When the WTCC closes, it will be our responsibility to make sure we have a sustainable long-term facility for the long-run,” said McDaniel.
“And if it’s a major event, like a World Series or a Super Bowl, or if we need to reopen the convention space, we need the resources.”
The WTSC’s financial troubles started in 2010, when the company was forced to slash costs.
In February, the company laid off about 40 percent of its workforce, reducing its workforce to just under 6,000 employees.
By mid-year, it had reduced its staff by about 60 percent.
“The last year has been the worst in our history,” said WTCE Executive Vice President and General Manager of Events Tom Kostal, who is also vice president for development and operations.
“Our entire structure is on the verge of collapse.”
In a letter to employees last month, WTSE President Dan Pascual noted that WTCCEc had been in financial trouble since at least the early 1990s.
“Despite the tremendous challenges and challenges facing our organization, WTF has maintained its momentum, including hiring more than 5,000 people and maintaining a strong focus on our global network,” he wrote.
The company had been planning to sell the building but decided to keep it open as a hotel instead, instead of shutting it down.
That meant the building had to be repurposed as a convention center.
“I don’t think there is any other building like it in the United States,” said Kostad, referring to the convention centers in Chicago, Los Angeles and Orlando.
The WCEC has been in the red for years, and in the early years, many people believed it would be closed in 2020.
“This is a great time for the WCEC to be here,” said David C. Stapleton, the WTSEC’s vice president of marketing and sales.
But that never happened.
“There is still a lot of demand for the event space,” said Staplynts.
“They were really hoping for a positive bounce.
But unfortunately, it has just never happened.”
The building will remain open through 2020, but will likely not be accessible to the public until at least 2021, according to the Wts.
Siegel said the WCTEC has struggled to maintain its financial health over the years.
“At this point, it is very clear that we have had a pretty difficult time,” said Siegel.
“So, the last two years have been a tough one for the company.
The fact that we are now looking at the 2020 closure, I think is a good sign for us.”
The city has made strides to make it more accessible, including installing signs on the convention grounds, building a new concourse at the WTF Center, and offering discounted rates to hotel guests and others.
But some in the area believe that WTSECA is still too expensive for its current needs.
“For the last three years I have been paying a lot more for my lodging,” said Dan Piscatelli, a hotel manager.
“That is definitely not sustainable.” The WCCEc