Fall's Outlook Looks Great!

Says VisitPITTSBURGH's Fall Forecast

PITTSBURGH – With fall just around the corner, VisitPITTSBURGH hosted a "Fall Forecast" event to educate the hospitality community about the city's newest and coolest happenings that will lead up to the holiday season.

About 150 people attended the luncheon event held Tuesday at the Pittsburgh Marriott City Center. Among the organizations who spoke at the Fall Forecast were: Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh Cultural Trust, University of Pittsburgh Panthers, Highmark First Night Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership and Pittsburgh Transportation Group. These representatives had the opportunity to tell members of the media and the hospitality community exactly what to expect this fall.

"VisitPittsburgh is helping to get the word out," said Craig Davis, president and CEO. "Our marketing department is busy with advertising campaigns in Columbus and Cleveland, Ohio. And, new this year, we've expanded our advertising reach to include Erie and Washington, D.C."

This fall promises to be a real attention-grabber with one-of-a-kind arts and cultural events that are happening in the city. And, it's going to be a busy season, for arts organizations and sports teams alike.

Thanks to the University of Pittsburgh Panthers football team joining the Atlantic Coast Conference this year, Pittsburgh will play host for an exciting game against Florida State, Sept. 2, at Heinz Field.

On Sept. 27, as part of the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust's International Festival of Firsts, a large (think: four story) public art project – "The Rubber Duck" – will make its way up the Allegheny River and perch itself outside of PNC Park.

The duck has been on display in Amsterdam, Sydney Harbour and Hong Kong, among other international destinations. This is the first time the Rubber Duck will visit North America and it's the kick-off to a tremendous season of international arts events in our city.

But there's much more to the Pittsburgh International Festival of Firsts. From September 27 through October 26, for four dizzying weeks, the Pittsburgh International Festival of Firsts sets the stage for international companies and artists premiering works never before seen in the United States. Each of the featured performing and visual arts reflect a sense of place and culture far from Pittsburgh.

As if that's not enough, the Carnegie Museum of Art will host the 56th Annual Carnegie International. Today, the International reaches out across the city, bringing art to Pittsburgh that reflects the places where the art originated and underscores the role that the arts play as a "placemaker" in the city. Through social media and grassroots community relations events, arts will emerge in unexpected places all around Pittsburgh.

In addition, several special events are in the works for two anniversaries celebrations this Fall: the Pittsburgh Opera turns 75 and Pittsburgh Transportation Company is celebrating "100 years of moving Pittsburgh."

For the second year in a row, the Peoples Natural Gas Holiday Market will set up shop inside Market Square. This year, it will open one week earlier (in time for Black Friday) and will include a reconfigured layout of holiday chalets, which means even more vendors! This has become a new holiday tradition for locals and visitors, alike. Holiday staples such as Light Up Night (with new venues – stay tuned!) will take place November 22, and marks the second "Season of Lights" returning to Market Square with 150,000 LED lights choreographed to holiday music. This New Year's Eve also marks the 20th Anniversary of the Highmark First Night, presented by the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust.

"And, we are so thrilled that Pittsburgh is the host city for these fantastic events," continued Davis. "The region's 30-year investment in the arts and culture industry has paid off with a thriving downtown cultural district that's a global model for urban regeneration, and our sports teams and fans are unlike any other. Because of the great transformation we've made over the last three decades, we're experiencing attention from all over the world," says Davis.

VisitPITTSBURGH also released some exciting news. From October 18-21, we're expecting 10,000 members of the Energy Action Coalition to converge on the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. That same week, hundreds of leaders from throughout North America and Europe will gather in Pittsburgh for the "Remaking Cities Congress." This working meeting on the future of former industrial centers will position the world's eyes on Pittsburgh as a model for revitalization. One of the last of the larger meetings for the year will attract 2,800 attendees for the American Physical Society's Conference, Nov. 23-26.

As the official tourism promotion agency for Pittsburgh and Allegheny County, VisitPittsburgh has the job of working in cities and towns throughout the country to bring convention, trade show and leisure travelers here. The organization is doing this by working with meeting and convention planners and attracting national media to write about the great assets in the region.

As the official tourism promotion agency for Allegheny County, VisitPittsburgh is dedicated to generating convention, trade show and leisure travel business for the Pittsburgh region.