News & Press: Public

Guild Celebrates International Tourist Guide Day at The Observation Deck

Friday, February 22, 2019  
Posted by: Jackie Frend

On Thursday, February 21, The Observation Deck at CEB Tower in Rosslyn, hosted the Guild of Professional Tour Guides of Washington, DC, in celebration of International Tourist Guide Day.  Almost 90 Guild members, friends and family registered to celebrate the day and enjoy the 360 degrees of endless views of our nation's capital, along with incredible views of Maryland in the distance and close-ups of Arlington, Virginia and cities beyond. 

The Observation Deck at CEB Tower opened in June 2018 and is the tallest commercial building inside the Beltway. A glass-enclosed elevator delivers visitors nearly 400 feet into the air to the 31st floor where floor-to-ceiling windows in the 12,000 square-foot space provide unobstructed vistas of the DC memorials and other famous landmarks. Light fare and drinks can be purchased at their Champagne Bar.  A staircase takes visitors to the 32nd floor that offers an outdoor deck with breathtaking views, a lounge, and outdoor seating.

We were welcomed by Cleon McMillan, Manager of Group Sales, who said they were delighted that the Guild of Professional Tour Guides of Washington, DC celebrated  International Tourist Guide Day at The Observation Deck. Mr. McMillan noted that  Arlington residents are given complimentary admission with valid proof of residency and discounts are offered to various groups, including students.

Ellen Malasky, President of the U.S. National Federation of Tourist Guide Associations, Guild Certified Master Guide, and Guild Board member, organized the event and provided details about the recent World Federation of Tourist Guide Associations (WFTGA) Convention in Tbilisi, Georgia. Ms. Malasky represented the United States at that convention. Maricar Donato, WFTGA Global Brand Ambassador and Guild Certified Master Guide, videotaped our group's best wishes for International Tourist Guide Day and arranged for our message to be posted on WFTGA's website.

Many Guild members experienced HoverDC which offers "a top-down immersive experience, providing access to a unique perspective as passengers fly aboard a hover ship through restricted airspace over our nation’s capital from one extraordinary landmark to the next." Another interesting exhibit that Guild members enjoyed was Windows Into History, featuring 14 interactive 55-inch digital display touch screens highlighting the stories of important figures who have influenced U.S. history. The exhibit also includes fun facts about DC.

While celebrations of International Tourist Guide Day around the world include tour guides providing their services for free that day, the Guild recognizes the day throughout the year by contributing volunteer service hours to the community. We have titled these events “The Guild Gives Back.” These service hours include volunteering with the National Park Service to help maintain DC's memorials such as washing the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and Korean War Veterans Memorial walls. Guild members also partner with Honor Flights to provide our veterans from around the country free tours of Washington, DC, particularly the war memorials and Arlington National Cemetery. Guild members also contribute their time in December and January when Arlington National Cemetery participates in Wreaths Across America - a nationwide event one morning in December where thousands of volunteers lay wreaths at every headstone in Arlington National Cemetery (close to 400,000) while around the country, similar wreath layings are taking place at veteran cemeteries. Then, one morning in January, the Guild members assist with wreath removal.

The box office at The Observation Deck is located directly across the street from the Rosslyn Metro Station in the 1700 block of North Moore Street, Arlington, Virginia. Hours of operation are Monday-Friday 10 AM - 8 PM; Saturday-Sunday 9 AM - 8 PM. Hours may vary based on holidays and private events. Check their website for additional information: https://www.theviewofdc.com

The Guild Board is pleased to announce that we have partnered with The Observation Deck as a new "Friend" member!

Jackie Frend

President, Guild of Professional Tour Guides of Washington, DC

February 21, 2019