A message from the Charlottesville Albemarle Convention & Visitors Bureau's Executive Director

On behalf of the staff at the Charlottesville Albemarle Convention & Visitors Bureau and the local hospitality industry, I offer our deepest condolences to the families of the victims of the horrific events that took place in our destination over the past weekend.

These events are an example of the uninvited and unwelcomed invading a community with hatred and vitriol, and then returning from where they came, leaving in their wake tears, anger and sadness. 

Now, this community is beginning the healing process.  The Charlottesville community is one that has endeared countless individuals, whether through their association with the University of Virginia, on business travel, group events, or simply enjoying the many leisure activities this area provides.  Year-after-year, the greater Charlottesville area receives accolades that celebrate its hospitality, sustainability, technological innovation, diversity and charm.

Hate has no place here.  Mayor Michael Signer and other community leaders have clearly stated this and are committed to not let negative voices somehow represent our city.  We are a very diverse community that embraces all cultures.  In fact, Charlottesville is one of only 28 communities in the United States with an International Rescue Committee.   

This city has really pulled together and much like many other communities that have had the uninvited trespass, Charlottesville will rise above, become stronger and reaffirm to the world that it is a city that embraces diversity and tolerance and tells those who wish otherwise, to stay home.  We abhor the evil associated with hate, and know that fear will not dictate our freedom of movement.

Life in Charlottesville is returning to normal.  While healing will take some time and our hearts are heavy for the loss of lives and the injured, the Charlottesville area’s hospitality industry is ready and eager to welcome guests and serve visitors who will come to enjoy great events such as the Virginia Craft Brewers Fest and the Heritage Harvest Festival, to savor our delicious cuisine and taste our fine wines, beers, and other unique beverages, to visit our UNESCO World Heritage sites, Monticello and the University of Virginia, delight in a concert at one of our many music venues, or to celebrate their wedding.

University of Virginia alum and journalist, Anushay Hossain, said it so well on CNN with her story, “As an immigrant, I found the best of America in Charlottesville. As much as my heart hurts, I know hate groups do not stand a chance against Charlottesville. There are simply too many good people there for hate to win.”

Kurt Burkhart, Executive Director
Charlottesville Albemarle Convention & Visitors Bureau