Most SPX attendees are probably not aware that the area immediately surrounding the Bethesda North Conference Center is in the midst of a massive development project. This project is aimed at revitalizing the area by making it more pedestrian-friendly - a big complaint amongst SPX attendees.
(Clicking on the map above takes you to an interactive map with a lot more detail about the project.)
Long-term, this project is going to radically transform what the attendees of SPX will have access to directly outside the Conference Center. This year, though, the most obvious change is the development project immediately north of the Conference Center - Pike & Rose.
While construction is not quite complete today, the website for Pike & Rose promises that restaurants will be open sometime during the Fall of 2014. I’m not sure that they’ll be open in time for this year’s SPX, however. But they should be open by next year.
Another big change is that White Flint Mall is closing down. The last two residents in the mall are Lord & Taylor and Dave & Busters. Dave & Busters just got a court order to evacuate the mall by the end of August, which means that SPX attendees looking to get drunk and play video games will have the make the trek to Chuck E Cheese instead.