September 2, 2016
Colonial Williamsburg Unveils Critical Improvement Plans for the Williamsburg Inn$8 million proposal – submitted to local officials Friday – would restore historic property’s premium status and create an estimated 178 permanent jobs
Colonial Williamsburg submitted an $8 million renovation proposal Friday to the City of Williamsburg’s Architectural Review Board detailing proposed enhancements to the Williamsburg Inn deemed critical to restoring the property as a premium hotel destination while supporting the local economy with an estimated 178 permanent jobs.
The enhancements are limited to the historic hotel’s exterior and honors the vision of Colonial Williamsburg founding benefactor John D. Rockefeller, Jr. while meeting the increasing expectations of contemporary hospitality and luxury wedding clientele.
“With the city’s approval, these enhancements would ensure the Inn remains not only the region’s premier hotel property, but a key driver of the local economy,” said Colonial Williamsburg President and CEO Mitchell B. Reiss. “We are confident that our proposal strikes a perfect balance in maintaining this architectural treasure while ensuring its continued success as a top-tier vacation and wedding destination, all while creating jobs and supporting Colonial Williamsburg’s core mission of education and preservation.”
Highlights of the proposal include:
• A new, elegant reflecting pool at the center of the Inn’s front oval
• An improved rear terrace featuring a formal fountain, outdoor bar and fire pit lounge
• An expanded Queen’s Terrace with adjoining wedding pagoda and event lawn
• A reimagined and more family-friendly outdoor pool deck area
“On its opening in April 1937, the Williamsburg Inn represented Mr. Rockefeller’s vision as the pinnacle of comfort and luxury,” said Florencio Ferrao, Colonial Williamsburg vice president of hospitality. “Today’s consumers expect even more, however, from outdoor options for drinks and dining to water features for wedding photography. If we hope to thrive as a destination, we must meet our guests’ expectations.”
The planned enhancement follows winter 2016 work that enhanced the Williamsburg Inn guest experience with a new seated check-in and improved amenities, and it coincides with the ongoing $2.5 million renovation of the Gold Course of Colonial Williamsburg’s Golden Horseshoe Golf Club, scheduled for completion in spring 2017, and enhancement of the Spa of Colonial Williamsburg, managed by Trilogy Spa. Together, the investments are projected to generate $6.2 million in new revenue annually, which combined with expanded operating expenditures, would spur $18 million in direct and indirect spending regionally.
The Inn is listed on the National Trust for Historic Preservation Historic Hotels of America and Leading Small Hotels of the World. Its guests have included Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip of England, Sir Winston Churchill, Gen. Dwight Eisenhower, President George H.W. Bush, first ladies Barbara and Laura Bush, Alex Haley, Robin Williams, Quincy Jones, Barbra Streisand, Betty White and Tom Hanks. All Inn revenues support the Foundation’s preservation, research and educational programs.