Creative Boutique Hotels (CBH), MB Contractors and Cornerstone Hospitality held a groundbreaking ceremony on June 16, 2016 for the new Western Front Hotel in downtown St. Paul, Virginia. The hotel will be developed utilizing the former Willis and Dye buildings, and will offer 33 hotels guest rooms, a restaurant and music venue, rooftop dining, a rooftop bar and outdoor entertainment spaces.
The development group, Creative Boutique Hotels, is utilizing various programs and grants to fund the $7.3 million dollar project including state and federal historic tax credits as well as Department of Housing and Community Development and Appalachian Regional Commission grants. CBH was also the first to receive a grant from the Virginia Tourism Growth Fund, a fund issued by the state of Virginia, in the amount of $250,000. Additionally, the project has secured low interest loans from the Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission, the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority and the Virginia Community Development Corporation.
The developers also took the opportunity during the groundbreaking to announce the addition of a food and beverage partner to the Creative Boutique Hotels development team. Renowned chef and local native Travis Milton will be developing and operating food and beverage concepts for all Creative Boutique Hotel properties in the region. “I can’t tell you how exciting this opportunity is for me,” said Travis Milton, “It’s a rarity in this world to be able to connect with great folks who really do share a vision, and that’s what I came across when I met the Creative Boutique Hotels team. I’ve always dreamed of coming back and opening a restaurant right where it all began for me. This property is located just a couple miles from where my great grandparents restaurant, The Village, was located many years ago. I’m excited about all of the projects we’ll be working on together in the region.”
“The Western Front Hotel is located in one of the most beautiful parts of southwest Virginia and offers access to the Spearhead Trails and the Clinch River”, said Kimberly Christner, President of Cornerstone Hospitality and a partner in Creative Boutique Hotels. “The hotel will be designed for those who enjoy the many exciting outdoor activities the region has to offer – ATV trails, hiking, tubing on the Clinch River, fishing, kayaking and so much more. The Western Front will be uniquely different than other hotels in the region and will be a definite game changer for the St. Paul community. And, to now have Travis on board to develop and oversee the restaurant, we couldn’t be more excited.”
The Spearhead Trail features more than 100 miles of trails in southwest Virginia drawing those who participate in outdoor activities such as hiking, ATV riding, horseback riding and more. The Clinch River is one of the most bio-diverse rivers in the world, second only to the Amazon, attracting both people who enjoy water sports as well as those interested in the amazing scientific diversity of the river and its surroundings.
“We’re very excited about this project and all that it will offer. It certainly would not be possible without the St. Paul town leadership and the incredible passion, cooperation and commitment of many local people. Their infectious enthusiasm for the region and its “story” is truly the first reason we considered St. Paul for a boutique hotel. Without their dedication and assistance in acquiring financial support through the various entities involved, this project would never have happened,” said Todd Morgan, President of MB Contractors and a partner in Creative Boutique Hotels.
The Western Front Hotel is scheduled to open in the Spring/Summer of 2017.
Rendering of the Western Front Hotel
Rendering of the Western Front Hotel
Creative Boutique Hotels Development Team (L-R) Kimberly Christner, Mike Cagle, Todd Morgan, Travis Milton, Craig Larson, Hal Craddock