|WILLIAMSBURG, VA. -- January 5, 2001 - The world-renowned Williamsburg
Inn is undergoing an extensive yearlong renovation that will honor Colonial
Williamsburg benefactor John D. Rockefeller Jr.’s vision of providing the
highest quality of hospitality, recreational facilities and services to
the guests of Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia’s restored 18th-century capital.
The renovation, scheduled for completion in September 2001, will add significant
upgrades to the historic hotel’s interior yet retain the exquisite quality
that Rockefeller envisioned.
The extensive project, begun in August 2000, will reduce the current
95 guest rooms to 62 – one more than the number of guest rooms Rockefeller
opened the Inn with in April 1937. Guest rooms will be enlarged to
create luxurious bedrooms with generous seating areas and better appointed
bathrooms; when complete, rooms will average 500 square feet, the size
most requested by guests.
renovation of three of its five hotel properties, the Visitor Center, the
Golden Horseshoe Gold Course Clubhouse and the central utility plant.
The gateway to Colonial Williamsburg, the renovated and expanded Visitor
Center will re-open to the public in April 2001. The new 300-room
Williamsburg Woodlands Hotel now being built adjacent to the Visitor Center
and the original Woodlands Hotel will have 202 double rooms and 98 suites
upon completion in July 2001. A spacious lobby with fireplace and
complimentary breakfast area are just two of the hotel’s many relaxing
|The Inn’s exterior will not change, nor will
the elegant, Regency-style furnishings, handsome window treatments and
individual character of the guest rooms and public spaces. There
will be extensive mechanical, electrical and plumbing upgrades, as well
as improved life-safety systems.
The Williamsburg Inn main building and the Regency Dining Room are temporarily
closed to the public from January 2, 2001 to September 1. During
this time, the Inn’s adjacent Providence Hall Wings will remain open and
serve guests with a small dining operation. On June 1, 2001, 30 renovated
guest rooms in the main building and the East Lounge will re-open to the
public. The re-opening of the rest of the fully refurbished Williamsburg
Inn is scheduled for September 1, 2001, with grand re-opening celebrations
to take place later in the month.
The Williamsburg Inn renovation is part of Colonial Williamsburg’s $100
Mr. and Mrs. John D. Rockefeller, Jr. were involved in
every detail concerning the design and furnishings of this 110 guest room
Regency-style inn. The luxury resort is located adjacent to the historic
area of Colonial Williamsburg.
The Williamsburg Lodge will begin a complete renovation in January 2003.
In early 2000, the central mechanical plant, originally installed at the
Lodge in 1987 when the Tazewell Wing was built, was enhanced to better
support systems improvements at the Williamsburg Inn and the expansion
of the Lodge and Conference Center. The central plant upgrade included
new boilers, new and rebuilt chillers and replacement of the cooling towers.
In preparation for the renovations at the Lodge the East Wing, with 48
guest rooms built in 1942, will be demolished in January 2001.
The Tazewell Wing of the Lodge, with more than 100 guest rooms, will
remain open during each phase of the renovation, a project that will refurbish
all guest rooms and public areas and add 150 new guest rooms, construct
a new state-of-the-art 30,000-square-foot conference center, a new family
restaurant and a new outdoor swimming pool. The Lodge will retain
the original lobby, gift shop, the Tazewell Wing guest rooms and the Tazewell
Colonial Williamsburg Hotels are operated by the Colonial Williamsburg
Company, a subsidiary of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. Revenue
supports the foundation’s educational programs and preservation of the
Known worldwide as the nation’s oldest and largest outdoor living history
museum, Colonial Williamsburg recently was recognized as a “Favorite Historic
Site” by readers of Southern Living magazine for the fifth straight year
and one of the “Top 10 U.S. Monuments” by readers of Conde Nast Traveler.
Colonial Williamsburg is conveniently located just 150 miles south of Washington,
D.C. off Interstate 64.
Governor’s Inn marks 15th anniversary
On Aug. 1, the Governor’s Inn celebrated its 15th anniversary as a Colonial
Williamsburg hotel. Acquired to serve as Colonial Williamsburg’s economy
property, the unit has seen considerable change over the last 15 years.
Previously, the property was a Sheraton Inn franchise hotel and originally
consisted of the registration building and 72 guestrooms in a single block.
Colonial Williamsburg immediately began renovating the property and in
1988 opened 128 additional guestrooms to increase the Governor’s Inn inventory
to 200 rooms. At the same time, a new pool was created, and the site of
the old pool was converted into a courtyard.
More recently, the Governor’s Inn added a continental breakfast area
and renovated all 200 rooms for a fresh look. Giving the Governor’s Inn
a three-diamond rating, the American Automobile Association inspector indicated
in her report that the rooms and the breakfast are “top drawer products”
that place the Governor’s Inn in a highly competitive position.
In addition to the solid ratings received for its facilities, the Governor’s
Inn has been recognized for its training and staff performance.
In 1995, the American Hotel/Motel Association honored the Governor’s
Inn with its gold medal award for the successful implementation and sustained
use of the Performance Plus Training and Development program. “This award
has been presented to only seven hotels in the world,” explained Bob Jeremiah,
vice president/general manager of the Williamsburg Woodlands, Governor’s
Inn and Colonial Taverns, at the time the award was presented. “It’s a
true measure of the dedication and success of our staff to have achieved
When the property was purchased, Colonial Williamsburg offered the Sheraton
Inn staff the opportunity to stay on under the new management, despite
the common practice in the hotel industry to hire an entirely new staff
when a new property is purchased. Among the Sheraton Inn staff members
who accepted the offer, and became Colonial Williamsburg employees, four
have remained with the hotel through the years.
Three of those four original employees, resident manager of the Williamsburg
Woodlands Margie Jackson and room attendants Celestine Piggott and Barbara
Williams, were honored as 15-year employees as part of an anniversary luncheon
celebration at the Cascades on Aug. 1. Room attendant Valerie Partlow,
who is not technically a 15-year employee because she was a part-time employee
in 1985, was also acknowledged as an original staff member.
“These ladies are great,” commented Governor’s Inn hotel manager Yvonne
Kerley on the three attendants. “We only receive positive feedback from
guests about the rooms they handle.”
Margie Jackson, who began as the Governor Inn’s front office manager
has risen through the ranks to become the resident manager for the Williamsburg
Woodlands and the Governor’s Inn.
Reflecting upon their tenure, Williams said simply, “We just enjoy doing
it. We’ve been friends a long time and like working together.” Piggott
noted that the pleasure of helping guests and the benefits, including the
hotel’s profit sharing program, are among the best aspects of working for
the unit. Jeremiah also recognized Colonial Williamsburg retiree
Russ Tabb. “No accounting of the Governor’s Inn history would be complete
without mentioning Russ Tabb,” said Jeremiah.
Tabb was the first hotel manager at the Governor’s Inn and served in
that capacity from the opening of the hotel until his retirement in 1998.
He headed the Governor’s Inn in the last phase of a 46-year long career
that included working in many different units including the Williamsburg
Lodge, the Laundry and Upholstery. Since his retirement, Tabb has kept
busy and recently took office as a city councilman. “The hotel’s staff
really worked together as a team,” reminisced Tabb. “I am thankful for
their courtesy and dedication.
The success of the Governor’s Inn is a tribute to the employees, both
those still at the Governor’s Inn and those that have moved on to other
positions within Colonial Williamsburg. Through smart changes and great
incentives, Colonial Williamsburg created a great team. It felt like a
family. I am proud of them all.”