ROANOKE, Va. – As businesses throughout the Roanoke Valley work to recover during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, The Hotel Roanoke has made progress on major renovations that may help.
A virtual ribbon cutting on Wednesday afternoon unveiled its new Pine Room and the 1882 Lobby Bar.
“For those who have been here before, they’re going to be shocked and stunned,” said the hotel’s director of food and beverage Declan McGettigan.
The project that took two years of planning, six months of renovations and $3.6 million honors the history of the hotel and Roanoke.
What was once just a seating area is now a 40-seat lobby bar.
“It’s just optically a thrill to walk in the front door of the lobby, look this way, see the energy and it’s just naturally where people want to meet now,” said Brian Wells, the hotel’s general manager.
The Pine Room is expanded as well and offers an open kitchen serving locally-sourced food.
There’s also added outdoor seating overlooking the Star City.
“We pretty much doubled in size in terms of opportunity and then you take the bar on top of that, it’s just incredible,” McGettigan said.
The redesigned space is about so much more than what meets the eye.
The Hotel Roanoke has been hit hard by the pandemic, but it’s hoping this can be the catalyst for a comeback, not just for the hotel, but the entire region.
“It is definitely progress. It’s a step at a time,” Wells said.
At the height of the shutdown, conference space rentals were down 80%.
Wells said they’re building that business back which has a ripple effect on the local economy but this could be a potentially game-changing boost, thanks to a little reimagination.
“We think that it’s going to instill, inspire more travel, for people to come have a small getaway, could be any night of the week and we think it’s going to make our meeting business stronger here in Roanoke,” Wells said.
The Pine Room and the 1882 Lobby Bar are now officially open.