Omni Homestead launches $120M renovation
Resort to overhaul rooms, exteriors and build new event space
The Omni Homestead Resort has started work on a property-wide revamp expected to cost $120 million, the resort hotel in Bath County announced Monday. Some renovation work will begin late this month, and an event pavilion will be added to the hotel, which opened in 1766.
The Homestead project is likely to be the largest historic tax credit project since the state program was established in 1997, according to Julie Langan, director of the Virginia Department of Historic Resources and state historic preservation officer. The renovation of the historic hotel is “as large or larger than” the renovation of the former Miller & Rhoads department store in downtown Richmond, which was previously the largest qualifying project.
Facade improvements, including window restoration and painting, are scheduled to begin at the Homestead in late October, and the project will include a refresh of all guest rooms in the resort’s main building and the tower, east, west and garden wings; a remodeling of Martha’s Market café, and expansion of the lobby bar into the Georgian Room with a speakeasy-style lounge. Also, a 4,000-square-foot event space with capacity for 225 people plus a bridal suite and prep kitchen will be built, extending the resort’s convention and function space to 76,000 square feet.
The project also will include a new residential building for employees in downtown Hot Springs, with 50 units that can house two people each, as well as kitchen, dining, laundry and fitness facilities. Construction will begin in early 2022 and be completed in spring 2023, according to Omni.
Complete Property Services, a Tampa, Florida, company, has been awarded the contract to restore 978 original wood window frames and hundreds of doors, as well as stucco, terracotta, limestone and brick masonry on the hotel and spa exteriors, and the roof above the great hall. There will also be balcony work done throughout the property, including porches and terraces. In all, the exterior work is expected to take 16 months. Arnold & Associates Interiors, based in Louisiana, is doing the design work, and California-headquartered Wimberly, Allison, Tong & Goo will oversee architectural and interior design segments of the project.
“We have amazing plans for this resort but first, we want to keep it looking historic. This renovation is about restoring a piece of American history. This iconic resort in the hills of Virginia is going to be restored to its grandeur that it once was,” Peter Strebel, president of Omni Hotels and Resorts, said in a statement. “We have hired some of the top historic preservation and rehabilitation teams to ensure that we preserve this grand dame.”
Lionberger Construction Co. in Roanoke has started restoration of the historic Warm Springs Pools, formerly known as the Jefferson Pools, a short distance from the resort. The Gentlemen’s Pool House, erected in 1761, is believed to be the oldest spa structure in the nation. Work on the property, which will restore the two poolhouses to their 1925 appearance, is expected to finish by late 2022.