Celebrating the 250Th Anniversary of the Homestead Resortby Representative Bob Goodlatte
Posted on 2015-12-18
in the house of representatives
Friday, December 18, 2015
Mr. GOODLATTE. Mr. Speaker, the Homestead Resort is a piece of
American history nestled in the Allegheny Mountains of Virginia--
surrounded by the natural beauty of the landscape, permeated by healing
mineral waters, and displaying the quintessential Southern charm for
which it has become so well known. For 250 years, The Homestead Resort
has served as a respite for weary travelers. From presidents and
celebrities to families and visitors from around the globe, The
Homestead has been a place where generations have come to rest, relax,
and rejuvenate--all while enjoying the hospitality of our region.
Located in Virginia's Sixth Congressional District in the village of Hot Springs, the history of The Homestead begins more than a decade before the founding of our nation. A young George Washington visited the area, and later granted the land on which The Homestead was built to Captain Thomas Bullitt. In 1766, The Homestead saw its start as an 18-room lodge. In 1818, former President Thomas Jefferson spent three weeks soaking in the mineral pools. To date, 23 U.S. presidents have visited the resort, including former President George W. Bush in 2015.
Under the ownership of the Ingalls family for roughly 100 years until 1993, The Homestead saw many additions and improvements to shape the property as we know it today. Now known as The Omni Homestead Resort, over the past 200-plus years it has grown to encompass 2,300 acres with 483 guest rooms, numerous dining outlets, and more than 30 recreational activities. Today, this iconic resort continues to play a critical role in the economy of Bath County as a leading employer. Annually, the resort employs upwards of 1,000 workers, and is a significant source of tourism for surrounding communities and attractions.
The success of The Homestead is a testament to its hardworking and dedicated employees, like Woody Pettus, the long-time maitre d' in the main dining room. Woody is an institution at The Homestead and is one of five generations of his family who have worked there over the years. For many guests, the staff at The Homestead has become an extended family.
If you have not been to The Homestead, you are truly missing out on a little slice of heaven. From the columns flanking the main entrance and the welcoming expanse of the Great Hall to the beautifully designed gardens and miles of trails, a visit to The Homestead is certainly a unique experience. Over the years, this resort has become a special place for my family and many others. The people of Bath County are proud to call this landmark their own, and it is an honor to represent them and America's First Resort in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Throughout 2016, The Homestead will honor the past, present and future of America's First Resort. I congratulate The Homestead on this 250th anniversary, and wish them many more milestone anniversaries to come.
[[Page E1844]] ____________________