Virginia Governor Ralph Northam – June



The tourism development financing project represents a capital investment of $ 23 million and creates 75 new jobs

RICHMOND—Governor Ralph Northam celebrates the grand opening of The Sessions Hotel in Bristol, Virginia, a project that will be supported by the Virginia Tourism Corporation’s Tourism Development Funding Program and reflects a total capital investment of $ 23 million dollars and 75 new full-time equivalent jobs. .

The Tourism Development Financing Program is a gap financing program for larger scale tourism development projects aimed at fostering partnerships with developers, communities, financial institutions and the Virginia Resources Authority. The Sessions Hotel is the eighth project approved under this program.

The Sessions Hotel is expected to generate approximately $ 2.8 million in direct annual economic impact from traveler spending and an expected local tax benefit of nearly $ 556,019 in the first full year of operation.

“The Sessions Hotel is a welcome addition to the growing travel and tourism industries in Virginia,” Governor Northam said. “Developing tourism is essential to rebuilding our economy and positioning the Commonwealth as a premier travel destination. Projects like this will help Bristol attract more visitors and businesses, creating new jobs and generating significant economic impact for the region.

Developed by Creative Boutique Hotels, LLC, The Sessions Hotel is a member of Tribute Portfolio, Marriott International’s newest collectible brand. The property is made up of three historic buildings: the Jobbers Candy Factory from the 1920s, the Bristol Grocery building from 1915 and the Service Granary Mill from 1922. The Sessions Hotel has 70 upscale rooms, a restaurant and a bar, salon and day spa, hair salon and rooftop bar. In addition, the hotel will have a concert and events hall with an outdoor performance stage created through a partnership with famous musician Jim Lauderdale.

“Before the pandemic, travelers to Bristol alone spent $ 59 million, which provided over 500 job opportunities and resulted in $ 4.5 million in state and local taxes in 2019,” said Secretary of Commerce and Commerce Brian Ball. “With the opening of The Sessions Hotel, more and more visitors will now be able to come to Bristol, stay longer and spend more money, which will help develop and sustain the region.”

The Sessions Hotel owes its name to the Sessions of 1927, a series of recordings that led to the ‘Big Bang’ of country music and thus led Bristol to be named the birthplace of country music. Today Bristol hosts the Bristol Rhythm and Roots Music Festival.

“We took our time and perfected the overall guest experience with curated artwork, reused objects from buildings into functional pieces, designed creative and upscale amenities that tell the story of the buildings and of Bristol. ” said Kimberly Christner, Project Partner and CEO of Cornerstone Hospitality. “Our guests will leave with a truly unique experience to share and return with their friends and family. Our team is more passionate than ever to share the Sessions experience with visitors from everywhere.

“This is a significant addition to the city of Bristol and will enhance the traveler experience by providing a unique and modern accommodation option for both business and leisure travelers. ” said Rita McClenny, President and CEO of Virginia Tourism Corporation. “Travelers who enjoy music, the arts, culture and outdoor adventures will now have a fantastic place to stay after a busy day enjoying all that Bristol has to offer.”

“The Sessions Hotel has created one of the most unique visitor experiences in the Commonwealth, which reinforces Bristol’s musical heritage and sense of place” Bristol Mayor Bill Hartley said. “The Sessions Hotel is the perfect addition to our community, as the adaptive reuse of these buildings preserves the character of our historic city center while showcasing Bristol’s living musical heritage as the birthplace of county music. . ”

For more information about The Sessions Hotel, visit Information on the Virginia Tourism Development Funding Program is available at

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