New Life for a Historic Hotel

Stonewall Jackson

In 2005, the Stonewall Jackson Hotel and Conference Center opened its doors after 30 years and a $21 million renovation. The property benefited from its downtown Staunton location and the renaissance of Staunton, Virginia.

The property has performed well but in the past couple of years the brand has not resonated with millennials. The core audience needed to shift from Boomers who like history to millennials that have mixed ideas about Southern history.

Brite recommended a renovation of the Stonewall Jackson brand. The goal was to attract more millennials who regarded history as boring, repressive and stuffy. As Staunton evolved their brand to a hip and happening place with their Big Time Culture, Small Town Cool campaign, there was opportunity to have a little fun with the brand and add some whimsy to the historical aspect of the hotel.

The resort upgraded their soft goods to white duvets and herbal, botanical soap products and added a rooftop garden to provide homegrown herbs and vegetables for the restaurant and bar area. The menu was changed to reflect more tapas, and trendy farm-to-table offerings from local artisanal producers.

We developed a fun menu for the on property restaurant Sorrels, the headline Give Me Life, Liberty and Libations – a play on history. Clever door hangers were designed as well as fun, cool T-shirts.

Our brand has been received with great success and our past guest return rate has grown 5% year over year. Our e-newsletter open rate is 20-25% and a 7% click thru rate. Our pay per click campaign has helped deliver close to 8% of click thrus. The hotel is meeting revenue goals in the leisure segment and wedding segment.