Reimagining Hospitality & Infrastructure for Meetings and Events

ROANOKE, VA (June 25, 2020) – Today, the Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge Board of Directors met in-person for a quarterly Board meeting at The Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center to witness first-hand the new social spacing protocols put in place as a result of COVID-19. Lee Wilhelm, Chair of Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge, conducted the meeting stating, “Reopening for meetings is a vital part of tourism, the Board recognizes this importance and wants to emphasize that Virginia’s Blue Ridge is safe, welcoming, accessible and is open for business.”

It’s no secret that the meeting and events industry has been hit hard across the country. As Virginia’s Blue Ridge begins to reopen, with social spacing measures in place, in-person meetings and events are starting to take shape. The team at Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge along with many of our partners are working to create a safe environment for attendees when they’re ready to return, and to assure planners the confidence in holding their next event. Several businesses have adopted the Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge Stay Safe Pledge.

To ensure the health and safety of guests and visitors at The Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center, a comprehensive review of the physical building and operations of all departments has been assessed, utilizing the latest scientific data and best industry practices from several resources. 

Recently, the Roanoke Regional Airport Commission needed a location for upcoming meetings “…After touring the facility it was clear to us the Hotel Roanoke had the ability to deliver a quality conference. The conference rooms were set up for social distancing and had the latest work stations technology with comfortable seating,” stated Jay Ball, Director of Facilities & Grounds with the Roanoke Regional Airport Commission. Additionally, the Commission’s Master Plan Advisory Committee meeting was held last week at the Hotel Roanoke. ‘The staff at the Hotel Roanoke did a great job of finding the right size room for us to use for the meeting while providing proper social distancing and technology which allowed for video conferencing capabilities for committee members unable to join in person. The location and amenities make for a great facility for hosting a conference that continuously exceeds participant’s expectations,’ said Brad Boettcher, Marketing and Air Service Development with the Roanoke Regional Airport Commission.

The goal at The Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center is to provide top level service, operations and options to enhance the entire experience in this new age of hospitality. “Meetings and events will play a critical role in bringing teams back together in-person and charting a course for the future. We are honored to be hosting the June Board of Directors Meeting and welcoming meetings back to Virginia’s Blue Ridge,” said Brian Wells, general manager of the Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center. “Reimagining our hospitality and infrastructure with creative meeting sets helps optimize healthy and hygienic practices, while providing a setting that stimulates collaboration and innovation. The training programs have been redeveloped to include many new service techniques including new social distancing and sanitary procedures, as well as everyday service standards.”

As a member of Hilton's CleanStay program, the hotel will build upon the already high standards of housekeeping and hygiene at property, where hospital-grade cleaning products and upgraded protocols are currently in use. This initiative creates a focus on cleanliness that will be visible to guests throughout their entire stay – in their guest rooms, restaurants, fitness rooms and in other public spaces and provide guests with assurance and peace of mind when they visit.

"As the event environment changes, it is as important now more than ever to continue to create experiences that promote collaboration and engagement, with an energized and respected focus on health and safety," said Wells. "The team has designated a full listing of protocols and operations at each touch point, from the valet and front desk teams to food and beverage and back of the house teams, addressing and catering to the needed flexibility and vision necessary to accommodate the changing demands and safety of our meetings clientele." 

A complete guide to operations and procedures at the hotel throughout the phased reopenings can be found at

Virginia is currently in Phase Two of the Commonwealth's Forward Virginia plan and will enter Phase Three on July 1. The Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge team is here to support you in any way possible during these unprecedented times for the tourism industry. Whether you’re hosting a small meeting or a city-wide event, our community is full of good neighbors. See why Virginia’s Blue Ridge is the ultimate destination for your next meeting:

#    #    #

About Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge 
Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge (VBR) is the official destination marketing organization for the Cities of Roanoke and Salem and the Counties of Botetourt, Franklin and Roanoke. Visit VBR is a non-profit organization contributing to the economy through marketing, sales and services of meetings and sports groups. Visit VBR supports a vital and growing component of the local economy generating 8,037 jobs and $892 million in direct economic impact annually. For more information, go to the About Us section of or view the 2019 Progress Report.

About The Hotel Roanoke and Conference Center, Curio Collection by Hilton
The Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center has 330 luxuriously appointed guest rooms and a 63,000-square-foot, high-tech conference center. It is a joint project of Virginia Tech and the City of Roanoke and is flagged as a Curio Collection by Hilton, under the management of Benchmark Hospitality International. The Hotel Roanoke is listed on the National Registry of Historic Places.  To learn more, visit


Michael Quonce
The Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center

Catherine Fox
Visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge