The University of Virginia’s College at Wise announced plans Thursday, July 14, to establish a cybersecurity accelerator in the Oxbow Center to house faculty, students and corporate researchers working to develop software for the world’s fastest growing technology sector.
In addition, UVa-Wise plans to use a portion of the building as an ecological center to bridge environmental education and economic development efforts by serving as a hub for environmental education.
The UVa-Wise Foundation took ownership of the Oxbow Center in St. Paul, Virginia earlier this month when the Oxbow Corporation transferred the building to the College. The facility has served a variety of health care and human services organizations since the mid 1990s. Regional leaders gathered at the facility as the Oxbow Foundation officially handed the keys to the UVa-Wise Foundation.
The Oxbow announcement comes on the heels of a major announcement from the White House in June that UVa-Wise has been selected as a partner in an initiative to develop and expand ecosystems of high quality IT talent in rural America.
The Creative Boutique Hotels team announced during the ground breaking of the Western Front Hotel that Travis Milton will oversee the development and concept of the restaurant located at that property in St. Paul, Virginia.
The Western Front Hotel and restaurant will open in Spring/Summer 2017.
The renowned chef will be developing and operating food and beverage concepts for all Creative Boutique Hotel properties in the region. Milton’s much anticipated restaurant, Shovel and Pick, will be a part of the Sessions Hotel complex in Bristol and will reside in the old granary mill portion of the project.
Creative Boutique Hotels
Creative Boutique Hotels (CBH), MB Contractors and Cornerstone Hospitality held a groundbreaking ceremony on June 16, 2016 for the new Western Front Hotel in downtown St. Paul, Virginia. The hotel will be developed utilizing the former Willis and Dye buildings, and will offer 33 hotels guest rooms, a restaurant and music venue, rooftop dining, a rooftop bar and outdoor entertainment spaces.
The development group, Creative Boutique Hotels, is utilizing various programs and grants to fund the $7.3 million dollar project including state and federal historic tax credits as well as Department of Housing and Community Development and Appalachian Regional Commission grants. CBH was also the first to receive a grant from the Virginia Tourism Growth Fund, a fund issued by the state of Virginia, in the amount of $250,000. Additionally, the project has secured low interest loans from the Virginia Tobacco Region Revitalization Commission, the Virginia Coalfield Economic Development Authority and the Virginia Community Development Corporation.
The developers also took the opportunity during the groundbreaking to announce the addition of a food and beverage partner to the Creative Boutique Hotels development team. Renowned chef and local native Travis Milton will be developing and operating food and beverage concepts for all Creative Boutique Hotel properties in the region. “I can't tell you how exciting this opportunity is for me,” said Travis Milton, “It's a rarity in this world to be able to connect with great folks who really do share a vision, and that’s what I came across when I met the Creative Boutique Hotels team. I've always dreamed of coming back and opening a restaurant right where it all began for me. This property is located just a couple miles from where my great grandparents restaurant, The Village, was located many years ago. I’m excited about all of the projects we’ll be working on together in the region."
“The Western Front Hotel is located in one of the most beautiful parts of southwest Virginia and offers access to the Spearhead Trails and the Clinch River”, said Kimberly Christner, President of Cornerstone Hospitality and a partner in Creative Boutique Hotels. “The hotel will be designed for those who enjoy the many exciting outdoor activities the region has to offer – ATV trails, hiking, tubing on the Clinch River, fishing, kayaking and so much more. The Western Front will be uniquely different than other hotels in the region and will be a definite game changer for the St. Paul community. And, to now have Travis on board to develop and oversee the restaurant, we couldn’t be more excited.”
The Spearhead Trail features more than 100 miles of trails in southwest Virginia drawing those who participate in outdoor activities such as hiking, ATV riding, horseback riding and more. The Clinch River is one of the most bio-diverse rivers in the world, second only to the Amazon, attracting both people who enjoy water sports as well as those interested in the amazing scientific diversity of the river and its surroundings.
“We’re very excited about this project and all that it will offer. It certainly would not be possible without the St. Paul town leadership and the incredible passion, cooperation and commitment of many local people. Their infectious enthusiasm for the region and its “story” is truly the first reason we considered St. Paul for a boutique hotel. Without their dedication and assistance in acquiring financial support through the various entities involved, this project would never have happened,” said Todd Morgan, President of MB Contractors and a partner in Creative Boutique Hotels.
The Western Front Hotel is scheduled to open in the Spring/Summer of 2017.
Kimberly Christner, President/Partner – Creative Boutique Hotels
115 Bulifants Boulevard
Williamsburg, Virginia 23188
The St. Paul Main Street organization will offer another coal heritage bus tour on August 6. Travelers will hear stories of life in the coalfields and see fascinating rock formations and beautiful native plants.
The tour begins and ends at the gate of A.R. Matthews Park in St. Paul, VA. The bus will load at 8:45 AM and leave at 9:00 AM. The cost per person is $35.00 and includes lunch. For detailed information, visit the Main Street website at www.stpaulmainstreet.org.
The bus tour begins with a downtown tour of St. Paul, with stops along the Clinch River and at the Wetlands Estonoa Center. Other stops include the Coal Miners' Memorial in Clinchco and the Coal and Railroad Museum in Dante. In the Town of Haysi travelers will take a walk along the junction of Russell Fork and McClure Rivers and Prater Creek, and learn about adventure opportunities. The August tour will feature a quilt display at a stop in Trammel.
The final stop will be the Breaks Interstate Park, nicknamed "The Grand Canyon of the South.” In the Park, guests will have lunch and a guided tour of the park.
The inaugural bus tour took place as part of the Clinch River Days festival in June. During our third scheduled tour in October, featured events at the Breaks Interstate Park stop will include apple butter and molasses making, as well as music and crafts.
These tours are not handicapped-accessible.
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 276-395-0685.