Friday, December 02, 2011

Good morning, Homestead ... Friday GOP Advance events

 The Casino on a frosty Friday morning before the sun peeked over the mountain.

 The ice skating rink and fire pit next to the Casino.

Steam rises as workers spray water on the skating rink.

This is the view out my window as I wake to a frosty cold morning at the historic 245-year-old Homestead Resort surrounded by the beautiful Alleghany Mountains. The hotel has been bought by KSL Resorts since the last time we were here with the Advance in 2008 and there have been some changes and improvements.

For one, the extensive outdoor Christmas lights that were turned off at midnight in the past stayed on until day break. Our room overlooks the Casino and the new ice skating rink so all the twinkly lights added a festive atmosphere throughout the night. This morning as I look out the widow as the frost-covered grounds, workers are spraying down the skating rink preparing for a busy weekend with a packed resort.

Also new is the fire pit adjacent to the rink where a roaring fire last night had families gathered around enjoying the cold mountain air. Lighted arches over walkways as well decorated lamp posts, faux carolers, deer, and trees add to the holiday feeling.

Indoors, the signature multi-story Christmas tree anchors one end of the Great Hall with its colored lights and decorations while a grand piano anchors the other end as a pianist plays seasonal music. Doors and arches throughout the resort are dressed in garlands and red bows, and the annual gingerbread house has turned into a gingerbread village in the garden hallway.

The Homestead is a winter wonderland, offering skiing, snowboarding, ice skating, snow tubing, and snowmobiling. This weekend, there are hayrides available in the afternoons along with archery, paintballing, hiking, golfing, bowling, and shopping ... and don't forget people-watching in the Great Hall sitting cozied next to a crackling fireplace. It has been nice to once again see familiar employee faces. They are a wealth of information about the history of the place and interesting to talk with.

With over 600 Republicans registered for the Advance, the resort will be hopping. Registration begins at noon today in the South Parlor.

Tonight's RPV Welcome Reception will be sponsored by Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling in the Grand Ballroom West.

Tonight's hospitality suites will be headlined by Lieutenant Governor Bill Bolling's "Bowling with Bolling" at the Homestead bowling alley from 9-11.

Also headlining will be former Governor George Allen's "A-Team Huddle" in the Players Club from 9-11.

Others with hospitality suites tonight:

Room 900 – Virginia Conservative Victory Fund, hosted by Delegate Ben Cline
Room 906 – Virginia Senate Republican Caucus’ “Campaign Candy Land”
Room 1005 – Americans for Prosperity
Room 1006 – Dessert with Dave and Martha Foster
Room 1105 – Pat Mullins for Chairman
Room 1106 – Congressman Eric Cantor, U.S. House Majority Leader
Room 1200 – Delegate Rob Bell with "Camp Bell" -- s'mores and more
Room 1400 – Senator Mark Obenshain
Room 1520 – Delegate Bob Marshall
Bowling Alley – Lieutenant Governor Bolling’s “Bowling with Bolling”
Players Pub – George and Susan Allen’s A-Team Huddle
Washington Library – Keith Fimian - Growth Opportunity and Prosperity Fund

The complete lineup for the weekend can be found at RPV's website. Meanwhile, I'm going to roam the grounds, the building, and catch up with fellow blogger Jeanine Martin while watching for Republicans to begin arriving this morning. It's time for the 28th Annual Donald Huffman Republican Advance.

Photos by Lynn R. Mitchell
2 December 2011

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