Highland Inn Renovation Progressing

Major renovation on the Highland Inn in Monterey began in August.  The inn was constructed in 1904, was renovated over the years, but was in need of some major upgrades.

The inn is owned by the Blue Grass Resource Center.  Betty Mitchell is the Executive Director.

“Right now Lantz Construction is wrapping up phase one, which is the exterior stabilization,” says Mitchell.  “The gingerbread is going back up on the front porches, the columns have been installed.  Some of the painting will have to wait until the springtime, because it has just gotten kind of chilly on us.  We are now moving to phase two, there will be more interior demolition done and then design plans are being finalized, which will allow us to put out a bid for construction of phase two.”

Phase two is renovation of the interior.

“Once it’s completed, we will be reopening as a historic inn with eighteen guest rooms,” says Mitchell.  “Most of the guest rooms in the past have always been on the second and third floor and we’ll continue to have rooms there.  But we will have two ADA accessible rooms on the first floor.  We’ve looked at different ways to possibly put in an elevator and it just doesn’t make sense.  So it’s nice that we’ll have two rooms there on the first floor of the inn and we’ll continue to have dining in both the dining room and the Black Sheep Tavern.”

The Blue Grass Resource Center is a 501c3 non-profit, so contributions towards the renovation are tax deductible.

“We are very excited that we are wrapping up a $50,000 challenge grant,” says Mitchell.  “We are always looking for additional funding for the project.  We have a number of agencies and foundations that we have gotten support from and that we are looking for additional support.  Many donors are interested when a community project like this comes forward to see how many people are actually supporting the project.  So all donations, no matter the size, really matter to us.”

The Blue Grass Resource Center accepts donations of cash and appreciated stock.  Volunteers are also needed to help with marketing and getting the word out.

“With COVID going on it’s been really hard for our local businesses and we look forward to the inn being reopened, as people are able to move around again, and feel like this will be a real mainstay in this county, as it has been for a number of years, and help attract more visitors and support the community’s economic growth and tourism,” says Mitchell.

Donations may be sent to Blue Grass Resource Center, P.O. Box 113, Blue Grass, VA  24413

“In the twenty-six years that Brian and I have lived here in Highland County, we just continue to be amazed at what this small population rises to the occasion and creates for this community,” says Mitchell.  “The Highland Inn project is just another example of how people come together and share their expertise and their resources and make things happen in a community.  So we appreciate it and wish everybody a happy holiday and look forward to 2021 and seeing how much work we can get done.”

For more information about the renovation project, email innrenovation@htcnet.org


Story By

Bonnie Ralston

Bonnie Ralston is the Assistant Station Coordinator at WVLS and a Highland County news reporter. She began volunteering at Allegheny Mountain Radio in the fall of 2005. In 2006 she became an AMR employee and worked in Bath County for eight years as the WCHG Station Coordinator and then as the news reporter there. She began working in radio while in college and has stayed connected to radio, in one way or another, for more than thirty years. She grew up in Staunton, Virginia, while spending a lot of time on her family’s farm in Deerfield, Virginia. She enjoys spending time outside, watching old TV shows and movies and tending to her chickens.

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