Hilltop House closed for rennovations
I received word on Wednesday, January 17 about the hotel closing before our March program. I have called the Cliffside Inn, where we located our Celtic Fiddle and Feet programs when an exploding water tank forced evacuation of the Hilltop House in November.
It is clean, newly renovated and will work for our programs, though some of the program aspects will not fit the location as nicely as they did at Hilltop. It is very workable and very different.
You will find the location easy and comfortable but fairly uninspiring. No spectacular views of river and eagles, no sense of history and none of Chef Bill's spectacular offerings like crème brulee, almond tarts, and cheese blintzes that I had just last weekend at our pipers gathering. Also, no leaking pipes, freezing cold rooms, sagging mattresses or exploding water heaters. It is very "corporate" looking and not very folksy… but it will work and it will be home for the weekend. The food is passable, but not inspiring. I have suggested a more versatile menu to the chefs.
we are looking for a good home for our future programs! Though I won't have to cancel the Spring Weekend, I am not inspired by the Cliffside. I am reluctant to book many future programs until I find a location that I think will serve them well.
I encourage everyone to put on their thinking caps and think about places you know. It doesn't have to be close to Shepherdstown (though that will keep the cost down), it doesn't have to be under one roof (though that makes it more relaxing and gives us more time to build the friendships that help bond us in a community), it doesn't have to offer "world-class views" (though a nice spot adds to it's draw as an event).
I am going to explore a variety of options. Schools, churches and arts centers can often provide a good location for day programs… and can often be cost-effective. Camps can offer a place to be together in one spot, but are often difficult for some folks with mobility issues and are less appealing to folks who like a little more comfort and a little less community (especially when they are sleeping!). We could go "On the Road" and offer programs in exotic locations, but these will be much more expensive.
The important thing to consider is that we are still exploring a wide variety of ideas in our search for a new home.
We welcome your suggestions.
Shopping list for program site:
At least 6, sound-isolated class sites that can hold 8-20 students.
A gathering place for jams, meals, concerts etc. for up to 100.
Lodging and meals nearby for up to 100 participants