A bottle of Champagne was smashed last week on the side of the former Executive Plaza building in downtown Bristol VA, to christen the new 55-bedroom Bristol Hotel. Built in 1925, the 7-storey block is listed, but the $20million renovation will gut the place, leaving a few interior features such as the elegantly decorated lobby. The proposed rooftop bar will have views across the town, which straddles the Tennessee/Virginia border, to the Appalachian Mountains. The Hotel is being developed by McCall Capital, for Charlestowne Hotels, and is scheduled to open in August 2017.
Many of the town’s visitors come for the Birthplace of Country Music Museum, opened in 2014. An affiliate of the Smithsonian, it holds events and concerts, and centres on recordings made here in 1926–7, before Nashville, 300 miles away, got going.