By Stephen Seitz
WOODSTOCK—The Woodstock Inn and Resort has embarked on a ten-year plan to create one of the finest resorts in the United States. “What we’re doing is a vision for the future,” said General Manager Gary Thulander.
The first phase, priced at $2.6 million, is aimed at improving the hotel and its grounds. “We want to bring a sense of arrival,” Thulander said. “We’ll redo the reception area from the standard front desk to two antique desks for a personal touch. We’ll provide a better sense of Vermont and New England, give visitors the sense of an upscale New England home.”
The goal, according to a written statement from the inn, is to create a visitor experience that engages the outdoors more with sweeping views of the hotel’s front lawn and Woodstock’s Village Green. To accomplish this, the brick wall bordering the lawn will come down.
Once that work is done, the resort’s public spaces will be renovated to allow small gathering areas. The lobby will have more seating, and the library will share a similar design with not only more casual seating, but small gaming tables for the guests’ enjoyment, too.
Paul Deusing, a Dallas architect, leads the design team. Deusing has a number of five-star hotels and resorts to his credit, ranging from Mexico and Bermuda to South Africa and the south of France.
“The result of these enhancements is to align the resort more closely to the heritage and beauty of Woodstock,” said Duesing in a statement. “As guests arrive and enter the inn itself, we want them to feel as if they are in a classic New England home, with a warm, inviting ambience, that really serves as a living room for the community.”
New England firms have not been left out: landscape architects Coplon Associates of Bar Harbor, Maine (itself a resort area) and Otter Creek Engineering of Rutland are also working on the project.
“We want to give the guests something new every couple of years,” Thulander said. “This has to be a project for all generations.”
The resort has been changing and upgrading for several years. It recently renovated its spa, as well as its 41,000-square-foot athletic facility, golf course, and trails for hiking and Nordic skiing.
“A falconry school opened up this summer,” Thulander added, “and we’re partnering with Orvis to bring in fly fishing.”
One goal, he said, was to make the Woodstock Inn a four-season resort.
“We’re fortunate to have reached record levels of business,” he said and expects the newest wave of upgrades will help the resort continue that trend.
Though no plans have been formally approved, Thulander said plans were on the drawing board to renovate some of the resort’s suites in the not-too-distant future.
“We may have a Laurance Rockefeller Suite, a Mary Billings Suite, or a Lady Bird Johnson Suite,” he said. “We’re excited about the future. We’re looking forward to our partnership with the community.”