By Virginia Dean
The Shire Woodstock opened its doors to guests last Thursday, Jan. 13 under new ownership at 46 Pleasant Street in Woodstock. The 50-room hotel has been sold to Turnstone Ventures, a Boston-based real estate investment firm led by developer Jeff Glew. In a move that is growing increasingly common in the hospitality industry, Turnstone has hired a New York-based firm, Life House Hotels, a hotel branding, management, and software company, to market and operate The Shire on a contract basis.
The sale of The Shire was completed on Dec. 14. The hotel had been closed since the end of October, while previous owners Saltaire Properties, a boutique hotel firm based in Cohasset, Massachusetts, continued negotiations to complete the sale. Bryan Dunn, the managing director and head of growth at Life House, confirmed that The Shire reopened and began welcoming guests on Jan. 13.
“We are honored for the opportunity to steward The Shire Woodstock, one of the most prominent assets in the high-barrier-to-entry town of Woodstock,” Turnstone Ventures Managing Partner Glew said. “We look forward to working with Life House on a restoration project that will honor the property’s history while enhancing the experience for future visitors to southern Vermont.”
Dunn indicated that The Shire Woodstock will operate “as-is” under its existing branding prior to being reimagined as a locally rooted boutique hotel that will feature elevated interiors and enhanced public space programming.
“We are thrilled about Life House’s first project in southern Vermont,” said Dunn. “We believe the Green Mountains region is underserved by sophisticated independent hotel operators and look forward to expanding our presence to include additional unique and historic properties.”
The hotel will be managed by Penny-Ellen Terr who has led operations and property management teams on several major renovation projects, including South Street Seaport in New York. She has also helped to reconfigure customer traffic pathways at Faneuil Hall in Boston. Prior to moving to Vermont, Terr lived on the mid-Maine seacoast where she was an on-air radio personality and copywriter as well as property management and hospitality. She holds a degree in communications and marketing from Marist College as well as a pair of degrees from Le Cordon Bleu Paris where she was a recipient of the French Diplome and the Medallion of Excellence.
Terr has been advertising for various positions at the hotel on the Woodstock listserv.
“The hiring process is indeed challenging,” said Dunn. “But Penny-Ellen and I have seen a lot of talent in the community, and we’re hoping to hire really great people within the next few weeks.”
CORRECTION: Penny-Ellen Terr resigned from her position with Life-House Management Company on Jan. 7, 2022, a week prior to the reopening of The Shire Woodstock Hotel. She was never employed with Turnstone Ventures and is not affiliated with the hotel, its ownership, or its management company in any way.