A decade after Black Entertainment Television co-founder Sheila Johnsonannounced plans to open a quaint little inn in Middleburg, Salamander Resort and Spaopens to the public Thursday. About 70 rooms will be open as the resort slowly works up to operating at its full capacity of 168 rooms.
The resort has been billed as the height of luxury, but it didn’t come easy. Salamander faced an uphill battle with its small town neighbors, and the project had to be put on hold in 2009 due to the economic downturn.
Johnson’s excitement upon opening the “crown jewel” of her growing hospitality company — she also owns three resorts in Florida — is palpable; she’ll be the first guest to check in. Naturally, she’s staying in the owner’s suite, which is the equivalent of the hotel’s presidential suite.
“I want to make sure it all works before the real VIP guests start staying up there,” she said. Johnson chatted with me before the grand opening about the resort.
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