The stars are aligning in Loudoun in the name of luxury accommodations.
Celebrities the likes of Sheila Johnson, Jack Nicklaus and Donald Trump have had a hand in Loudoun's expanding stay-and-play market of luxury resorts and golf courses.
Johnson, of Black Entertainment Television fame, is building the posh Salamander Resort & Spa in Middleburg. A design company owned by legendary golfer Nicklaus was behind a new course at the Ritz-Carlton Creighton Farms development south of Leesburg. Meanwhile, last month, real estate mogul Trump bought Sterling's Lowes Island Club with promises to turn it into one of his most luxurious properties.
Throw in the Lansdowne Resort, which recently marketed an all-inclusive inauguration vacation package valued at $200,900, and Loudoun soon could give Beverly Hills a run for its money in the market of leisurely opulence.
But why Loudoun? When the question was posed to several lodging and travel industry insiders, the answer that rose above the rest is the mantra of the development business: location, location, location.
"Loudoun has the proximity to Washington, D.C.," said Prem Devadas, president of Salamander Hospitality. "And Washington is becoming the place to be in the U.S."
Regarding Loudoun, he said the county's burgeoning wine industry, discount shopping in Leesburg and historical sites make the area a desirable place for destination resorts.
David Gabri, the company's president and chief executive, said the region is popular among resort developers because of its central location on the East Coast. The region's affluent demographics, which include Loudoun's position as the country's wealthiest county of its size, also are a factor, he said.
What makes Loudoun attractive, he said, is its rural setting out west and its proximity to the region's many association and corporate headquarters, many of which are in need of meeting space.
Finally, he stressed that Washington Dulles International Airport is big in the eyes of developers because it ensures the area has a steady stream of travelers.
Lansdowne Resort general manager Peter Faraone called the importance of having a major international airport in the county "huge."
"We get a lot of business because of our proximity to Dulles," he said, adding that the airport allows the resort to tap into overseas markets.
He also touted Loudoun's expanding reputation among savvy travelers. Many, he said, are now aware of Loudoun as a place to tour historical sites, sample wine and stroll through a small town while still being a short drive from the nation's capital.
"We really sit in a pretty nice area," he said.
By Jason Jacks Source: Loudoun Times-Mirror MONDAY, MARCH 2 2009 Article taken from: http://www.loudountimes.com/news/2009/mar/02/loudoun-luxe-countys-high-end-resort-golfing-indus/