A story to tell
When you have a spot as inspiring as Airlie, the media tends to get excited. Review the latest news stories and releases right here in our Airlie press room so you can stay in the know.
Airlie Announces Promotion of Christine McDaniel to General Manager – 10.15.2018
Warrenton, VA, October 15, 2018 — Chuck Smith, Executive Director at Airlie is pleased to announce the promotion of Christine McDaniel to General Manager. Christine joined the team in 2017 as Director of Operations, bringing a wealth of knowledge from her tenure in the hospitality industry.
“Since her arrival, Christine has done a tremendous job elevating organizational excellence at Airlie, and I am excited to see her continue to lead the property in this new role.” said Smith.
As General Manager, McDaniel will oversee daily hotel operations with a special focus on cultivating a positive team culture, and community outreach.
Prior to Airlie, McDaniel’s 20 years of hospitality management experience spanned a variety of venues including Harrah’s Metropolis Casino & Hotel, Metropolis, IL; Greenbelt Marriott Hotel, MD; Bethesda Marriott Suites, MD; and Georgetown University Conference Center hotel, Washington, DC.
“I’m thrilled to continue my career at Airlie, and help the property exceed in every way as it continues to grow,” said McDaniel.
Airlie Brings “Farm-to-Table” Dining Back to its Purest Form – 09.28.2018
Warrenton, VA, September 26, 2018 — In Fauquier County, Virginia, Airlie—a Historic Hotel of America and IACC-certified conference facility—brings the meaning of farm-to-table dining back to its purest form. The property’s pasture-to-plate menus showcase produce, pork and beef grown and raised on-property at its own Airlie Berkshire Farm.
Airlie Berkshire Farm Facts:
- 20 acres of fields yield 10,000 pounds of produce a year, which are used in Airlie’s cuisine as well as supplying American University’s Dining Services and local food initiatives.
- Angus cattle and Berkshire pigs graze freely across 75 acres of pastures. Each year, 12,000 pounds of beef and pork are harvested for use in the kitchens at Airlie and American University.
- 2018’s late-summer harvest included Kennebec, Russet and Yukon Gold potatoes; and green and purple peppers.
- This year’s fall crops will include Gypsy and Imperial broccoli; cauliflower; collard greens; kale; cabbage; spinach; Red Oak and Great Lakes lettuce; and pumpkins.
- The farm is home to a colony of bees that pollenates the crops and produced 115 pounds of honey this year—a yield that is estimated to double in 2019.
- Other prominent animals on the farm: Talon the bull, a Reserve Grand Champion for Virginia; and Bill and Duke, two border collies that are certified goose dogs.
“Our mission with Airlie Berkshire Farm was to bring this historic land back to its agricultural roots and serve our guests authentic pasture-to-plate foods,” said Chuck Smith, executive director at Airlie. “I think Harry would be pleased. I know our hotel guests, corporate groups and wedding attendees are.”
“Harry” would be Harry Connelly Groome, the wealthy Philadelphia native who purchased a plot of land in Warrenton, Virginia to build Airlie House and Farm in 1899. This gentleman’s estate featured a Georgian Revival manor house, pastures filled with purebred livestock and stunning formal gardens, which were featured in Home and Garden Magazine in the early 1900s.
Visiting Airlie today, visitors are delighted by how much of that rich history has been preserved—and advanced. The two-story Airlie House looks much the same as it did when Groome had it rebuilt after a catastrophic fire in 1924. The formal gardens still follow the same plotting as the original design, right down to the steadfast rows of stately boxwoods. And many of the property’s meeting spaces and guest accommodations are steeped in Airlie’s proud agricultural heritage, being housed in converted farm structures.
Most importantly, the farm itself is thriving and supplying Airlie’s kitchens with hyperlocal ingredients. Airlie’s bona fide pasture-to-plate fare is served daily in the Airlie Dining Room and Harry’s, the property’s signature restaurant named after Groome, with indoor and outdoor seating. Patrons who’d like to try their hand at pasture-to-plate cooking in their own kitchens can even purchase a variety of cuts of Airlie Berkshire Farm beef and pork right from the restaurant.
Airlie is Proud to Support Fauquier Special Olympics – 04.12.2018
Warrenton, Virginia – Airlie is pleased to announce its sponsorship of the Area 27 Fauquier Special Olympics Track and Field Event on April 21, 2018 at Fauquier High School. In partnership with Ledo Pizza of Warrenton, Airlie will provide lunch for all participating athletes and volunteers. In addition to working directly with the athletes, many Airlie staff members have “volunteered to cheer” by making signs and being a positive presence throughout the event. Executive Director Chuck Smith remarked, “this is a great way for Airlie to give back to the community. It will surely be a rewarding day for both the athletes and volunteers alike, and we are thrilled to be a part of it.”
The Track and Field Event is slated to begin at 9:30 a.m. Volunteers are encouraged to arrive by 8:00 a.m. to register. Visit http://specialolympicsva.org/calendar/event/1899 to learn more about this event.
Harry’s Restaurant Opens at Airlie – 03.13.2018
Warrenton, Virginia – Harry’s at Airlie is now open for business. The Fauquier Chamber of Commerce marked the occasion last week with a ceremonial Ribbon Cutting to make it official. Over 80 Chamber members along with Airlie staff were in attendance for the celebratory event.
Airlie’s Executive Director, Chuck Smith, was most proud that the construction of Harry’s was executed by area vendors, remarking at the event, “It was important to us to source the work from within the community and support local businesses. From woodwork to masonry to the custom metalwork of the bar, everything was handcrafted right here in Fauquier County.” Home Sweet Home Improvements, LLC of Bealeton served as the General Contractor on the project.
As in the construction phase, Harry’s long term vision has a focus on local. Dependent upon Airlie Berkshire Farm as the main supplier of the restaurant’s beef, pork, and produce, Harry’s has coined the phrase ‘farmed in Fauquier’ to promote its unique offering. Executive Chef Duane DuPrey has created a menu which will showcase the best of what’s in season from the farm, located a mere 400 yards from Harry’s front door. Alongside Sous Chef, Soo Han, Duane is most excited about the flexibility to offer featured selections based on what comes off the farm that same day.
The Chefs both have a love of bold flavor profiles which can be seen in the most recent menu offerings. Drawing upon their heritage, each Chef has created dishes to ignite the senses. Chef Soo’s Korean Gochujang Chicken Wings are a daily fan favorite, while Chef Duane’s Texas roots inspired Smoked Prime Rib Thursdays, which has quickly become a weekly crowd-pleaser.
‘Farmed in Fauquier’ is evident throughout the entirety of the Harry’s experience. Bar Manager Taylor Malinowski utilizes the organic garden to source herbs for her cocktail menu. The aptly named “Garden Spritzer” features a sprig of fresh thyme. Perfect for the dawn of spring in conjunction with the Ribbon Cutting event, Taylor created the drink to be reminiscent of the Harry’s logo. “It’s light, bright, and a little earthy,” she said. In addition to the cocktail menu, a variety of local craft beers and Virginia wines are available.
In addition to the unique menu and bar offerings, Harry’s surroundings inspire a fresh approach to dining out in Warrenton. The east-facing wall of glass reveals stunning views of Lake Stanley and the landscape beyond. In the coming weeks, the outdoor patio will be open, allowing guests the choice to dine al fresco. An expansion of the patio service area is also slated to be completed by June 2018.
Harry’s is currently open for dinner seven days a week, and for lunch Friday through Sunday. Please visit our website for the most up to date hours of operation, in addition to events and specials at https://airlie.com/dining/harrys.
Airlie celebrates Labor Day with hit country band Midland – 09.05.2017
Warrenton (VA) Labor Day was a day of play at Airlie this year as the property celebrated their one year anniversary of American University ownership with family and friends and the hit country band Midland. Showing off the beautiful landscape and grounds, Midland played their hit song “Drinking Problem” as guests enjoyed treats from more than 10 food trucks, local wineries and breweries and lawn games and a mechanical bull to round out the theme. Airlie grounds proved the venue is a perfect location for guests to enjoy a full concert experience.
“Airlie had a great year of growth and change and we are excited for all the upgrades and growth we will execute in year two,” said Executive Director Chuck Smith.
With more than 28 acres of farm cultivated and producing vegetables for Airlie guests, American University as well as the local food banks, Airlie is currently producing more than 100 pounds of food monthly. This fall Harry’s arrives as a new restaurant open to the public serving a fresh approach during lunch and dinner. The interior is crafted by local artisans, and the food will largely be sourced by the Airlie Berkshire Farm.
The guest room experience will also be renovated and upgraded with the design team of Hart and Howerton infusing the accommodations with new color and products that will ensure a comfortable stay for all. Renovations are expected to begin in the first quarter of 2018.
Airlie is planning for an active fall and holiday season as well. Turkeys to Go, Holiday Open House, Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve events are being planned and will be bigger and better than ever.
Airlie Continues to Grow by Adding Key Management Positions – 07.03.2017
Warrenton (VA) Chuck Smith, Executive Director at Airlie is pleased to announce the appointment of Christine McDaniel as Director of Operations and Tricia DeVine as National Sales Manager.
“We are excited about the growth of this beautiful destination property and adding seasoned hospitality managers will support our mission to convey our special message to the local and regional community,” said Smith.
McDaniel joins Airlie with more than 15 years of experience in hospitality management. Prior to Airlie, McDaniel was with SP Plus where she managed the transportation operations for the opening of the MGM National Harbor. Her prior operations experience extends to Harrah’s Metropolis Casino & Hotel, Metropolis, IL; Greenbelt Marriott Hotel, Greenbelt, MD; Bethesda Marriott Suites, Bethesda, MD; and Georgetown University Conference Center hotel, Washington, DC.
“I’m thrilled to be part of the exciting change happening at Airlie,” said McDaniel. “Sharing my operations knowledge and joining a team of visionary hospitality leaders will help to strengthen and grow Airlie to a world class experience.”
Tricia DeVine begins her new assignment as National Sales Manager beginning in early June. Tricia brings to Airlie over 20 years of hospitality sales experience most recently with IHG in Reston Virginia. “She has an excellent working knowledge of the DC marketplace and a new level of excitement the property is ready for,” stated Smith. Tricia will lead the effort to expand market share in the DC sector.
Both new team members are seasoned hospitality professionals that will be committed to taking Airlie to the next level in all areas of customer service.
Airlie to Celebrate Earth Week 2017 in Sustainable Style – 03.23.2017
Airlie, located in Warrenton, VA is the home of the first Earth Day more than 47 years ago when then Governor Gaylord Nelson presented a paper at Airlie about sustainable practices to protect mother earth. The week leading up to Earth Day, April 22, the property will invite employees and the community to celebrate with events that highlight leading a sustainable life and being good earth steward.
The week will begin with the traditional raising of the Earth Day flag and dedication by Airlie senior management and all staff. Additional activities throughout the week will include highway cleanup, local elementary school PB Smith visit and organic garden cleanup and other earth focused events.
The public is invited to attend a garden party on Saturday, April 22 from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. The property will team up with Rainforest Trust in the Airlie garden to enjoy activities with the whole family.
The event is free, AND attendees are encouraged to bring non-perishable items, pet food, clothing and other items which will be donated to Fauquier SPCA, Fauquier Family Shelter and the Fauquier Food Bank.
The morning’s activities will include garden tours, guest speakers, seed packet giveaway, activities for kids, fresh popcorn seasoned with Airlie garden herbs, recycled art on display and a raffle. The first 50 people will receive an Airlie Earth Day water bottle.
American University Receives Gift of Airlie – 09.14.2016
American University is delighted to announce the generous gift of the Airlie Center by the Airlie Board of Directors. Airlie, located in Warrenton, Virginia, is a magnificent property that includes the historic Airlie House and village of guest rooms and meeting facilities set on more than 300 acres of verdant Virginia landscape featuring pastoral, lake, and wildlife views.
For over half a century, Airlie has been welcoming global leaders, heads of state, and diplomats who have convened at the storied Virginia estate, an hour from Washington DC, for conferences and programs dedicated to social progress, education, environmental research, and public health. Airlie succeeded in becoming a world-renowned meeting and conference destination, a place LIFE magazine heralded as “an island of thought.”
Airlie was one of the first conference facilities of its kind in the country, a center where individuals and organizations could meet in a distraction free and neutral environment to candidly exchange ideas on issues, ignite thought and inspire collective action around shared interests, purpose and values. Early conversations among participants in the Civil Rights Movement established Airlie as a supportive venue for dialogue.
“The University is honored to have been selected for this wonderful gift. It is our intent to carry on the very impressive and important legacy of Airlie, while leveraging this marvelous facility for American University’s academic initiatives,” said Neil Kerwin, president of American University.
“We are delighted that the pioneering vision of Airlie’s founder, Dr. Murdock Head, will live on under American University’s stewardship. AU’s commitment to Airlie’s founding ideals of the open exchange of ideas that can effect positive change and to responsible land stewardship through conservation and sustainable practices, will ensure a bright and exciting future for this historic place,” said Suzanne Hayden, president of the of Airlie Board of Directors.
From the Center’s inception, Airlie has focused on advancing positive social change and environmental leadership as core priorities. Airlie was the venue for the NAACP Legal Defense Fund’s first annual conference in 1962; the place where, in 1969, Senator Gaylord Nelson made public his concept of Earth Day; the site of significant gatherings aimed at peace in both Northern Ireland and the former Republic of Yugoslavia, and the home of ground-breaking ultralight-led migration studies with Trumpeter swans and Canada geese that resulted in restoration programs for endangered whooping cranes and other species.
American University is a leader in global education, enrolling a diverse student body from throughout the United States and nearly 140 countries. Located in Washington, D.C., the university provides opportunities for academic excellence, public service, and internships in the nation’s capital and around the world.
Meredith Rizzo Joins Airlie as National Sales Manager – 04.28.2016
Rizzo joins Airlie most recently from The Westin & Sheraton Baltimore Washington Airport as a Sales Manager and has an extremely strong history in hospitality sales. In her new role, she will be working with corporate and government organizations in the Washington D.C. region.
Previous positions include Rocky Gap Lodge, the Westin Convention Center, Pittsburg, and Hilton Alexandria Mark Center in Alexandria, Virginia. She is an active member of SGMP, MPI and VSAE. Rizzo is a Radford University graduate.
“We are thrilled to welcome Ms. Rizzo to the team. She has a strong understanding of the meeting planning community and with her connections and creative ideas we look forward to many successful new meetings at Airlie,” said Smith.
Airlie awarded Virginia Green Travel Star Award – 03.22.2016
Warrenton (VA) – Airlie is proud to announce that they are the recipient of the Virginia Green Travel Star Award from the Virginia Green program in recognition of outstanding commitments to green tourism practices at the third annual Virginia Green Travel Conference and Travel Star Awards Celebration in Arlington, VA.
Airlie was recognized as the Green Conference Center of the Year for its exceptional efforts to reduce the environmental impacts of its operation. Members of the Airlie Green Team received the award from Virginia’s First Lady Dorothy McAuliffe.
“We are extremely honored to be recognized with the Virginia Green Travel Star Award,” said Managing Director Kevin Carter. “Since the beginning, Airlie set the course of sustainability for the property as well as being good stewards to the Earth, which ultimately led to the first celebration of Earth Day and green practices.”
Airlie boasts a 4-acre organic garden with seasonal hoop house, composting area, recycling program as well linen reuse guestroom program, LEED certification, fuel-efficient fleet, and on-site car charging stations.
The Virginia Green program is run through a partnership of the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, The Virginia Tourism Corporation, the Virginia Restaurant, Lodging & Travel Association, and the Virginia Green Travel Alliance. The program encourages green practices throughout Virginia’s tourism industry, and nearly 1,700 tourism operations have self-certified their green commitments through the program. The Virginia Green program helps its partners reduce environmental impacts and save money, while hopefully becoming more profitable through the support of green-minded consumers.