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Montpelier has new program page 2
New program called "Montpelier Excursions" combines history with inns, meals and more

 Horse races are one of the features held at Montpelier, the James Madison estate.
Visit the Photo Place
Date published: 7/30/2009

By Rob Hedelt


"But no one entity had the resources to get it going," said Vaughn. "By working together, and with a grant from VTC, we're able to get things moving."

Starting this month, an advertising campaign will roll out, targeting prospective visitors from Northern Virginia and D.C.

"I used to live in that area and remember well that it could take 20 minutes to go somewhere two miles from you," said Vaughn. "We can offer an escape from that."

Billie said one of the keys was getting a uniform price from all the inns and working out schedules that detailed what visitors would do on each day of each excursion.

The prices on the various packages, all of which offer meals and at least two nights of accommodations, range from $395 a person for the "History Weekdays" package to $1,500 for the "Dig in Style." The latter includes five nights at an inn, meals and a "$90 gift bag."

Said Billie, "One small change we had to agree to, to accommodate the dig excursions, was doing laundry for those guests."

"After the work they put in down in a trench, they'll need that."

Some excursions happen only in specific weeks. Others continue throughout the year.

Goeke said the hope is that all the participants will benefit by giving visitors a chance to tailor a unique visit to the region.

"Whether they pick our inn or another, that's good for all of us," she said.

Rob Hedelt: 540/374-5415
Email: rhedelt@freelancestar.com

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WHAT: Pre-planned visits that give visitors their choice of activities at the home of James Madison, along with choice of inns, restaurants and more. WHEN: Ongoing, though some have specific dates and seasons. INNS: Inn at Westwood Farm, Holladay House, Inn on Poplar Hill, Mayhurst Inn, Ridge View Bed & Breakfast, Inn at Meander Plantation, Ebenezer House and The Old Mill House. RESTAURANTS: Inn at Meander Plantation, Restaurant Pomme, Toliver House, Elmwood at Sparks, Mario's, Silk Mill Grill and San Marcos, Palladio. WINERIES: Barboursville, Horton, Keswick, Burnley, Sweely Estate and Pearmund Cellars.

INFO: Events are explained at montpelier.org/excursions. Visitors make reservations by calling the inn of their choice.