Weekly series highlights 250th anniversary of “America’s First Resort” with compelling speakers sharing stories and insights throughout 2016

March 01, 2016, Hot Springs, Va.The Omni Homestead Resort in Hot Springs, Va., continues to celebrate 250 years of history by presenting a weekly series of Fireside Chats led by a list of accomplished and fascinating speakers. Available throughout the year, the Fireside Chats series at “America’s First Resort” features local speakers focusing on literary history, music and film.

Following is a list of events on the radar for the March speaker’s series:

  • Saturday, March 5: When Hollywood came to Bath County: Celebrating Sommersby
    For actors Brian La Fountain, Sarah Irwin, and Mary Lynn Riner, the dream of being in a film became reality when they were cast in Sommersby, a 1993 romantic drama starring Richard Gere, Jodie Foster, Bill Pullman and James Earl Jones. The movie was filmed in Bath County and surrounding areas, with many from the local community involved in the project. Enjoy an intimate look into the filming of Sommersby with firsthand stories of experiences on set. Stay afterwards for a private showing of Sommersby in The Omni Homestead historical theater.
  • Saturday, March 12: Collecting Shakespeare: The Story of Henry and Emily Folger, with Stephen H. Grant
    Join author Stephen H. Grant in the Tower Suite as he discusses his book about the Folgers annual visits to the resort from 1914-1930. Over the years, the couple compiled the largest collection of Shakespeare memorabilia in the world, now found in the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C. Hear details of their stays at The Omni Homestead and their passion for Shakespeare’s works during this captivating chat. 
  • Saturday, March 19: The History of Chamber Music in Hot Springs, Va. with Shawn Puller
    The Tower Suite will be the setting for Shawn Puller to share the history of the world-class chamber music performances held at Garth Newel Music Center in Hot Springs. Appointed Director in March 2015, Puller has frequented the Music Center for 15 years, developing a passion for Bath County along the way. He holds a Ph.D. in music education with an emphasis in post-secondary applied voice training from Florida State University, as well as a masters of music from Ithaca College. Puller’s Fireside Chat will follow a performance by The Allegheny Mountain String Project, a program created in partnership with the Music Center to bring comprehensive string instrument education to the Alleghany Highlands. 
  • Saturday, March 26: Lights, Camera, Virginia: Exploring the Commonwealth’s Role in Film
    Mary Nelson, deputy director of the Virginia Film Office, will lead a conversation at the Washington Library about the many movies that have been filmed in Virginia and the role of the Virginia Film Office in this important industry. Nelson graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee with a theater management degree, and spent the first part of her career working at theatres in Milwaukee, San Diego, Tucson, Denver and Richmond before jumping into the film world as part of the Virginia Film Office. She is a past president of the Association of Film Commissioners International.

Ten years before the United States was founded, The Homestead opened its doors as a humble, 18-room lodge tucked away in the mountains. Over the past two and a half centuries, the resort has evolved, sharing milestones with America and memories with generations of travelers. In 2016, The Omni Homestead is inviting guests to be a part of the property’s year-long 250th celebration.

For additional information regarding the weekly Fireside Chats and the 250th Anniversary of The Omni Homestead Resort, please visit To make reservations at The Omni Homestead Resort, please contact (800) 838-1766 or visit


About The Omni Homestead Resort

Celebrating its 250th Anniversary in 2016, The Omni Homestead Resort is one of America's most storied resorts, offering unparalleled hospitality and southern charm in a 2,000-acre setting within the Allegheny Mountains of southwestern Virginia. Renowned for its natural healing springs, The Omni Homestead Resort is distinguished by 483 luxurious guest rooms and suites, 72,000 square feet of meeting space, a wide array of fine and casual dining choices, and more than 30 recreational amenities. The resort, which was honored by AAA Mid-Atlantic in 2016 as a Four Diamond ® property, offers an expansive, luxurious spa with exclusive, adults-only spa garden and two championship golf courses including The Cascades, one of the nation's finest mountain courses. Allegheny Springs is a two-acre family-friendly water attraction complete with lazy river, water slides, family pool and water play zone. The resort also offers the South's first downhill ski area; a beautiful Equestrian Center with 28 stalls, visiting barn with 40 stalls and riding arena; top-rated Shooting Club with trap, skeet, sporting clays; fly-fishing; archery; falconry; Segway tours; Mini Cascades, an 18-hole miniature golf course and a wealth of other recreational attractions. The Homestead became part of Omni Hotels & Resorts on July 1, 2013.

About Omni Hotels & Resorts
Omni Hotels & Resorts creates genuine, authentic guest experiences at 60 distinct luxury hotels and resorts in leading business gateways and leisure destinations across North America. With over 20 world-class golf courses and award-winning spa retreats, to dynamic business settings, each Omni showcases the local flavor of the destination while featuring four-diamond services, signature restaurants, Wi-Fi connectivity and unique wellness options. Known for its distinguished, personalized service, Omni leaves a lasting impression with every customer interaction, with a heightened level of recognition and rewards delivered through its Select Guest loyalty program and the company’s “Power of One” associate empowerment program. The brand is frequently recognized by top consumer research organizations and travel publications and was ranked “Highest in Guest Satisfaction Among Upper Upscale Hotel Chains” in the J.D. Power 2015 North American Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index StudySM. To get additional information or book accommodations, visit or call 1-800-The-Omni.

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