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A Sneak Peek into Hotel Madison and Shenandoah Valley Conference Center

April 25, 2018 by Jeslyn Stiles

With opening day less than a week away, HDR got a sneak peek of Hotel Madison and Shenandoah Valley Conference Center today. And, of course, we want to share it with you!

“The opening of Hotel Madison at the doorstep of downtown shows that the historic district is attractive to both investors and visitors,” says Andrea Dono, Executive Director of HDR. “To me, this is a vote of confidence that our community is making the right decision in focusing on downtown as a key asset for boosting economic prosperity.”

The hotel is full for JMU’s graduation and has already been booking conferences and events through 2021. The event and meeting facilities have been filling up with reservations from local groups and those from out of the area. “This means the hotel is filling an important gap in large event space in Harrisonburg. For every conference or event, there will be significant spillover into local downtown businesses, which is exactly why HDR advocated for this from the start,” says Dono.

Officially opening on Tuesday, Hotel Madison is inviting you to experience the hotel first. The “Locals First Night Package” only available on May 1-2, includes a one-night stay, an evening wine reception hosted by local wineries of the Shenandoah Valley Wine Trail, a guided tour of the hotel, and breakfast for two.

In celebration of our upcoming Downtown Dinner Party on May 19, the hotel is also offering a package that includes two event tickets, self parking, and a one-night stay in a room of your choice at a special price. These packages are examples of the hotel’s commitment to be a great community partner and a strong champion of tourism for travelers seeking Valley festivals, events, and authentic experiences. The Downtown Dinner Party package can be purchased online at or by calling reservations at 540-564-0200.

Now, for a look inside:

According to Eddie Bumbaugh, Director of Public Relations at Hotel Madison, the hotel’s interior design company was done by a Virginia company — P3 Design Collective. “We wanted to pull themes from all over the Shenandoah Valley when deciding what the inside space should look like,” says Bumbaugh. They were influenced by JMU’s bluestone buildings, the surrounding mountains, and historic buildings in downtown Harrisonburg. Adjectives like “subtle,” “sophistication,” and “rustic” are reflected in the interior palette and mood.

Dedicated to attracting top talent, the hotel has made successful hires from near and far. The executive chef of the hotel’s restaurant, Michael Collins, hails from San Antonio, Texas, and has left his culinary mark on places such as New Orleans and the Napa Valley. He plans to offer a true farm-to-table experience, and is already making connections with farmers to source ingredients locally. Chef Collins isn’t the only out-of-state hire. As the hotel desires to attract a diverse clientele, it has been recruiting multilingual staff such as its director of guest relations who left Puerto Rico after the devastating hurricane last year. Bumbaugh said he knew off the bat that she had “the hospitality gene,” and that her multi-lingual ability would be perfect for the position, given the rich culture of the area.

True to JMU’s goal to be the national model for the engaged university, the hotel has teamed up with the Hart School of Hospitality to help students learn through real world experience. Freshmen and sophomore students will be able to shadow top talent and juniors and seniors will be eligible for paid internships.

“A lot of folks view Hotel Madison as an enormous boost to the local economy and tourism, which it is,” says Andy Perrine, HDR’s Board President. “But I also believe that this new and impressive structure stands as a monument celebrating the partnership among the city of Harrisonburg, JMU, HDR, the JMU Foundation, and dpM Partners. When public and private entities join together in the way that we did to build Hotel Madison, terrific things can happen that improve our quality of life substantially.”

It looks like downtown Harrisonburg and the Shenandoah Valley are guaranteed to see new projects and development come out of the collaboration inside the hotel and conference center. Book your next stay or conference at Hotel Madison and Shenandoah Valley Conference Center today!