|The Liberty University-owned Wingate by Wyndham hotel is centrally located on Liberty's campus. Here it can be seen lit up in green beneath Liberty Mountain Snowflex Centre with Williams Stadium in the foreground.|
The Liberty University-owned Wingate by Wyndham hotel on Candlers Mountain Road recently received a certificate of excellence from TripAdvisor.com, placing it in the top-performing 10 percent of all the businesses worldwide that are represented on the website. The award is given to businesses that consistently earn high ratings from TripAdvisor travelers.
Liberty became the new owner of the hotel in June 2012, purchasing it in a foreclosure auction for $9.2 million. Since then, the university has been investing resources into the property to improve the guest experience and ensure it remains one of the top-performing hotels in the region.
One of the first steps was hiring the Atlanta-based hotel management company Hotel Equities, a firm that is closely aligned with Liberty’s mission and values.
Sal Capriola, operations coach for Hotel Equities, said Liberty and his company have made both capital investments (roof repairs, landscaping, upgrades to HVAC units, enhanced television channel selection, bathroom renovations, and a new laundry unit) as well as a “people investment” through additional training for staff members.
“Our goal is to improve every aspect of the operation, from service to cleanliness,” he said. “The hotel was already a top choice for many guests to the Lynchburg area, and we’re working on improving upon the overall experience. We’re giving the team the tools they need to do the job the right way, and the way Liberty would want to be represented.”
He said it made sense for Liberty to make these investments in the property, especially with its close proximity to campus, its convenient location off U.S. 460, and its beautiful view of the Blue Ridge Mountains. It is conveniently located on Liberty’s mountain property, just below Liberty Mountain Snowflex Centre, the school’s year-round ski slope.
Before Liberty became the owner, the university was already greatly impacting the hotel’s business each year, drawing thousands of guests to the area for campus events and for intensive classes for Liberty University Online students.
The hotel was built in 1998 and was remodeled in 2009.