Expanding the ‘Vanderbilt’ experience at an iconic chateau
At Biltmore Estate in North Carolina, a long-standing banking relationship leads to a second hotel on the grounds.
When the Biltmore Estate — featuring an iconic chateau in Asheville, North Carolina — decided to add a second hotel, its leaders were committed to maintain the high level of quality that has made it such an esteemed tourist attraction.
“You start with the customer,” said Steve Watson, Biltmore’s chief financial officer. “We want our guests to have that Vanderbilt type of experience, like they were a guest of the Vanderbilts 120 years ago.”
The Biltmore Estate was built in the 1890s by George Vanderbilt, grandson of industrialist Cornelius Vanderbilt. Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, the property features amenities that include the largest private home in America, a winery, formal gardens, recreational activities, and a working farm. It now attracts more than 1.4 million visitors each year.
As it prepared to expand that high-quality experience, the family-owned estate turned to its long-standing financial services provider, Wells Fargo, to help finance the new hotel’s construction. The Village Inn opened in December 2015.
“They’re a quality company, and we’re proud to be associated with them,” Watson said. “We’ve gotten some great strategic advice from them.”