Woodstock Inn & Resort

We helped them make history with the launch of a brand new spa in a very old town.


With a history dating back more than two centuries and the Rockefeller name attached to its legacy, The Woodstock Inn & Resort (WIR) has earned strong name recognition as a top luxury resort in the Northeast. However, since 2000, the brand image has languished as other premier Northeast resorts either dramatically renovated or opened as new builds. With no major renovations or substantive news to help WIR keep pace with the evolving industry, the resort was forced to rely solely on its brand history for continued engagement with guests. The town of Woodstock, VT furthered this challenge, remaining charmingly stagnant to embody picturesque and quintessential New England. When WIR planned to launch a $10 million LEED-designed spa in 2010, it was an opportunity to showcase innovation to WIR's leisure and corporate/group audiences, as well as herald the first significant new build in the sleepy town in more than 100 years.

As a new agency to the resort, we did thorough research into the town and resort history in order to place the spa launch into proper historical context. Further, we worked side-by-side with the architects, interior designers, and spa management company during the construction to fully understand the thoughtful choices that would set this spa apart from its competitors. This research helped us discover our lead story angle, which showcased the care that WIR showed in introducing a new build into a historic village. Comprehensive press materials were crafted to support the launch pitch, and two successive spa/hotel packages were created to provide additional calls-to-action for the media throughout the first six months. To generate feature stories, key journalists were hosted to experience the spa at the resort throughout the first year.

The results? The Spa at Woodstock received widespread media coverage in waves throughout its debut year – and beyond – with a healthy blend of package-focused "news shorts" to drive bookings, and experiential feature story coverage. Extensive magazine reach included Departures, Travel + LeisureCigar Aficionado, Indagare, Spa Magazine, and more; newspaper reach saturated WIR's key markets, with significant coverage in Boston, New York, Montreal, Toronto, and the six New England states, as well as an Associated Press story featuring the debut and opening package. More than 200 websites covered the spa launch and packages (with links to the resort website), and total print/broadcast placements reached a circulation audience of nearly 10 million consumers. More importantly, the post-debut package we created (two months after the spa opening, to boost winter season bookings) was the best-selling package in the resort's history, with 200+ reservations booked within weeks of the first PR placement appearing.