Coming Soon to King George

King George County lies just south of D.C., nestled between the Potomac and Rappahannock Rivers. While the last census reports a population over 23,000, more than 11,000 civilians and military personnel work for the county’s single largest employer, the Naval Support Facility Dahlgren.

The beautifully wooded county has seen consistent growth in the past decade, but a new pace is expected as the Naval base population grows toward 20,000 in the next decade. While housing options are falling short, forcing lengthy relocations and more creative commutes, the training programs and resources available at the Dahlgren base bring in visitors from all over the world, and create a growing demand for hotels that are more like home. Add in the momentum made on a new $765 million bridge carrying U.S. 301 into the county, and you couldn’t build a new extended stay hotel fast enough.

Presented by Cornerstone Hospitality on Aug. 8, the My Place King George groundbreaking was attended by notable guests including Ruby Brabo (County BOS Member at Large), Terry Kline (My Place EVP of Franchise Development), Eric Terry (President, Virginia Restaurant, Lodging & Travel Assoc.), Bob Fuscaldo (EDA Vice-Chairman), Chip Rogers (AHLA President/CEO), Liam Hough (GC, Celtic Services) and Cathy Binder (County Vice-Chairman)

Which is one of the reasons why My Place was chosen by local owners and operators who experienced King George’s evolving demand first-hand. It’s been two years since Cornerstone Hospitality opened a brand-new select-service hotel, and while the award-winning property delivers on every promise and then some, there are a growing number of guests who simply need more “home” in their hotel.

My Place Owner/Operator David Zabelsky said specific guests come to mind when he thinks about opening the area’s first extended stay hotel next year.

“We have guests who stay months at a time or regularly Sunday through Friday, and they want to cook and feel more at home.” David said. “While we can do that from a service standpoint, there are only so many microwavable meals you can have.”

David expands by sharing the story of a sailor who stayed at the select-service property with his family last winter. Play the audio clip below to listen in.

What has me most excited is being able to take care of them.

David is the general manager of the select-service property, and a part of the ownership group developing Virginia’s first My Place Hotel.
While serving long term guests at his select-service hotel, David formed genuine bonds with his guests. A lovely reminder of the family David speaks about sits across from his desk.

MP King George, LLC. is comprised of real estate development and hotel operations experts in equal parts. The balance in perspective among owners makes for an energetic dynamic that will anchor the brand on the coast of Virginia as the group seeks to push My Place’s presence throughout the mid-Atlantic region.

While efficiency in design and fast construction timelines attracted the group to the brand, Craig Larson, Chief Operating Officer at Cornerstone Hospitality and also an owner of MP King George, filled in a few more blanks during his address at the groundbreaking ceremony.

“From finding My Place to executing the franchise agreement, it took all of three months–which is lightning fast in hotel world,” Craig told the crowd.

That’s a real indication of the relationship and trust that was developed in that time.

These people just come from the heart. I looked at the culture, the values, how they treat people, and everything aligned with exactly what Kimberly and I have aspired to do with Cornerstone.

Craig founded Cornerstone Hospitality alongside President/CEO Kimberly Christner.

Local leaders also joined in on the celebration to commend the owners and operators for bringing the state’s first My Place Hotel to King George. Among notable guests from the county, brand, and greater hospitality industry at large, remarks from My Place EVP of Franchise Development Terry Kline and AHLA President/CEO Chip Rogers further defined the key traits behind the owners, their new brand, and the invaluable team of operators they serve.

Craig talked about some pretty serious stuff there, but that’s how we recognized their passion and commitment to their people and to hospitality. They are exactly the kind of folks we want to join forces with.

A well-known industry veteran, Terry has headed up My Place franchise development since the system launched five years ago; growing from five to 50 open hotels with 120 in the pipeline.

After years of working with Chip, My Place’s first groundbreaking in Virginia culminated with his thoughtful reflection on entrepreneurship and the progress made by genuine characters and relationships.

“Sometimes it goes unnoticed, but without risk takers and entrepreneurs, this really doesn’t work, right? Someone has to step up to create jobs and create this environment, and I want to thank the owners for doing that,” Chip began. “As you can see just by watching this incredible team over here, there are many ways you can positively impact people’s lives when you’re willing to take a risk.”

As President/CEO of AHLA, Chip works to serve the entire hospitality industry. While he has yet to accept any invitations for franchise hunts in South Dakota, Chip has been an outstanding friend to My Place throughout multiple partnerships.

I got the chance to meet Terry and the team years ago when My Place was just starting, and I could not be happier to see any of our member institutions succeed the way My Place has. Sometimes in life you meet people and you realize what good folks they are. So when you see them succeed, it just makes you happy. That’s the way I feel about My Place.”

We couldn’t have said it any better, Chip.

My Place has amassed a kindred network of owners and operators since the franchise launch in 2014, and that network is extremely happy to welcome Team King George to the family.

Until next time, we ❤️you, Virginia.