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Western Front Hotel, Milton's restaurant open in St. Paul

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A new boutique-themed hotel and restaurant had a grand opening in St. Paul, Virginia Monday. It is providing high hopes for a boom in the town already leading the way for tourism growth and development.

It has been a long-time coming for St. Paul. The tiny town right on the Russell/Wise County line has been gearing up for tourists with the addition of ATV trails, a brewery, and a museum. Now, all their guests have a unique place to stay.

"It's so exciting to see everyone come in and want to be involved in this project and come in and have ideas," Catrina Mullins, the hotel's general manager, said.

The Western Front is a new boutique hotel with 30 rooms and event spaces. Milton's restaurant is under the guidance of hometown chef Travis Milton.

"In the backyard, when it gets open in the springtime, we'll have a fire pit, where folks can go enjoy roasting s'mores around, also we'll have the music stage. During those summers, we'll have Travis with some whole pig roasts. We'll have some pig picking nights," Milton said.

The hotel developers say they were won over by St. Paul's enthusiasm for the project.

"St. Paul, Virginia is a case study in how a small town and a group of really passionate people can make something happen in their community," President/CEO of Cornerstone Hospitality Kimberly Christner said. Christner is also a partner in Creative Boutique Hotels.

Other business owners are excited to see further development.

"I think this will be just another piece of the puzzle that we need in St. Paul," Jennifer Bailey, co-owner of Sugar Hill Brewery said. "Together we're all going to get bigger. We're all going to be better together."

Her husband, Greg, added, "We're supporting them."

The hotel partnered with government officials to take advantage of historic tax credit and tourism grant funds to finance a portion of the project.

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