PACT You Can See it in Our Eyes

You can’t mask our enthusiasm!

When you visit Lexington, Buena Vista and Rockbridge County, you’ll meet people who are working together to make your visit safer while still preserving the spirit of hospitality, welcome, and discovery.

The businesses featured here are participants in PACT – Protecting All Citizens and Travelers. PACT is a series of protocols and best practices adopted by hospitality businesses who display the logo. They are following recommended health guidelines and implementing industry-specific protocols related to curbing COVID-19. PACT is a commitment to deliver a consistent, dependable, and sustained level of safety and service to our visitors as well as our citizens.

Sara Sensabaugh, General Manager, Country Inn & Suites® by Radisson

Comfy and convenient, the Country Inn & Suites is a perfect starting point for exploring the Shenandoah Valley area. The Virginia Horse Center, Natural Bridge, hiking, biking, and more are a short drive away. If you're in Lexington to visit Virginia Military Institute or Washington and Lee University, the hotel is less than two miles from both campuses.

We talked to General Manager Sara Sensabaugh about what she likes about her job and the community.

How did you develop an interest in your business?
I had always been on the "other side" of the hospitality industry. I was fortunate to travel growing up for every school break, holiday, and summer vacation. I always thought it was fascinating to watch the "other side" when I traveled and always wondered what it would be like to work at a hotel. My first experience working in a hotel was here, where I started as a part-time night auditor in 2007. That gave me my first inside look at how a hotel operates. I've worked my way up, and I've been the General Manager since 2012. I've loved every minute of it, and I couldn't imagine working in any other industry.

What do you love most about Rockbridge County?
I love many things about Rockbridge County, so I'm not sure I can name just one thing. I love the small-town atmosphere and the scenic views of the Shenandoah Valley. I love the diverse businesses and restaurants we have here. I couldn't imagine finding a place like Rockbridge County anywhere else!

What is your favorite moment of customer interaction?
I'd have to say my favorite moment is hearing from a guest after they have stayed at our property and how good their stay was because of something we had done. Whether this be our customer service, helping out a guest with reservations, recommending things to do in the area, or just by being able to talk to them for a little bit. We try to make sure every moment matters with our guests. Sometimes we don't know the impact we have made on a guest until after they have left. Hearing from them afterwards is when they usually express their true feelings. It is a wonderful feeling knowing you did your job to make their stay as pleasant as possible.

Why do you think Rockbridge County makes a great destination for a visit/vacation?
Rockbridge County has so much to offer! We have the beautiful views in every season, we have the attractions you won't find anywhere else (llama trekking anyone?), and we have one-of-a-kind restaurants to offer food connoisseurs. There are a variety of things to do and see for everyone that comes here. You could spend an entire weekend here and still wouldn't be able to experience everything we have to offer. There is no way you can be bored when you visit Rockbridge County!

Country Inn & Suites is a member of PACT – Protecting All Citizen and Travelers. Sara says the staff at Country Inn & Suites tries to make sure every moment matter for their guests. That means going the extra mile in sanitizing as a member of PACT. In Lexington, we love it when you visit, and you can see it in our eyes!


Christyna Gardner, Manager, Coiner Country Store

One of the things that makes Buena Vista a “can’t miss” on your next visit to Rockbridge County is Coiner Country Store in downtown Buena Vista. You’ll find your favorite jams, candies, bread, and more, as well as people who make your shopping experience as sweet as the treats you’ll purchase.

Christyna Gardner told us about her store and her love for the area.

How did you discover Rockbridge County?
I've lived in Buena Vista most of my life, except when I was away at college.

What do you think makes the community special?
I love all the natural beauty around here, especially how green everything is in the summer. I love my little Virginia mountains.

What makes your job interesting?
One thing I love about my job is that I'm always learning new things. I've never worked at a store like this before, but it's always a lot of fun. We get quite a few people from out of town in the store, and it's always fun to meet new people, learn about where they're from, and tell them a little bit about our corner of Virginia.

Coiner Country Store is a member of PACT – Protecting All Citizen and Travelers. Christyna says hospitality is a way of life in Buena Vista—we love it when you visit, and you can see it in our eyes!


Gail MacLeod, Artist, Artists in Cahoots

Artists in Cahoots has been in business for 35 years as a partnership of artists. Partners have changed throughout the years, but the baseline interest remains to showcase and sell the work of local artists Artists in Cahoots showcases local artists. It is one of many unique shopping experiences you can enjoy in Rockbridge County.

We talked to Gail MacLeod about what she likes about her work and the community.

What do you love most about Rockbridge County?
I like the friendliness of the people and beauty of the area.

What is your favorite moment of customer interaction?
When they share how a particular piece of art has special heartfelt meaning to them.

Why do you think Rockbridge County makes a great destination for a visit/vacation?
The calm, relaxing fun. Visitors can get away from the traffic, hassles and stress.

Artists in Cahoots is a member of PACT – Protecting All Citizen and Travelers. Gail says the friendliness and beauty of Rockbridge County inspires artists who create beautiful, original works just for you. In Lexington, we love it when you visit, and you can see it in our eyes!


Joseph Mannino, Hotel General Manager, The Gin Hotel

The Gin Hotel is a beautifully restored historic hotel in the heart of Downtown Lexington. Part of the Ascend Hotel Collection®, The Gin offers elegant guest rooms and suites with traditional dark wood furnishings, high ceilings, modern amenities, and picturesque Blue Ridge Mountain views from every window.

We talked to Joseph Mannino about the property and his appreciation for Rockbridge County.

How did you develop an interest in the hospitality industry?
It started back in high school. My guidance counselor suggested I look into the hospitality industry because I was always smiling and have a great attitude.

What do you love most about Rockbridge County?
I appreciate the area's historic charm and historical attractions.

What is your favorite moment of customer interaction?
When the guest first walks in and and I greet them with a great smile—the best way to make a connection and get to know them a little.

Why do you think Rockbridge County makes an excellent destination for a visit/vacation?
There is always something to do and see!

The Gin Hotel is a member of PACT – Protecting All Citizens and Travelers. Joe says his staff work hard to ensure everything about your stay is perfect. In Lexington, we love it when you visit, and you can see it in our eyes!


Sarah and Mike Mayo, Owners, Cocoa Mill

Cocoa Mill Chocolate Company is a place where the hometown touch has met with world-wide acclaim. While their fanbase of chocolate lovers is now international, they have love for our area that is evident to everyone who visits the store.

Sarah Mayo shared some of her favorite things about living and working in Lexington.

How did you develop an interest in your business?
It is our family business we love providing an indulgent shopping environment for our customers.

Why did you choose to open your business / locate in Rockbridge County?
We are from the area and love historic downtown Lexington.

What do you love most about Rockbridge County?
The kindhearted people, fantastic scenery and the comradery with other local businesses.

What is your favorite moment of customer interaction?
Its so meaningful knowing our customers appreciate the passion we put into our handcrafted chocolates. A customer called the other day to say that her 5-year-old daughter had finished her last piece of chocolate and told her mom “OK, it’s time to make another Cocoa Mill run!” What a connoisseur!

Why do you think Rockbridge County makes a great destination for a visit/vacation?
There are lots of great little shops, restaurants and hotels, and museums to visit along with so many fun outdoor activities like hiking, swimming, and nature walks. It makes a great weekend getaway destination.

Cocoa Mill is a member of PACT – Protecting All Citizens and Travelers. Sarah says her staff strive to provide a safe, carefree, and memorable experience paired with excellent customer service. In Lexington, we love it when you visit, and you can see it in our eyes!


Danelle Clark, Devils Backbone Outpost, Tap Room General Manager

Devils Backbone Outpost Tap Room & Kitchen is a local gathering hub, where locals and visitors mingle while enjoying a plethora of craft brews and a hearty Southern menu—available at the tasting room or for curbside pickup.

We talked to Danelle Clark about what she likes about her work and the community.

How did you develop an interest in your business?
I have been with Devils Backbone since the very beginning when we started in Roseland, VA, and came to the Outpost in 2013. I have fallen in love with our brand, our culture, our people, and of course our beverages. The Craft Beer Industry is fun, exciting, and ever-evolving, and I truly feel blessed to be a part of it.

What do you love most about Rockbridge County?
I love how community centric Rockbridge County is. There are so many wonderful events, gatherings, fundraisers, and community fellowship all throughout the year. The Rockbridge County community makes you feel like you’re part of something special.

What is your favorite moment of customer interaction?
My favorite moments with customers are when my staff or I find the guest their perfect beer, especially if it is a customer that is new to beer or who thinks they’ll never find a beer they’d like. That moment of surprise, intrigue, or joy is what it is all about!

Why do you think Rockbridge County makes a great destination for a visit/vacation? Rockbridge County makes a great destination for a visit, because there is a little something for everyone! Incredible restaurants, breweries, wineries, live music venues, movie theaters, incredible art, lots of history, amazing retail shops, outdoor activities like hiking and floating the river, and above all else… the sense of community amongst the people.

Devils Backbone Outpost is a member of PACT – Protecting All Citizen and Travelers. Danelle says the community and their customers make Rockbridge County so special—we love it when you visit, and you can see it in our eyes!

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