Stevenson Ridge

6901 Meeting Street, Spotsylvania, Virginia 22553
Innkeeper(s): Debbie & Dan Spear and Jennifer Mackowski

A New Year, A New Perspective 11 Jan 2017, 12:00 am

From Kristi

Sometimes the start of a new year can bring about unrealistic expectations about yourself, your relationship, your attitude, your weight! Try not to start out the New Year with unrealistic goals; instead, start with small achievable ones.

The best way to begin creating goals for yourself is to assign first a date which you want to achieve the goal by, then list the specific and detailed item you are aiming to achieve. This allows your mind to categorize each goal with a certain priority. An example would be:

  • Goal 1: I will have all Christmas decorations cleaned up by January 12th.
  • Goal 2: I will eat a salad for lunch twice a week for the whole month of January and eat three salads during the first week of February.
  • Goal 3: By March 1, I will have the kitchen repainted.
  • Goal 4: By April 1, I will complete my federal and state taxes.

Notice each goal was written not with “I want” but “I will.” You CAN achieve your statements, your goals, your resolutions!

Happy New Year!

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First Snow 2017 7 Jan 2017, 3:39 pm

from Chris

We had our first snowfall of 2017 today….


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Hitting the Road for Bridal Show Season 6 Jan 2017, 12:00 am

It’s bridal show season! Stevenson Ridge is hitting the road, starting this weekend. Check us out at these great events:

Fredericksburg Greater VA Bridal Show
January 8, 2017
The Hospitality House Conference Hotel, Central Park
Click here for more information.
Washington Bridal Showcase
January 22, 2017
Eaglebank Arena, George Mason Campus
Click here for more information.
The Big Day Bridal Show
February 19, 2017
Fredericksburg Expo Center, Central Park
Click here for more information.
And don’t forget about our own Bridal Open House on Sunday, February 26: Be our guest!

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New Year’s Geese 5 Jan 2017, 7:24 am

from Chris

In Victorian times, it used to be traditional to cook a goose for Christmas dinner. While it’s more common nowadays to have ham or turkey, geese were nonetheless scarce around Stevenson Ridge over the holidays, perhaps to avoid the clutches of Chef Brad. However, they’ve turned up in force over the past few days.

geese-jan-2017Geese are grazers, so our lawns make perfect pasture, particularly with our pond so nearby. That has always made Stevenson Ridge a popular goose hangout in the winters.


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Top Marketing Practices for 2017 3 Jan 2017, 12:00 am

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photo credit: hope taylor photography

from Elizabeth

With 2017 now underway, it’s that time of year when businesses come to Stevenson Ridge for their strategic planning retreats. We always take time ourselves to do some strategic planning, too. We’re always looking for ways to improve our business and services to ensure another successful year. WeddingWire EDU offered us some marketing tips for 2017, but they can apply to all businesses, not just to wedding venues.

  • Keep your brand fresh. It’s easy to fall into routine and not updating listings with new pictures or content to reach new clients. Take a look at your marketing materials and consider these small changes to keep things fresh. Don’t forget to highlight your social media accounts.
  • Leverages your in-person exposure. If you’re participating in local events, make sure your booth and promotional materials are up to date. You want to make a good first impression and knock out the competition. Remember these events are great for networking with people who can become future referrals.
  • Make website updates. Website updates are like cleaning out your closet each season. Businesses add contact but rarely remove anything old! Set aside the time to review your website and all pages. Consider removing/adding staff member information, reviewing pricing, contact forms, and images of your work. A more modern site will catch the eye of your prospects, while outdated materials might turn them away.
  • Add testimonials to your site. Let your past client help sell you. Collect and add testimonials from happy clients.
  • Is your site responsive? Close to 75% of prospects use smart phones when search for services. When reviewing your website, always check it on a smart phone to ensure it’s easy to navigate on a mobile setting.
  • Give social media a focus. It might feel overwhelming with all the different social media outlets. It’s recommended to focus on 3-5 sites. Most popular sites (especially for weddings & events) tend to be Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. If you have 7-10 social media platforms, but you’re not using all of them, it might best to remove a few and really concentrate on others to optimize your content to boost your sales.
  • Build your blog. Having a blog is a quick and easy way to get potential client’s attention. You should post at least twice a week to impact your search engine ranking. After posting a blog, you should expand the content’s reach by sharing the blog through your social media platforms.

Marketing is a critical part of your business success, so start off the new year with a strong strategy to improve your business reach throughout the entire year.

For the full article, please click here.

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“Be Our Guest” at Our Bridal Open House 2 Jan 2017, 12:00 am

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photo credit: Nichole Haun Photography

The staff at Stevenson Ridge is happy to announce our 2017 Bridal Open House on Sunday, February 26th from 1-4 p.m. Make sure to mark your calendars and be our guest!

This tale as old as time is perfect for our Open House theme with candelabras, antique clocks, mirrors, teapots and accents of gold and luscious reds. Stevenson Ridge will take this classic Disney movie and turn it into a modern-day bride’s dream come true.

The Bridal Open House is FREE to all guests and open to the general public. We will be showcasing our premiere venues, cabins and cottages, catering service, and our preferred vendors! Stay tuned for more information about the show as we get closer to the event.

To RSVP for the event, click here.

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New Year’s Resolutions for 2017 30 Dec 2016, 8:56 am

We asked some of the staff here at Stevenson Ridge if they had any New Year’s resolutions. Here’s what they’re thinking for the year ahead:

Jennifer (managing partner): With a newborn coming in March, I want to master the art of the work/life balance.

Elizabeth (head events coordinator): I want to be more adventitious and try new activities.

Bettina (wedding coordinator): I’m terrible with resolutions, lol, but here are a few that I’m aiming for:

  • Be more conscientious about how my words and actions affect the people around me
  • Try to spend less time staying busy, and more time with my family—I realized over Christmas – while hanging out with my Grandparents – that they aren’t as spirited as they used to be.  And that my Mom was getting tired faster than in past years. I need to cherish them while I have them :) 
  • Cook more!—I used to cook all the time, but over the past year–I suppose bad habits have set in–I just haven’t made as many home meals. 
  • Take time for myself!—This is a resolution that I have every year, but seem to always fall short on… I need to remind myself that “Me” days are good!

Brad (executive chef): My new years resolution for 2017 is to become more patient in all areas of my life.

Casey (sous chef): Stay classy!

Frank (operations assistant): I want to get through the year so I can make it to the next one!

Chris (historian-in-residence): I have a baby on the way, and a 16-year-old and a 23-year-old, so I want to keep finding new ways to be a good dad. I have a couple books I want to write, too!

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Gaylord’s ICE! Exhibit 29 Dec 2016, 12:00 am

icefrom Elizabeth

If you haven’t seen it yet, there are still a few days left this holiday season to make a trip to the National Harbor and visit the Gaylord ICE! exhibit.

Each year they showcase more than two million pounds of hand-carved ice sculptures and slide-down, two-story ice slides. This exhibit is kept at a freezing nine degrees, but don’t worry—they give you a parka to wear while walking around. The theme this year is Christmas Around the World, celebrating different cultures through holiday scenes. Plus, visitors can still get a glimpse of the North Pole to see Santa and his elves. Afterwards, you can visit their Christmas Village with lots of toys and goodies on display.

ICE! Is open through January 1st. Tickets are $29 per adult, $21 per child (4-12) and children under 3 are FREE! Also, the Gaylord offers our military service men and women discounted tickets. Click here for more information.

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Winter Reading List for Business Professionals 28 Dec 2016, 7:29 am

from Elizabeth

If you have some down town this winter, it’s important to take time for person and business development, and what better way to do this then to read! Of course, having a hot beverages and cozy fire would help with the winter blues. Here are some recommended books for business entrepreneurs.

  • Nice Guys Finish First by Doug Sandler
    • Amazon description: “Successful people and businesses approach the future with an attitude of high touch over high tech. Nice Guys Finish First provides stories, lessons, concrete takeaways and action items. The reader will go beyond finding out why nice guys finish first and discover how to be successful using the lessons provided.”
  • Zombie Loyalists: Using Great Service to Create Rabid Fans by Peter Shankman
    • Amazon description: “Marketing and PR expert Peter Shankman has been working with the biggest companies in the world to create what he calls ‘Zombie Loyalists,’ fervent fans that help companies massively increase their customer base, brand awareness, and most importantly, revenue.”
  • Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us by Daniel Pink
    • Amazon description: “In this provocative and persuasive new book, he asserts that the secret to high performance and satisfaction—at work, at school, and at home—is the deeply human need to direct our own lives, to learn and create new things, and to do better by ourselves and our world.”

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Merry Christmas! 25 Dec 2016, 12:00 am

Merry Christmas from all of us here at Stevenson Ridge!


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