CIA Director Spends Weekend at Rosemont

Residents of Berryville, VA noticed heightened security at Historic Rosemont Manor this past weekend. The management at the wedding venue confirmed that CIA Director David Petraeus spent the weekend at Rosemont to attend a family wedding.
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Oct. 16, 2012 - PRLog -- Berryville was abuzz this past weekend as residents noticed tightened security around Historic Rosemont Manor, the former estate of Virginia Governor and US Senator Harry F. Byrd, Sr.  Rumors began circulating around town that Vice-President Joe Biden was at Rosemont.  Others thought Secretary of Defense, Leon Panetta was visiting.  Signs reading “Rosemont Wedding Parking” were posted near Rosemont on Saturday afternoon, directing wedding traffic to park at the local Clarke County High School.  Berryville Police and Clarke County Sheriff Department cruisers and several unmarked SUV’s were parked within the perimeter of the Rosemont estate, some noticeable from the road.

Biff Genda, the current owner of Rosemont, confirmed on Monday that retired four-star General David Petraeus, current Director of the CIA, spent the weekend at Rosemont for a family wedding but would not give further details, including who was on the guest list.

General Manager Bill North acknowledged that while there was heightened security at Rosemont for this weekend’s functions, all Rosemont clients are offered a high level of privacy and security.  “Obviously, this wedding has special significance because of General Petraeus’s presence, but there will be other weddings in the future that will have enhanced security.”  Although North would not give specifics names or details, he did state that past guests and clients of Rosemont have included TV celebrities, ranking government officials, and notable politicians.

Since Rosemont opened its doors to the public in September of 2010 as a bed & breakfast and special events center, its reputation has grown with several awards and recognitions within the accommodations and wedding industries, including accolades from Trip and   Rosemont is now recognized as one of the mid-Atlantic’s premier wedding destination locations.  Genda was also named Entrepreneur of the Year in 2010 by the Top of Virginia Regional Chamber.

“As our reputation grows, so does the number of weddings and B&B guests,” North said.  ”Since this past spring, our weekday occupancy rate has frequently been over 90% each month and this fall is just as busy.  The month of October is almost a sell-out during the week, and we have all possible wedding weekends booked.  In 2012, our second full year of business, we have nearly 50 wedding clients and by year’s end, we will have conducted over 100 rehearsal dinners, wedding ceremonies, and wedding receptions.”

Michael Haymaker, Director of Weddings and Design at Rosemont, couldn't be more elated.  "We just love all of our brides and treat them like First Ladies for their special wedding day or weekend.  Every bride-to be who walks through our doors is offered the same level of care and attention, whether they are looking for a small, intimate elopement or a wedding gala with several hundred guests."

Haymaker has planned most of the weddings this past year for Rosemont brides and also provides tuxedo services for the grooms.  He is looking to hire more wedding planners.  “In order to provide our First Ladies of Rosemont with the attention to detail that they need, we will need to increase our wedding staff.”

Where does Genda see Rosemont in the future?  “Our business model continues to develop.  In 2013, we plan to do more executive retreats and congressional staffer off-sites, in addition to weddings and lodging.  Beyond 2013, the direction is clear for Genda,  “In five or ten years I’d like to see the Virginia General Assembly purchase Rosemont and turn it into a state park, but I wouldn’t want it to follow the overly commercialized path of Monticello or Mount Vernon.  I want guests to still be able to spend the night, have breakfast the next morning, and feel at home.

Brides feel especially at home at Rosemont.  Haymaker states, “Our brides can reserve Rosemont for a day or a weekend, plan family activities, and have a beautiful, relaxing family-reunion-type atmosphere as the Rosemont and catering staff takes care of all the details.”

So what is the secret of Rosemont’s success?  Haymaker responds, “We feel that Rosemont is the place where elegance meets history.  Our guests experience the charm of Rosemont’s 200 year history in an elegant setting with true Southern hospitality.”
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