Ground was broken today on a hotel to anchor the opposite end of State St. from the historic Tennessee/Virginia sign.

The Sessions Hotel will be located in the old Owen Equipment Co. building at 833 State St. and will also include surrounding properties. This project has been years in the making.

“We started this process in 2013, so it has been a pretty long process.  We acquired the buildings in 2014 and so we’ve been plugging along the whole time and we are finally to a point now where we’ve stabilized the building and we’re ready to stsrt getting our trades in there,”, Cornerstone Hospitality President and CEO Kimberly Christner said.

The Sessions Hotel will have 70 hotel rooms. It will have two restaurants, a roof top bar, an outdoor music venue and a spa. This makes 2 hotel projects up and running in downtown Bristol with a third in the works.

“There’s not been an accommodations downtown, and that has been a detriment to the downtown development area, we have meeting space at the train station and 620 State, but no place for people to stay,”, Christner added, “And with everything that is happening downtown, The Birthplace of Country Music Museum and all of the other shops downtown, people want someplace to stay.  And they want a walkable district, someplace they can walk to and get to a lot of things.”

Cornerstone Hospitality looked at other buildings in downtown, but came back to the Owen building and hope to make it the welcome mat for State St. and downtown as you enter off of Volunteer Parkway or Commonwealth Ave. They hope the outdoor music venue also helps bring in aspiring country artists.

“We were very excited  today to announce that Jim Lauderdale will be partnering with us on the outdoor music venue.  He is a Grammy award winning artist, well connected in Nashville, and has a great sense of what we are doing, takes pride in it,”, Christner said, “So we’re gonna make the outdoor Bristol Filling Station, that’s the name of it, that stage be the place you have to play on your way to Nashville.”

They hope to have the Sessions Hotel open for business in late summer of 2019.