by Erin Stephenson

Theodore Roosevelt once said, “Believe you can and you’re halfway there.” As we reach our halfway point on the construction of the Atticus Hotel this week, I’m reminded that it has taken a lot of people ‘believing we can’ to get us to this point. With 21 weeks of construction in the rearview mirror—and 21 more weeks ahead of us—we have reached our next big project milestones, and it’s taken a tremendous amount of hard work from a team that never stops believing.

Construction Update

On the construction front, our project Superintendent Dave Hanken continues to lead this effort like a military general taking his troops to battle each day. The logistical challenges of keeping a construction project of this scope both on time and on budget are immense, but Dave continues to do just that. Spend a few minutes at the fence watching the crew from R&H Construction work and you will see plumbers & electricians moving in and out of the building and cranes delivering sheet rock through an open window overhead. . . all while crews prep the exterior walls for stucco. It’s a hive of activity every day, and staying in front of it all requires a tactician of the highest skill, which we are lucky to have in Dave.

At the halfway point in this project, we now have a building with a roof and windows, ready to head into the wet winter months insulated from the weather. The installation of sheetrock begins this week, a task that will take 1,200 pieces per floor to accomplish, and which will stretch over several months. On the exterior of the building, the pace will continue to pick up as well. The scaffolding around the hotel (currently creating an optical illusion that makes the building look 8 stories high instead of four) will enable crews to stucco the walls, a job that will go on rain or shine. . . but we’re certainly hoping for more of the latter.

The “Other” Build

While our construction team has been hard at work building a hotel, our marketing team has been burning the midnight oil to create the website that will fill it with happy guests. The beginning of October was another major milestone for our project: the launch of AtticusHotel.com and our official start taking reservations, which are now open beginning May 1 of next year. The task of creating a website for a hotel that does not yet exist is quite the creative exercise, and our team worked hard to convey what it will feel like to be a guest at the Atticus Hotel.

Through words, images and design, we tried to give guests a taste of how the Atticus Hotel will define their stay in Oregon Wine Country. Our friend Sionnie LaFollete, an accomplished lifestyle photographer who’s worked around the globe on projects, hopped on a plane from Nashville, and set about creating vignettes to translate the experience with images. Our lead interior designer, Christina Tello, got out her pens and paper, and brought our interiors to life through her beautiful renderings. Mark Stock, our copy writer, spent weeks writing 33 pages of content, working to tell our story through narrative in concise and simple words. Our fearless web guru, Krista McCallum of 237 Marketing + Web, spent countless hours with Brian and I, parsing every last detail of the layout, content and images, to make sure that everything was just right.

And of course if you spend all that time creating, someone has to tell people that it’s there to see, and that’s where Chelsey Nichol from Type A Press stepped in to spread the message through our social media channels, and Emily Petterson from Weinstein PR helped us share the story with journalists. And last but certainly not least, our friend Sarah Lessen helped us feed it all into the great Google machine through SEO, and also created some terrific newsletters to get the word out to folks who have been following our project.

It really does take a village to launch a beautiful little hotel, and I am so glad that our village is full of so many gifted people, who never shy away from hard work, and who never, ever, stop believing.

RH Construction at Atticus Hotel in McMinnville, Oregon
An inside look at the construction of Atticus Hotel in McMinnville, Oregon
Construction renderings for Atticus Hotel in McMinnville, Oregon