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In the Highlands

PPP Customer Spotlight: Hillcrest Mansion Inn

Exterior of front of historic brick building, front stairs lead up to white front door flanked by tall columns

The travel industry is a beacon of light for small communities. The Alleghany Highlands has a natural beauty that welcomes tourists to come and enjoy the beautiful nature and small-town experience. While driving through Clifton Forge, you may notice a commanding estate perched atop the hill on McCormick Boulevard. Here, the Hillcrest Mansion Inn stands tall and provides endless views of the Alleghany Highlands.

Meet Martha Crawford

Martha Crawford is in the people business. She is the owner of the Hillcrest Mansion Inn and has created a welcoming place for people from all over the world to come for a visit while feeling at home.

Martha and her husband bought the historic Hillcrest Mansion Inn sight-unseen, and after a year and a half, they had turned it into a full-service inn. The Edwardian house built in 1910, sits on four acres on McCormick Boulevard in Clifton Forge. The house was made famous by Dr. John Emmett, the chief surgeon of the CNO Railroad Hospital who lived in the home with his wife for 49 years.

Guests from all over the world come to visit the Hillcrest Mansion Inn to experience the relaxing getaway and welcoming experience that Martha provides. To date, the Inn has hosted guests from over 15 countries.

“You enter here as a stranger you leave as a friend,” says Martha about the experience she tries to provide to visitors.

Running the Inn is made easier with the help of Highlands Community Bank. Martha says, “Highlands Community Bank is there to support me and help me progress further into the future; into the next six months and beyond so that I can build my business up and bring more hospitality to the area.”

As Martha specializes in the hospitality industry, she remarks how, “The staff at our branch here in Clifton Forge are amazing and when I go through the drive-through because of COVID, they are always attentive to me and make sure whatever I need, it’s there.”

Getting Through the Pandemic

Like many businesses, the COVID-19 pandemic has made looking towards the future a little less bright. Normalities such as travel came to a halt causing small businesses everywhere stress and uncertainty. Martha says, “For instance, with COVID, Highlands Community Bank has helped keep us afloat until we can get more guests coming back. The travel industry is a little low right now and so they have been helping me get approved for any assistance we might need.”

Martha commented on the personability of the Vice President, Brandon Calwell. “I love being able to call him when I have a problem,” she mentioned. “He’s only a phone call away, and I don’t have to go through four or five other people to get to the person who makes decisions. That is what I like about Highlands.”

Martha Crawford has created a welcoming and loving environment for guests to stay, and with the help of Highlands Community Bank, she can continue her work. “They are always there for me, support me, and encourage me to progress with my business.”

We look forward to seeing how the Hillcrest Mansion Inn impacts Clifton Forge’s local economy as an attractive, homey place to stay!


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