Areas of Oglebay’s Wilson Lodge getting new look amid outbreak
WHEELING — Meeting and event spaces at Oglebay Park’s Wilson Lodge haven’t been getting much use during this year’s pandemic, and officials decided it was a good time to give them a new look and sound for the future.
Glessner Auditorium and meeting rooms at the lodge are undergoing renovations that will cost at least $1.2 million, according to Herb Faulkenberry, vice president of sales and marketing for Oglebay Park. Additional grants also are being sought for the make-overs. If these come through, additional work could be added to the project, bringing the total price tag to as high as $1.9 million, he said.
Faulkenberry said now is an opportune time to do the work as major events and conferences scheduled for the facilities have been canceled or postponed during recent months.
“Our focus is going to be on Glessner and the meeting rooms so when corporate America is ready to come back, we will have rooms with a fresh look, audio-visual (benefits) and comfort,” he said.
The idea is to give the rooms in the lodge a lighter look, while maintaining their natural woodwork and historical charm, he said.
Lighting is being replaced, walls are being repainted in lighter hues, and there is new carpeting being installed. New AV technology also will be available to those using the rooms.
Work is nearly complete in the Terrace Room and the Fort Henry Room on the second floor of the lodge, and they give observers a sense of WIlson Lodge’s new look.
The rooms are being decorated in a “sophisticated neutral” palette, featuring blush, ivory, gray and black. The West Virginia University blue and gold show up as accent colors, Faulkenberry said. He said this first phase of the renovations should be done by the middle of November.
Next year, there are plans to redo Glessner Auditorium, meeting rooms 1-6, and the bathrooms on the first floor.
“The Glessner Auditorium is already the grand dame of Oglebay, and the history and ambience of the room is important to Oglebay traditions,” Faulkenberry said.
The room will be painted a lighter color, though the woodwork and beams will remain as they are, he said. Plans call for the stage to remain, but for the curtains around it to be removed.
The curtains will be replaced with partitions that can be used to create illusions of depth, Faulkenberry said.
Once the auditorium is complete, work will begin on the meeting rooms that surround it. These will get new wainscotting, carpeting, lighting and audio-visual equipment.
“As much as we like group business, we are at the mercy of public opinion,” Faulkenberry said. “When they are ready, we want to be ready for them to come aboard.”