Professional Alliance, a joint function of the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control and the private S.C. Hospitality Association. In January and February of this year, the Ellises were awarded the Good Stewardship Award by the Historic Aiken Foundation for saving the hotel and the South Carolina Hospitality Association’s Good EarthKeeping Award as the top environmentally conscience hotel in the state, among several other honors.
‘Much has been celebrated throughout her one hundred and fourteen years and you feel that energy, that inherited significance, when you arrive.’
no usually, wear jeans. We wanted to show that we are open to the community and that The Willcox could be something that the community could once again be proud of. The stronger the community is, and the stronger the bond between the community and the hotel, the stronger our business will be.” They re-opened The Spa at The Willcox to be competitively priced with the local market and added a hair salon in 2011. As a bold stroke to reach out to the community, The Willcox has just acquired a food truck, a 17-foot kitchen on wheels that will bring The Willcox to the community. “Our friends will have so many options to hire the food truck to cook hamburgers or steaks, fried chicken or Chateau Briand, for birthday parties, horse shows, factory lunches, back yard barbecues or black tie weddings. We want to bring The Willcox to the community and we want to do it any way they want.” Shannon said they would like to see The Willcox continue to thrive, play a positive role in the community and be an example of environmental excellence. They are getting quite a bit of notice for their efforts. Last year, the hotel was awarded the highest environmental sustainability certification offered by the South Carolina Green Hospitality
“Of course, all of those accolades come only from a concerted team effort,” Ellis said in earnest. “We have a brilliant, dedicated and motivated team. Our General Manager Tina McCarthy, our Executive Chef Regan Browell, the entire team are wonderful to work with and are all dedicated to making every visit here a pleasure. Geoff and I are certainly surrounded by a great group of friends with whom we work.” “Before we got here, the Willcox built a tremendous history of hosting presidents, royalty and captains of industry,” explained Ellis. “Much has been celebrated throughout her one hundred and fourteen years and you feel that energy, that inherited significance, when you arrive. I’ve been told by many people that they feel like they are enveloped in a great big hug when they walk through our doors. But now it can be felt by everybody. You don’t have to be a Hollywood star or a visiting dignitary.” “We are very proud to be part of the history of The Willcox and we see ourselves as the latest stewards of her proud life,” Ellis said. “We feel a responsibility to ensure that she survives another one hundred years in the service of the people of Aiken and her friends.”