By Samuel Sutton at the Fredericksburg Standard Post, October 21, 2020
Fiesta Winery’s team recently broke ground on its nearly $48 million Arch Ray resort project on U.S. 290 East at Schmidtzinsky Road.
“This is the next chapter and I think it’s going to be a lot of fun,” said Shane Baxter, son of owner Stephen Baxter.
The groundbreaking took place from 3-6 PM Friday, Oct. 16, on the project’s new property, 312 Schmidtzinsky Road. Baxter said this project was the team’s vision since before the winery opened 10 years ago.
“We started the winery to get to the point where we could do this interactive experience with our customers, and give them something that’s unique and something that has a very real feel,” Baxter said.
The project’s name, Arch Ray, stemmed from family names on both sides of the Baxter family.
“The Ray is my family and Archie is like, fifth generation middle name on Stephen’s side of the family,” said Fiesta Winery co-owner Sally Baxter. “It’s the combination of the two families.”
The project will include an 81-slot RV park and an event center, which will consist of a brewery, a distillery, a winery, two event rooms, a restaurant and a tasting area.
“We’re going to have what I like to call a food fun tasting experience,” Baxter said. “Not only will you have the culinary experience, you’ll also have different types of alcohol to pair with different types of food.”
Also included in the event center will be a barrel room, an artisan center, an area for a leather-making experience, a kiln for glassblowing and a space for concerts.
Driving up to the property, visitors will see part of a 15-acre vineyard, also to be planted on the property.
The biggest part of the project, the Dulce by Wyndham Hotel, will have 165 rooms and a conference center.
Scott LePage, president of the Americas for Wyndham Hotels & Resorts, said his experience working with the Baxters has been productive so far; however, he wasn’t able to meet the family until the groundbreaking party due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We’ve had a number of our team working directly with the family with everything involved in the initial stages of a project like this. But why today was so special a day was to get to meet the family and get a chance to be part of this great occasion,” LePage said.
Baxter said the current project timeline is two-and-a-half years.
“My goal is to have it done by the end of 2022, but it may be the spring of 2023,” Baxter said.
See the original article: https://www.fredericksburgstandard.com/business/fiesta-winery-breaks-ground-resort