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Niche industry leader: Christner’s boutique hotels tell stories about their communities

Kimberly Christner has become a driving force in Virginia’s boutique hotel industry, a field that combines two of her passions — restoring historic buildings and helping the economies of small communities.

Boutique hotels have evolved into a popular lodging choice for travelers seeking accommodations that accentuate a region’s history and culture.

“The development of boutique hotels is about creating an experience for guests — one they can’t get someplace else,” Christner says. “One that isn’t a cookie cutter. It has to be authentic and tell a story about the building, the community, the people.”