Hathaway Cottage Could Help Staunton Bring in Cash

By: Philip Townsend Email
By: Philip Townsend Email

The city of Staunton is becoming more and more synonymous with Shakespeare, and tourism officials hope a new cottage with Shakespearean ties will bring even more visitors.

It's been almost two years since Staunton adopted its "As You Like it" slogan. The slogan is also the the title of one of William Shakespeare's plays. Amanda Huffman from Staunton Economic Development says it fits the city perfectly.

Huffman says, "It kind of summarizes in a tagline how there is so many things to do in Staunton."

Staunton has been using the slogan in a broad marketing campaign, and now the city has a new attraction that could draw in even more Shakespeare fans.

A Staunton resident has completed a cottage that is built to mimic one owned by Shakespeare's wife, Anne Hathaway.

Huffman adds, "It's just another venue for folks in Staunton, or people visiting Staunton to enjoy Staunton in a very unique way."

Cottage owner Juliette Swenson says it could mean a tag-team effort with their friends just down the street.

Swenson says, "I think it's a great tie in with the Shakespeare theater and I think it just adds something to Staunton. I know there's no other thatch cottages here."

The cottage has caught the eye of people at the American Shakespeare Center.

Playhouse manager Christina Sayer says, "I think it's neat because I think that some people do come to Staunton specifically to visit us and are looking for a Shakespeare weekend outside of England."

She says they're hoping the cottage will send foot traffic their way, and it may even be something on which the city can build.

Sayer adds, "All we need now is a Boar's Head Inn for people to eat at between shows on Saturday afternoons."

The city does want to find out just how well the "As You Like it" campaign is doing on paper. However, they say they want to wait maybe a couple more years to get a better picture.

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