Norfolk and Western (now Norfolk Southern) opened the Hotel Roanoke on Christmas Day 1882. After undergoing a number of renovations and additions, the Star City mainstay was closed in 1989 - but reopened soon after. The City of Roanoke and Virginia Tech marked the 20th anniversary of the hotel’s reopening by releasing a report that examines the its impact on the local economy.
In 1989, when the Norfolk Southern Corporation donated the Hotel Roanoke to Virginia Tech, not everyone thought the deal made sense. In fact, it made a lot of dollars.