Friday, February 22, 2008

Wintergrass goes chic

Each time I have been to Wintergrass, I always think I'll make a visit to the famous Tacoma Museum of Glass, but each year the music schedule is so intense that I never seem to make it. This year it seems that the museum has moved in with the festival, with the newly renovated festival hotel, renamed The Murano, features beautiful glass art throughout the hotel, much of it truly stunning.

You might wonder how all that high design fits with the flavor of a bluegrass festival that has inhabited this space for all of its dozen years of operation. This answer is pretty well. There are lots of changes—lobby and lounge spaces rearranged, some no-jam zones, and boutique hotel flourishes throughout.

But the jammers seem to be finding new favorite places to set up, including a lounge area with fireplace to one side of the lobby that is a beautiful cozy nook. Even though parts of the renovation are still in progress, everything looks to be working smoothly.

One issue with the old hotel was not easy to fix, and the three elevators are again overwhelmed with traffic. Anyone trying to make it to suites on the upper floors may wait several minutes for an elevator and then make a dozen or more stops on the way up.

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