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The Group Travel Family 
Restores Historic Ohio Building

SALEM, Ohio — The saying “everything old is new again” took on real meaning for The Group Travel Family as it completed restoration of a 180-year-old building in historic downtown Salem, Ohio, and made it its new home.

The Group Travel Family is the parent company of a dozen travel conferences serving the group travel industry and sister organization of this publication. Located in Ohio for the past 25 years, it serves the travel industry and travel planners nationwide.

“We had the opportunity to purchase a great old building and bring it back to life,” said Charlie Presley of The Group Travel Family.

Bring it back to life is an understatement. The project became a total restoration, from the original sandstone foundation to two stories of 17-foot-high brick walls. “It became a labor of love as well as a challenge,” Presley said.

The challenge of breathing new life into an old building was accepted by the entire Group Travel Family staff, who were involved in the process.

“It was rewarding to bring the building into the future,” said Jennifer Ferguson of The Group Travel Family. The future involved everything from high-speed fiber-optic internet cable to a Voice over Internet Protocol telephone system.

“The process of taking an historic building into the cloud internet age was fun,” said Kathleen Presley, who manages all information technology for the organization. The Group Travel Family operates in the cloud, with staff using mobile devices from anywhere in the world to manage conferences and work with the travel planners and travel industry.

The building, known locally as the Trinity Building, began its life in 1840 as a carpentry and livery store. Over the years, it remained in the woodworking and horse business, and some say the carpenters turned out a few caskets in the late 1800s. Built with gas lights, state of the art for the 1840s, the Trinity Building is once again at the forefront of technology with The Group Travel Family.