Pittsburgh Region’s Political Leaders Again Consider Hotel Next To Convention Center

DSC01828It’s becoming the Lazarus of Downtown projects.

Left for dead a year ago, and several times before that, a plan to build a 500-room hotel attached to the David L. Lawrence Convention Center is being resurrected by top political leaders.

Mayor Bill Peduto said Thursday that he and Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald have asked the Sports & Exhibition Authority to gauge the interest in and to study the feasibility of the proposed hotel, which would be built in a parking lot next to the convention center.

The full-service hotel, Mr. Peduto said, always was meant to be “the final part” of the convention center and to serve as its front entrance. “The building’s never been completed,” he said. “The hotel was supposed to be done.”

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/local/city/2014/10/03/Political-leaders-revive-plan-for-hotel-attached-to-convention-center/stories/201410030099

Stricken Revel Has A Buyer – For $90M In Cash

Map of New Jersey

Map of New Jersey (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Revel AC Inc. said in a bankruptcy court filing Wednesday that it had reached a deal to sell its $2.4 billion Atlantic City property to South Florida developer Glenn Straub for $90 million in cash.

The deal was reached Friday, according to the filing. That was less than a week after Revel closed, putting nearly 3,000 people out of work.

The offer is less than 4 percent of the casino’s original price tag.

“It’s not going to be just a casino,” Straub said. “There’s four people that would make excellent casino operators, but that building is much, much more than just a casino.”

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/20140911_Stricken_Revel_has_a_buyer_for__90M_in_cash.html#UYw7HbKdWPWbAI8K.99

Plans For Two Hotels At 15th & Chestnut Taking Shape

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Philadelphia ...

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Philadelphia County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Next week, developers will present their designs for the W and Element Hotels planned for 15th and Chestnut streets to the Center City Residents Association. The presentation is for information only: The planned project requires no zoning variances and can be built by right.

According to a description shared with PlanPhilly by an attorney working on the project, the hotels will have a total of 755 rooms. There will be 295 rooms in the four-star W Hotel, and 460 rooms in the three-star, extended-stay Element by Westin. The entire hotel operation will be managed by Starwood, a Connecticut-based hospitality company.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/business/Plans_for_two_hotels_at_15th_and_Chestnut_taking_shape.html#P5wsWYOKxqO3JmVS.99

Spooky Nook Sports To Expand With Hotel And Restaurant

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Spooky Nook Sports is adding a hotel and restaurant within its sprawling East Hempfield Township facility.

The 130-room hotel will be independently branded, open to tournament attendees and the public year round.

The 260-seat restaurant will have an American cuisine theme and a family friendly environment.

Read more:  http://lancasteronline.com/business/local_business/spooky-nook-sports-to-expand-with-hotel-and-restaurant/article_a5bb80b8-05e3-11e4-bac4-001a4bcf6878.html

Moosic Mayor: ‘Clean Up Or Close Down’

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lackawanna County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lackawanna County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

MOOSIC, PA — Mayor James Segilia has five words for three motels in the borough.

“Clean up or close down.”

Ever since a standoff at the Rodeway Inn, 4130 Birney Ave., in January tied up local police departments for five hours, Segilia and police chief Charles Maurer have sought ways to close down the Rodeway, Moosic Motor Inn, 4124 Birney Ave., and Trotters Motel, 4217 Birney Ave.

The three motels are a nuisance that attract a dangerous clientele and tie up police resources on countless calls, the mayor said.

“It costs time, aggravation and it takes away from police patrols,” Segilia said.

Read more: http://citizensvoice.com/news/moosic-mayor-clean-up-or-close-down-1.1703585

Eight-Story Holiday Inn Proposed For Downtown Pittsburgh Site

There are Hol­i­day Inns all over the land but not a one in Down­town. A Brid­geville de­vel­oper is hop­ing to change that.

The Forza Group will brief the city plan­ning com­mis­sion Tues­day on a pro­posal to build an eight-story, 99-room Hol­i­day Inn at 435 Fort Pitt Blvd. near Smith­field Street. The plan also in­cludes a bar and restau­rant and lim­ited park­ing, nine spaces in all.

In doc­u­ments filed with the plan­ning com­mis­sion, Forza said it hopes to have the $9 mil­lion proj­ect com­pleted by June 2015.

“There’s re­ally no [Hol­i­day Inn] pres­ence in the Down­town Pitts­burgh area,” said Brock Hunt, Forza’s di­rec­tor of fran­chise re­la­tions. The clos­est is a Hol­i­day Inn Ex­press and Suites on South 10th Street, South Side.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/local/city/2014/05/23/A-Holiday-Inn-could-be-headed-Downtown/stories/201405230173#ixzz32e8nZnAc

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Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh Turnaround Complete, Owner Patel Says

Kiran Patel says the days of turmoil at the Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh are finally over.

“The city and people at large want to see this property not as an eyesore,” Patel, the hotel’s owner since 2011, said this week.

Nearly $15 million in renovations were completed in January, adding three floors to the front of the building, more meeting space and a pool with a breathtaking view of the Fort Pitt Bridge and the Point.

But getting there was not easy. Patel, a Tampa physician and businessman, had to navigate the hotel out of bankruptcy, manage union unrest over a new contact, and complete the renovation project that was stalled for at least two years under the previous owners.

Read more: http://triblive.com/business/headlines/5924249-74/hotel-patel-wyndham#ixzz2yj4m6ho8
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Genetti’s Upgrading Hotel In Wilkes-Barre

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WILKES-BARRE, PA — The top two penthouse floors of Best Western Genetti Hotel and Conference Center in downtown Wilkes-Barre will be converted into the new “Oyster Boutique Hotel,” hotel owner Gus Genetti and Oyster Restaurant owner Thom Greco said this morning.

Genetti said it will cost $200,000 to $250,000 to upgrade the rooms to create a small intimate luxury hotel with amenities such as new furnishings, technology and art. The rooms will cater to those looking for high-end rooms, he said.

Read more: http://citizensvoice.com/news/genetti-s-upgrading-hotel-in-wilkes-barre-1.1666257

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Business Booming At Montgomery County Hotels Due To Power Outages

Location of Upper Merion Township in Montgomer...

Location of Upper Merion Township in Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

UPPER MERION TOWNSHIP, PA — If area residents who were without power may have felt like the losers in Wednesday’s icy winter weather games, the winners were the area’s hotels, where “no vacancy” seemed to be a recurring theme.

Then again, depending on where they chose to spend Wednesday night, some of those displaced “losers” may have felt as if their luck was about to change for the better.

“Where else would you want to be but at a casino on a night like tonight, right?” said Michael Bowman, CEO and president of Valley Forge Casino Resort.

With every one of the resort’s 485 rooms due to be snapped up within the hour, Bowman said the lobby was buzzing with folks who had closed up their dark and unheated homes in search of plush lodgings on First Avenue in King of Prussia.

Read more:  http://www.timesherald.com/business/20140205/business-booming-at-montgomery-county-hotels-due-to-power-outages

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Developer’s Agreement For $200 Million Plan Adopted In Conshohocken

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Montgomery County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

CONSHOHOCKEN, PA — A developer’s agreement with  Keystone Property Group (KPG) of Lower Merion to build a hotel, an office tower and a parking garage on Fayette Street and a new borough building for police and borough workers was unanimously approved Wednesday by Borough Council.

The $200 million KPG plan was selected by council in mid-September over a competing proposal by Brandywine Realty Trust (BRT) of Radnor.

The 32-page agreement will be ratified Friday by the Montgomery County Redevelopment Authority.

KPG agreed to build an 18-story, 200-room hotel at the intersection of Fayette and Elm streets, an eight-story parking garage to replace an existing three-story garage and a new, 16-story, 200,000-square-foot office building at the intersection of First Avenue and Fayette Street.

Read more: http://www.timesherald.com/general-news/20131218/developers-agreement-for-200-million-plan-adopted-in-conshohocken

47-Story Hotel/Condo Building Set For South Broad Street

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Philadelphia ...

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Philadelphia County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The developer Carl E. Dranoff is partnering with Los Angeles-based SBE Entertainment Group to build a 47-story, mixed-use luxury boutique hotel and condominium tower at Broad and Spruce Streets, across from the Kimmel Center, for more than $200 million.

The 422,838-square-foot SLS International, which Dranoff said would be Pennsylvania’s “tallest structure built for residential use,” is being designed by New York-based architecture firm Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, whose chairman, A. Eugene Kohn, is a Philadelphia native.

The tower will rise 562 feet – 14 feet higher than the City Hall tower. Construction is expected to start next fall and take two years.

Dranoff said approvals for the project were at “the 3-yard line,” with Councilman Mark Squilla set to introduce legislation in City Council to extend the zoning designation CMX-5, which allows a higher building floor area in relation to the lot, past Spruce Street to Pine Street.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/classifieds/real_estate/20131217_47-story_hotel_condo_building_set_for_South_Broad.html#IlL8VeqUSgPMoCJT.99

Ramada Near Deal With King’s College, Sources Say

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WILKES-BARRE, PA —The King’s College physician-assistant program has attracted several hundred applicants, and the college is looking for space to allow that expansion.

Apparently, that space might be the Ramada Hotel on Public Square.

Although sources said no deal has been struck to date, several indicated that there is a strong interest from King’s in the 105-room hotel that opened in the 1980s as the Sheraton-Crossgates.

Tony Grosek, owner of the Ramada, said he has been talking to college officials about entering into a long-term deal, but Grosek said he couldn’t confirm that anything has been finalized.

Read more: http://timesleader.com/news/local-news/933106/Ramada-near-deal-with-Kings-College-sources-say

Hotel Lancaster Will Replace The Brunswick Downtown

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Standing amid workers installing tile and trim and painting the new lobby, real estate developer John Meeder declared: “The experience starts here.”

The experience is one of a bright, open lobby; clean, well appointed rooms; and a well-managed facility.

It will be the experience of The Hotel Lancaster, promised Meeder.

“The Brunswick is history. It is no longer the name of this hotel,” he said. “Sorry historians, but there is too much baggage.”

The street-level lobby had long been recommended by urban planners, but by moving it to the East Chestnut Street side of the building, Meeder and his partners also are getting a new address.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/901905_Hotel-Lancaster-will-replace-the-Brunswick-downtown.html#ixzz2h3cWK938

Judge Clears Hotel Brunswick For October Reopening In Downtown Lancaster

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Lancaster County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A Lancaster County judge has OK’d a series of agreements that will allow a developer’s plan to makeover the shuttered Hotel Brunswick.

Judge Jeffery Wright signed an order Wednesday that includes 21 operating agreements between the city, the district attorney’s office and developer John Meeder’s Meeder Development Corp.

The order clears the remaining legal hurdle Meeder had in reopening what was once a city landmark.

Meeder said Wednesday that the order keeps his planned reopening date of “early October” right on track.

Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/893882_Judge-clears-Hotel-Brunswick-for-October-reopening.html#ixzz2egteqhCq

Is Wilkes-Barre’s Irem Temple Next On The Demolition List?

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

WILKES-BARRE, PA — At some point something has to be done with the Irem Temple, and Rick Williams and others hope it’s not torn down like the nearby Hotel Sterling.

Last week demolition crews razed a good portion of the rear of the hotel.

They’re moving to the North River Street side today to continue to reduce the landmark structure to rubble.  The hotel opened in 1898, and nine years later, the temple, designed in Moorish revival architecture complete with four minarets and dome, was completed on North Franklin Street.

Like the hotel, it’s been vacant for years, and architect Rick Williams fears its brick walls could be bashed to pieces by the steel buckets and blades of excavators, like those leveling the hotel.

Read more:  http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news/707441/Is-the-Irem-Temple-next

A Legend Will Fall: Wilkes-Barre’s Sterling Hotel End Nears

English: Hotel Sterling, Wilkes-Barre

English: Hotel Sterling, Wilkes-Barre (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Kurt Sauer will get a long-awaited birthday present next Thursday: The demolition of the Hotel Sterling.

Since Wilkes-Barre officials decided in January to bring the building down without the help of Luzerne County, the city had to start the process from scratch.  That meant Sauer, the city’s director of community development, had to fill out reams of paperwork – he points to a 4-inch binder chock-full of various documents – as he worked to get approval from various state and federal agencies.

So when Brdaric Excavating finally begins work Thursday, Sauer will be a year older and a step closer to finishing the job.  And the current chapter of the Sterling’s life, one filled with hopes of restoration and disappointing and expensive failures to save the historic building, will near a close.

John Brdaric, owner of Brdaric Excavating, didn’t respond to requests for an interview about the $419,000 demolition.  But Sauer and Butch Frati, Wilkes-Barre’s director of operations, explained how they believe the process will unfold.

Read more:  http://citizensvoice.com/news/a-legend-will-fall-sterling-s-end-nears-1.1523678

Pittsburgh-Area Hotels Find Niche In Oil, Gas Workers

Locator map of the Greater Pittsburgh metro ar...

Locator map of the Greater Pittsburgh metro area in the western part of the of . Red denotes the Pittsburgh Metropolitan Statistical Area, and yellow denotes the New Castle Micropolitan Statistical Area, which is included in the Pittsburgh-New Castle CSA. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

To endear a hotel to the oil and gas crowd, give them a place to eat and sleep at all hours of the day, a place to wash their boots, a warm place to smoke in the winter and a cold beer once in a while.

So goes the formula developed by Tejas Gosai, president of the Washington, Pa.-based business Shale Hotel Inc.  The company is managing two hotels geared toward oil and gas workers, building two others and preparing to turn the Monroeville Holiday Inn into an industry destination for workers summoned here by the Marcellus Shale, the natural gas deposit underlying much of Pennsylvania.

Mr. Gosai represents a group of four doctors, among them his father, who bought the 187-room Monroeville hotel in June.  His goal is to replicate there what he has helped to do in Bentleyville — attract at least half of the guests from oil and gas fields.

The Gosais have been in the hotel business for a dozen years.  Kam Gosai, a practicing physician in Washington County, co-owns the Holiday Inn Express and the Best Western Garden Inn in Bentleyville.

Read more: http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/business/news/pittsburgh-area-hotels-find-niche-in-oil-gas-workers-694646/#ixzz2YT5pEbAE

Pennsylvania Ranks Fourth Nationally In Number Of Hotels Breaking Labor Laws: PublicSource

If you’ve stayed at the Heritage Hills Resort in York County while touring Amish country, toasted newlyweds at the Avalon Hotel in Erie or settled in for a weekend of pampering at Nemacolin Woodlands Resort in the Laurel Highlands, chances are the person who made your bed, poured your Champagne or washed your towels wasn’t being paid minimum wage.

In fact, Pennsylvania ranks fourth in the nation — behind Texas, Alabama and Florida — for the number of hotels breaking labor laws, according to an analysis by PublicSource, a nonprofit news organization.

York, Erie and Pittsburgh had the highest number of violations by their hotels, with Farmington, Lancaster and the Harrisburg area coming in behind them.

These working men and women, who might have few skills to find another job, are often reluctant to talk about their situations, as PublicSource discovered after making many attempts to reach them.

“These workers are subject to retaliation from employers, and some hotels have nondisclosure agreements,” said Mackenzie Smith, an organizer and executive board member of Unite Here Local 57, which represents hotel workers in Pittsburgh.

Read more:  http://www.pennlive.com/midstate/index.ssf/2013/07/pennsylvania_ranks_fourth_nati.html#incart_m-rpt-1

Berks Commissioners Expand Hotel Tax To Include Entire County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Berks County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

All hotels and motels in Berks County must begin collecting a 5 percent room tax starting Oct. 1.

The county commissioners in a 2-1 vote Thursday extended the tax to facilities beyond the 15-mile radius of the Sovereign Center established when the tax went into effect March 1, 1997.

The tax currently produces about $1.7 million annually, with 80 percent going to the Berks County Convention Center Authority to repay money borrowed to build the center and 20 percent going to the Greater Reading Convention & Visitors Bureau.

The expansion is expected to bring in an additional $310,000 in 2014.

Read more:  http://readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=488474

Mohegan Sun Pocono Downs Plans June 18 Job Fair – Needs To Fill 250 Positions

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County

Map of Pennsylvania highlighting Luzerne County (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

PLAINS TOWNSHIP— With regional unemployment above 9 percent, a job fair in five weeks to fill 250 positions at Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs’ soon-to-open hotel/convention center is likely to draw thousands.

Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs Assistant General Manager Kara Fox-LaRose on Wednesday said rather than just inviting job seekers to send in resumes or applications, the venue will hold an on-site job fair 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. June 18.  Interviews will take place in July and the staff will be hired throughout the summer to be trained, she said.

The $50 million hotel and convention center will have seven floors, 238 hotel rooms, a bistro, a 4,150-square-foot Spa Sapphire, an indoor pool and fitness center and the 20,000-square-foot convention center able to seat 850 people for dinners and other events.  It also will be able to hold entertainment events for 1,500 people.

Its targeted opening date is Oct. 1.  It will be the largest hotel in Luzerne County and will give the casino the ability to attract customers from farther distances.

Read more:  http://www.timesleader.com/news/local-news/497024/Casino-hotel-seeking-250-employees