If you’re a Penn State football fan, you know finding a hotel on a home game weekends in the State College area is difficult. A new hotel could open up in Centre County, helping with some of that demand.
The announcement on Thursday of intentions to build this new hotel comes amid a flurry of other projects and proposals for hotels across the Centre Region.
Hospitality Asset Management Company Inc. (HAMCO), also known as Lion Country Lodging, states in a press release that it would be a “Tru by Hilton” franchised property. HAMCO proposes 98 rooms there.
Edward Tubbs, the chief operating officer, tells us the property they’re eying falls “in the general area of where the new Giant plaza” sits. That’s less than a mile away from the Interstate 99 and Benner Pike interchange. This proposed hotel would also be a ten-minute drive to Beaver Stadium and five minutes to the proposed casino at the Nittany Mall.
In the press release, the COO says, “We continue to be proud of our company’s growth and are excited to increase our portfolio footprint in our home region of Centre County.”
“What spurred the move – The continued growth in the Bellefonte / State College market not only within PSU and Athletics but also the economic development that is occurring through the CBICC [Chamber of Business and Industry in Centre County] and through the HVAB [Happy Valley Adventure Bureau] and its new formation of the HVSEA [Happy Valley Sports and Entertainment Alliance].”
Other developers appear to see the same trend. A major proposed public-private partnership still working through the hurdles is the “State College Town Centre” project.
State College Borough Council President Jesse Barlow tells us it’s “sort of a way of attracting more folks downtown, blended in with some other other things like Sydney Friedman Park right in back of it”
This would see a new hotel and commercial space on the 200 block of South Allen Street, across from the municipal building.
“We’ve been wanting to do things to get more activity downtown anyway, more hotel space would actually be very helpful to us.”
HAMCO is familiar with the Centre Region. They’re also involved in the proposed Bellefonte Waterfront development project, which includes plans for a hotel in downtown Bellefonte. In the press release,
“We are equally proud of our development at the Bellefonte Waterfront in conjunction with our partner Tom Songer, and we remain committed to further expansion in the Bellefonte/State College marketplace”.
In the State College area, HAMCO also manages the Hilton Garden Inn in the downtown, Super 8 by Wyndham, Quality Inn, and the Nittany Budget Motel. The company also manages the restaurant Gigi’s Southern Table in Ferguson Township.
The next step is “obtaining the required government approvals for the development.”
As for the timeline, he says they hope to do some ground-clearing and lot work later this year. He adds that right now they expect a Spring 2024 ground-breaking and a June 2025 opening.