« Back to previous page

LOCAL TOURISM INDUSTRY: News & Updates on Lodging, Restaurants, Attractions & more...

Published: Oct 10, 2017

Pennsylvania Meetings + Events Magazine Readers' Choice Awards 2017 Announced 

Posted Oct. 5, 2017

PA Meetings + Events Magazine

Best Of PA Award Winners 2017

The following only represent winners from the Hershey & Harrisburg Region

  1. Visit Hershey & Harrisburg for Best CVB (Population Area Under 300k)
  2. Hershey Lodge for Best Hotel with Meeting/Event Space (more than 200 guest room)
  3. Warehouse Hotel at The Nook for Best Hotel with Meeting/ Event Space (fewer than 200 guest rooms)
  4. Forklift & Palate at Spooky Nook for Best Restaurant with Private Dining Space
  5. Spooky Nook Sports for Best Meeting/Event Venue (No Hotel)

Honorable Mentions as those “Nominated” or “Runner-Up” in other categories included:

  1. Appalachian Brewing Company (ABC) runner-up in category for Best Brewery with Event Space
  2. Vineyard & Brewery at Hershey runner-up in category for Best Winery with Event Space
  3. JDK Group runner-up in category for Best Meeting/Event Planning Company
  4. Premiere #1 Limousine Service runner-up in category for Best Transportation Provider

Sports Business Journal Ranks PA’s Hershey & Harrisburg Region in Nation's Top10 Minor League Sports Markets 

Posted Oct. 4, 2017

Street & Smith's Sports Business Journal ranked Pennsylvania’s Hershey & Harrisburg Region (HHR) as the nation’s seventh (#7) best minor league market in the nation for 2017. The HH Region was the only PA market and 1 of only 2 areas within the U.S. Mid-Atlantic to crack the TOP10 list in 2017. 

Sports Business Journal Logo

See Complete List of TOP10 & TOP25 Minor League Markets 2017

"The region is consistently recognized for being a top destination for sports fans from near and far for the same reasons we have become a prime destination for youth sporting events and tournaments," said Gregg Cook, Executive Director for the Hershey & Harrisburg Sports and Events Authority.

Hershey’s family-friendly atmosphere paired with Harrisburg’s blend of history, culture, and nightlife are significant contributors to the region consistently appearing on this list of top minor league sports market, according to Cook. In addition to having a loyal base of local sports fans, the region is also extremely fortunate to have world-class attractions and amenities with a wide range of affordable lodging and event venues.

"All of those factors, plus our central location to the major population centers within the Mid-Atlantic Region, make us one of the most easily accessible markets for youth sporting events and a highly desirable destination for tournament organizers," said Cook.

The Hershey & Harrisburg Region previously earned consecutive honors as the #1 Minor League Market in U.S. in 2009 & 2011 from Street & Smith's Sports Business Journal, which compiles their ranking every two years.

Bike Sharing Arrives In Harrisburg

Posted Oct. 4, 2017

Starting today, you can rent a bike to zip around Harrisburg, according to a recent report by Wallace McKelvey on Pennlive.com (Oct. 4, 2017). The bike-sharing service Zagster has set up nine stations across the capital where it will rent 55 bicycles. Two more stations are in the works.

Bikes are available for a $25 annual fee with trips of up to two hours free and $2 per hour for longer trips. They can also be rented without a membership for $2 per hour for up to 10 hours. Those who keep the bikes for more than 24 hours will be charged a $50 overtime fee. 

Ninety-three percent of proceeds are earmarked for the nonprofit Communities In Schools of Pennsylvania, which serves local students and their families.

How does the Bike Sharing System work?

  1. Download the Zagster app on your phone and join the Harrisburg bike share.
  2. Plug the bike number (For example #1234) into the app and receive a unique code to unlock the bike.
  3. Dial that lock code, remove the docking cable and use the bike. (With helmet, of course.)
  4. Return the bike at any other station. Press and hold the lock button on the keypad until the light flashes.
  5. Find the orange tab on the ring lock and slide it down.
  6. Place the docking cable from the station into the port on the ring lock. Tap "End Ride" in the Zagster app.
  7. The lock can also be used on any public bike rack with the unique code for mid-ride stops.

Coming Soon to Downtown Hershey

Posted Oct. 2, 2017

After years in the planning stage, the new Hershey Towne Center will welcome dozens of businesses when the 32,000 square-foot complex opens along West Chocolate Avenue in Hershey in 2018, according to leasing agency Bennett Williams Commercial.  

The new multi-use complex is centered around a former Post Office building in the heart of Hershey and will include two outdoor plaza areas, 400-car parking garage, and a mix of retail & restaurants, according to a report by Sue Gleiter on Pennlive.com (Oct. 2, 2017).

Businesses slated to lease space include Primanti Bros. Restaurants, Starbucks, Great Clips, Tropical Smoothie Cafe, and Jersey Mike's Subs. Lancaster-based TONO Architects and RVG Management & Development Company in Wormleysburg, PA are collaborating on the project.

Hershey Towne Center Rendering 2017

Hershey Resorts Earns "Best of Meetings Today" Readers' Choice Ranking for 2017 

Posted September 2017

Meetings Today Best of 2017Each year Meetings Today opens voting for planners to determine the best hotels and resorts for meetings in North America sorted by region.

Hershey Resorts was again named among Readers' Top Choices for Meeting Space in the Eastern U.S. based on the following criteria: quality of meeting space, guest rooms, guest services and amenities, food and beverage service, efficiency and helpfulness of staff, availability of technical equipment, recreational facilities and activities, and overall value and experience. 

Hershey Resorts was among a total of six (6) facilities in Pennsylvania and the resort has received this recognition a total of 17 times from the readers of Meetings Today magazine.  

The resort includes Hershey Lodge and The Hotel Hershey, offering more than 900 guest rooms and 125,000 square-feet of flexible function space.

The Hershey Lodge is one of the largest convention facilities in PA and The Hotel Hershey is a four-star, four-diamond historic property overlooking the town of Hershey.

Recent developments at the resort include renovations of The Hotel Hershey's West Tower guest rooms, Iberian Lounge and Overlook function room. Grand view of the formal gardens and Cottages at Hotel Hershey pictured below.

Hotel Hershey - Exterior Back

The Hershey Lodge has opened a new contemporary American restaurant Fire & Grain (pictured below) and created Water Works, the new indoor pool complex.

Fire & Grain Restaurant at Hershey Lodge

For more information on this property, contact Michael Reynoldson, Managing Director of Resorts Sales at 866-726-3387 or MCReynoldson@HersheyPA.com. 

Visit Hershey & Harrisburg DMO hires Jessica Bomgardner as Content Marketing Manager

Posted July 26, 2017

In her new role as Content Marketing Manager, Harrisburg native Jessica Bomgardner (pictured below) will become the voice behind the friendly & energetic destination brand for Visit Hershey & Harrisburg, which represents Dauphin County in Pennsylvania.

Bomgardner earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications & Journalism from Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania in 2009 and a Master of Arts degree in Communication & Leadership from Gonzaga University (Wash.) in 2014.

Jessica currently resides in Harrisburg with her husband, son, and rescue dog.

Bomgardner was previously a Communications Analyst at United Concordia Dental.

Jessica Bomgardner Headshot 2017

New Hotels Coming to Harrisburg International Airport in 2018

Posted July 19, 2017

July 19, 2017 - The Central Penn Business Journal reported that Restin Hospitality LLC, based in the Hershey area, kicked off construction of a Comfort Inn & Suites Harrisburg Airport hotel that is slated to open in spring 2018 near the Harrisburg International Airport

The four-story, 47,000-square-foot hotel will have 87 rooms, employ 30 people and be managed by Prestige Hospitality Group of Albany, NY. Choice Hotels International owns the Comfort Inn & Suites brand.

Reporter Jason Scott said it's the latest hotel project to emerge near the airport — developments that could entice more commercial growth in the Middletown area — and one of several active hospitality sites across Central Pennsylvania as the lodging industry nationwide bounces back from the last economic downturn. See more on his story about the new property and hotel growth.

June 20, 2017 - Pennlive.com reported Shaner Hotels recently broke ground on a new Fairfield Inn & Suites Harrisburg hotel in the Middletown area of the Hershey Harrisburg Region, marking the first hotel that will be located at the Harrisburg International Airport.

Prior to this property, the nearest hotel to the airport is approximately 7-miles away, according to the article by Daniel Urie. The 4-story hotel is slated to open in mid-to-late summer 2018 and will include a sky bridge connecting the 120-room property to the airport.

The project was financed by Kish Bank and will be managed by Shaner Hotels. See more of this article.

New Courtyard by Marriott opens on Chocolate Avenue in Hershey, PA

Posted June 2017

Courtyard by Marriott in Hershey 2017

A new 120-room Courtyard by Marriott opened on Chocolate Avenue in Hershey in June 2017.

The four-story hotel, owned by Bears Creek Hershey Hotel LLC, will employ 26 full-time staff. According to local newspaper Pennlive.com, this property was a joint development between Shaner Hotels and Chafia Capital Partners, a real estate investment and private equity firm. 

The property will be managed by Shaner Hotel Holdings LP, and was financed by CNB Bank.

Courtyard Hershey Chocolate Avenue has a guest laundry, fitness room, indoor pool and a business center. The hotel also features the Courtyard Refreshing Business lobby which includes a bar. The lobby has flexible seating options ranging from a communal table to private booths with high-definition televisions. Guest rooms offer free Wi-Fi.

Shaner Hotels owns and manages 50 hotels across the United States, Italy and the Bahamas. Shaner, located in the State College area, operates Courtyard Harrisburg West/Mechanicsburg in Lower Allen Township and Courtyard Shippensburg in Southampton Township.

The Hotel Hershey Named Bill Hendrix New GM as Brian O'Day Retires

Posted May 1, 2017

Bill Hendrix was promoted to the position of general manager of The Hotel Hershey on May 1, 2017. Hendrix has been in leadership roles at the property for more than a decade, which includes his most recent position as the hotel’s assistant general manager.

The Hotel's past general manager, Brian O’Day announced his retirement that would begin in April 30, after 14 years of service as general manager at The Hotel Hershey.

In his new position, Hendrix will oversee the entire operation of The Hotel Hershey. He will also oversee the operation of Hershey Laundry & Dry Cleaning. Hendrix has more than 23 years of rooms, housekeeping and front of house experience in the hotel and resort industries throughout the United States.

Prior to joining Hershey Entertainment & Resorts Company, Hendrix spent five years at various Ritz-Carlton properties. He also has seven years of experience with Four Seasons at properties including Four Seasons Hotel at Beverly Hills and Four Season Resort and Club in Irving, Texas.

Author: Rick Dunlap

Public Relations Director
Visit Hershey & Harrisburg
3211 North Front Street, Suite 301 A, Harrisburg, PA 17110
Rick@HersheyHarrisburg.org
 

Latest Entries