The Keystone State has an abundance of natural beauty to offer groups, from the Delaware River in the gorgeous Poconos region (pictured) to the hiking, skiing and golfing found throughout the state. The thriving cultural and culinary delights of the cities likewise are not to be missed.
• Regional carrier Southern Airways Express began daily nonstop Harrisburg -- Pittsburgh service at the end of October. Service from Pittsburgh to Johnstown and DuBois was introduced shortly thereafter.
• The Hershey Harrisburg Regional Visitors Bureau launched a Sports & Events Authority for the region last summer, intensifying its focus on the sports tourism and special-events markets.
Skytop Lodge in the Pocono Mountains recently turned a former on-site library into the Library Lounge. The new spot can accommodate up to 60 people, with room for 15 at the classic oak bar.
Western Pennsylvania's Laurel Mountain Ski Resort, which has the longest vertical drop in the state, has reopened after years of closure. The owner of two nearby resorts is leasing it from the state and operating the slopes all season.
The $30 million Drury Plaza Hotel Pittsburgh Downtown
recently opened in the historic Federal Reserve Bank building, an art deco-style structure the lodging company has adapted and renovated. The 207-room property offers more than 4,500 square feet of meeting and event space, including two large former vaults. A rooftop deck provides views of the city skyline and PNC Park. A pool and hot tub are on-site, too, constructed in the former firing range used by the bank's guards. The hotel is Drury's first in the Pittsburgh area.•
The 111-room Hotel Indigo at Pittsburgh Technology Center
is set to open in May 2017. The $14.7 million development in South Oakland promises 2,400 square feet of meeting space and a full-service restaurant. •
Pittsburgh native and former New York Times
style editor Holly Brubach is converting the historic Granite Building into the 104-room Forbes Hotel.
The downtown boutique property will have three bars and a brasserie-style restaurant, and is scheduled to debut in the fall of 2017.•
The 126-room Home2Suites Pittsburgh SouthSide,
a six-story property at the site of a former car wash in the South Side neighborhood, is slated to open in August.•
The hip boutique Distrikt Hotel
brand is coming to Pittsburgh, due to open in September in the former Salvation Army headquarters downtown. The 186-room property will feature a living plant wall, a zen rooftop garden and a full-service restaurant. Stay tuned for details about meeting space.•
The new Marriott Residence Inn Pittsburgh
will be open for business in April. The 144-room hotel is near both the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University in Oakland, alongside the new SkyVue Apartments. The property promises a two-story "Great Room," as well as a fitness room and a pool. An as yet unspecified amount of meeting and conference space will be available in the adjoining apartment complex.•
A new TRYP by Wyndham
hotel is scheduled to open in Lawrenceville next November. The boutique property, one of only a handful of TRYP hotels in the United States, will have 107 guest rooms, meeting space and a rooftop restaurant. The project is a conversion of the former Washington Education Center, a vocational school.•
The 133-room AC Hotel Pittsburgh
is expected to debut in the Strip District in January 2018, next to the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. The boutique hotel will offer an urban, design-driven atmosphere.•
The Even Hotel Pittsburgh
is being developed for the fifth and sixth floors of the former Macy's building downtown, which dates back to the late 1800s. The building is being converted into a $100 million mixed-use development, including 312 luxury apartments and a variety of retail shops, restaurants and entertainment venues. The 155-room Even is planning a grand opening for January 2018.•
A luxury independent property, the 120-room Andrew Hotel
currently is in the works for the Strip District, along the Allegheny River. Plans call for fine-dining and casual restaurants on-site, as well as a rooftop lounge and a spa. The hotel is scheduled to open in March 2018. • Rivers Casino
is planning to build a $50 million, 200-room hotel on its eastern flank, adjacent to the Carnegie Science Center. The project has stalled numerous times, but groundbreaking could occur early this year. Officials hope to open the hotel in January 2019.