Hi, Gang! From what I've read in the Meadville Trib forum, they've had a pretty decent amount of lake and vacation traffic. There also seems to be interest in ballroom rentals for weddings and other events. I agree the hotel might be a bit much (I would try midway and paddleboat cruises), but it works hand in hand with the ballroom and overnighters. Maybe a surprise opening of attractions could happen by Labor Day.
Although, businesses are down 30 - 50%, maybe this will be the ignition to build anticipation for 2008 at CLP. They are talking about big name bands and other promos to carry them thru Labor Day Weekend.
We'll see! *** Edited 7/20/2007 10:23:21 PM UTC by CastleKing***
Not knowing how PA works from a law standpoint, but there may be licensing advantages (Liquor / food service, etc.) to open this year, even if for just a few weeks. otherwise, it might be that much more difficult to open next year.
Lord Gonchar said: Exactly, Rob.
Use that $60,000 as the first funds in the pot to make next year happen.
I just can't see how spending $60,000 to open the hotel and beach club seemed like a good idea to anyone involved.
I believe you are correct, Walt. Something I had thought about when they said they weren't opening. According to PA liquor law, you must use the license at least once per year, otherwise you must forfeit it. Beach Club could make some money this year yet, and it keeps the license alive.
In PA, a liquor license can be put into safekeeping for up to 3 years. This means the licensee has to physically return the license (the actual certificate) to the PLCB, but continues to pay the fees, etc. When the licensee is ready to re-open, they request the license back from the Board for display on the premises.
At the risk of sounding completely anti-preservation here, what if the Hotel Conneaut was leased to an outsider operator (like Marriott or Starwood) that was allowed to upgrade the property and position it as a more modern facility with a historic flair? I'm not talking a complete remodel, I'm talking adding air conditioning to rooms, phones with voicemail and wi-fi internet access... stuff that is more or less invisible while adding to the experience. I won't lie- as much as I love most things historic, I wouldn't dream of spending a night at the hotel in the middle of the summer because I'm a pretty big fan of A/C.
Imagine a revitalized Hotel Conneaut run by people that actually know how to run a hotel! You could book the place for a wedding a year in advance and know that it'll still be open and ready for you when your date comes. And having the hotel function as an actual hotel (being able to reserve rooms on a well-known website... that sort of thing) would surely encourage more people to stay there.
I'm not going to say whether the hotel actually needs air conditioning or not (I'm not in a position to say, having never stayed there), but if the hotel wants to be attractive to most tourists, it's going to need to offer things that most modern hotels offer. There are ways to keep the hotel's traditional charm while making it relevant to 2007's tourists.
There's nothing anti-preservationist about upgrading an older property. Is there someone who says the hotel has to remain in a certain time period to maintain some kind of historical integrity? After all, we're not talking Williamsburg here.
In fact, having someone in charge who knows something about how to run a hotel might help "preserve" the place much longer.
RGB-Thanks for the clarification--that's what I was getting at, just got the facts a bit skewed. Fact remains that you must continue to pay for the license, and we know the track record there...
As for the hotel, I've never had an uncomfortable night there. I wasn't real keen on the "courtyard"-side room we had the one time, but otherwise it's always been fine. Actually, I don't think the hotel itself loses money--just the foods operation there. Frequently I've had to rearrange the stay because they were sold out. Weekends were always packed, most all summer and there were still a reasonable number of guests during the week--remarkable because the park wasn't open Monday and Tuesday.
As I've said before, the whole place can make money. All it needs is a fresh start and someone, anyone, in charge that has half an idea of how to run a resort, or even a business for that matter. If you knew even half of what went on in the background over the past few years, you'd understand why things are in the state they're in. The folks in charge of the show (a.k.a. "dynamic duo") just didn't know what they were doing.
I'm hoping that there will be some new intelligence and accounting with the new board. Time will tell, I guess...
Maybe that's the problem- maybe the people that have been running the place have been running it as an amusement park and not a resort. Maybe Conneaut would do better if a more informed group of people exploited the fact that it's really a small vacation destination? How else can it be explained that the hotel is booked on weekends? Obviously there are people that want to go there?