Cobblestone Hotel and Suites
The Progress Fund really understood what we were doing. They got it. … You need to present something that’s realistic to them. You’ve got to do your homework. And the process, I think, was informative to us as well.
The nearest exit ramp comes off of a bike trail. The big entertainment draw? A river. No airport, just an Amtrak station. Connellsville wasn’t like the other places in which Tom Rosselot had built hotels during 25 years in development. But he loved it. Once a coke oven capital, Connellsville was reemerging as a linchpin of the Great Allegheny Passage, and Tom says he and his son, Chris, “really saw this as an opportunity to prove a point. We loved the idea of a hotel benefiting the community.”
Tom engaged hotelier Cobblestone, and then hunted for funding. The Progress Fund, says Tom, brought to the table “a historical data set of what the return was going to be to the community, the Laurel Highlands and Fayette County.” That helped them to enlist The Reinvestment Fund and Bridgeway Capital, and together the organizations crafted a $3.57 million loan package.
None of the 16 new employees of the 54-room Cobblestone Hotel and Suites Connellsville looks askance when guests check in and then order a beer without even dismounting their bicycles. Travelers then fill nearby eateries to capacity, before returning to relax at the hotel bar, in the pool or on the patio overlooking the Youghiogheny River. “It’s a neat, neat vibe,” says Tom. “It’s really a lot of fun. Even with the uniqueness of the property, the Cobblestone brand philosophy of excellence, quality service and clean comfortable guest rooms will ultimately dictate the success of our hotel!”
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