Log Cabin Lodge & Suites
They’ve been a major part of providing that entrepreneurial funding that’s more than just lending on a piece of real estate. I think that The Progress Fund does a lot to bridge that void. Everybody’s been very approachable and very easy to talk to.
After populating his Living Treasures Laurel Highlands animal park with everything from Alligators to Zebras, Tom Guiher realized that the Donegal area didn’t have all the services that humans want. Right off of the Pennsylvania Turnpike, the area is a gateway to the state’s wildest playgrounds, but lacked premier accommodations. Tom built a 24-room white pine lodge, but felt he could lure high-end and multi-family guests with an array of upscale suites.
“The nature of banking has changed over the years,” says Tom. So rather than just mortgaging everything, Tom honed his plans at the Seton Hill Small Business Development Center. Then he got a $400,000 loan through The Progress Fund, including $200,000 from Pennsylvania’s First Industries Fund.
Tom’s suites have higher occupancy rates than his lower-priced rooms, and he has hired to handle the business. “We have family reunions,” he says. “We have ski clubs that come. We have kayak clubs that come.” Whether they stay in the Eagle’s Nest, Bear’s Den, Timber Wolf or one of five other suites, guests get the flavor of the Highlands. There’s nothing wild, though, about the big-screen TVs, billiards tables and fully-equipped kitchens. The hot tubs? Those may get wild.The Progress Fund is an equal opportunity provider and employer.