by Lindsey Heim
On November 1, 2013, the Hotel Lancaster proudly opened its doors and has impressed those in Lancaster, in addition to many visitors to the area. What is even more impressive, however, is the dedicated hard work and effort from four individuals led by John Meeder that has gone on behind the scenes of this incredibly transformed building.
“We have all been living it and breathing it every day for many months now. The intensity of what we’ve gone through for this project over the last several months is unmatched–unlike anything I’ve ever done.” Meeder shared. “This is especially true of John and Lori, our managing partners, who have worked around the clock to make this happen,” John is joined by Sam Wilsker, Vice President of Meeder Development, Lori Herr, General Manager of The Hotel Lancaster, and John N. Thomas, Director of Sales.
The Hotel Lancaster building, formerly The Brunswick Hotel, gave these entrepreneurs many initial challenges. They’ve worked very hard to re-invent the property’s reputation, through change of address, change of name, and most importantly, by constructing a new lobby at East Chestnut Street to give the new hotel a fresh new feel. There was a clearing away of blight and other long standing problems, both internally and externally.
Just over a year before this hard work started, the area surrounding the old Brunswick Hotel was a rough one. There had been a shooting, and both the building and its location were in poor condition. The dedication and hard work of The Hotel Lancaster team, combined with City and community support has put a great distance between the past and where this facility is now. It offers this area of the downtown a very bright future.
Today, the Hotel Lancaster pulls visitors from everywhere and contributes to Lancaster City’s economy every day. The new entrance and lobby area invites visitors and locals alike to come in and get acquainted with our facility. Currently, it has 134 rooms open and, upon renovation, will offer 221 rooms in total. As people visit the town for weddings, graduations, business functions, leisure, and conventions, The Hotel Lancaster serves as an excellent location for guests to experience all the different cultural offerings that downtown Lancaster has to offer.
The Hotel Lancaster team intends to purchase the property it in the summer of this year, which will provide them with yet another celebratory milestone. Upon taking ownership, they plan to add a restaurant on the corner, which will connect to the hotel and allow both Lancaster residents and out of town guests to experience their friendly service and great food.
The presence of The Hotel Lancaster is a critical component to making Lancaster City a stronger and more vibrant event and tourist destination. With the addition of another well run hotel facility in our downtown, The Hotel Lancaster brings new possibilities and capacity to our community to host a wide array of events. It also enables additional booking capacity for the Lancaster County Convention Center—which is within walking distance to The Hotel Lancaster. Increased conventions mean increased visitors to our community, which in turn will provide continued economic growth and opportunity.
With the combined hard work of each of Hotel Lancaster’s four partners, this area of downtown Lancaster has been transformed amazingly. In the future, we have even more transformations to look forward to, as well as the assured continued success of the wonderful town we all love so much.