Hilton Harrisburg sold to Greenwood Hospitality

June 29. 2012 1:00PM - Last modified: June 29. 2012 1:18PM

Jason Scott

Harrisburg Hotel Corp., the hospitality affiliate of Harristown Enterprises has been acquired by Colorado-based Greenwood Hospitality Group, effective Friday.

The deal includes the sale and management of the 341-room Hilton Harrisburg on Second Street, a catalyst of downtown revitalization in Harrisburg.

Greenwood also obtains nearby Bricco restaurant, part of the hospitality portfolio, and management of the 99-room Hilton Garden Inn Hershey. The Garden Inn retains separate ownership not affiliated with Harristown.

The Hilton was purchased for $22.2 million, according to Dauphin County property records.

Thomas Conran, a Greenwood principal, said the hotel investment and management firm will retain senior leadership and all staff at the Hilton Harrisburg. Bill Kohl, current president and CEO, has been added as the fourth principal at Greenwood.

General Manager Joe Massaro will continue in that capacity, officials said.

The hotel employs about 400 people and has annual sales revenue of more than $20 million, Kohl said. He estimates the hotel's economic impact at five times the revenue.

Greenwood plans to invest up to $5 million in renovations of the downtown hotel, Conran said. Design work will get under way immediately.

Changes to the hotel, which will include upgrades to rooms and public spaces, should be done within three years, he said. The group also has agreed to a long-term commitment to maintain the Hilton brand name, he said.

The deal has been in the works for about a year, officials said. Greenwood was not going to be "jaded" by the city's fiscal crisis, which includes more than $326 million of incinerator debt, Conran said.

"The best days of Harrisburg are ahead," he said.

The private deal removes about $17 million in city-guaranteed debt, Mayor Linda Thompson said.

Harristown President and CEO Russ Ford said the deal will free up resources for the company to reinvest in the downtown. It also owns the mixed-use Strawberry Square shopping center.

Exactly what will be next for Harristown has not been decided, Ford said.

Vice President Brad Jones said there could be opportunities to convert older office properties into residential uses in the downtown.

This is Greenwood's first Pennsylvania hotel. Conran said the firm is "very opportunistic" and would consider other real estate deals in the region.

This item was modified from its previous version to include the price of the transaction.


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