Gala celebrates Yorktowne Hotel's future
Leaders of the effort to renovate the Yorktowne Hotel unveiled on Thursday what they called a first glimpse of what the hotel will look like when it reopens in late 2018 or early 2019.
With 200-plus people on hand at York’s Valencia Ballroom, officials described plans to renovate and reopen the Yorktowne as a smaller hotel – but one that will remain the hub of business and social life in downtown York.
"It is a hotel, and it will have other uses within, but we want this to be the cherished community asset that it always has been," said Kevin Schreiber, president and CEO of the York County Economic Alliance, the county’s economic-revitalization organization.
The rooftop of the renovated hotel, for example, will be a place to gather with friends for a drink while enjoying a panoramic view of downtown York and beyond.
Nearby will be a "Hotel Yorktowne" sign, much like back when York's historic hotel opened nearly a century ago.
Street-level businesses will welcome visitors, people will enter via a glass staircase, and inside meeting space will be available for York groups and businesses.
A refurbished hotel also could give a boost to downtown York's revitalization efforts and countywide tourism, officials have said.
Sketches of what the hotel should look like, completed by York design firm abSketches, were unveiled during the event at the Valencia, a fundraiser for the Yorktowne renovation effort.
However, few new details about the new hotel emerged Thursday.
A 1957 addition to the hotel along Duke Street will be demolished, the overall hotel should have less square footage than it did before, and the historic façade will be preserved and restored, organizers said.
Less-visible improvements will include a new sprinkler system and better air conditioning.
The event, dubbed "Renovation Celebration," included a silent auction featuring historic Yorktowne items that were not available in a recent public sale at the hotel, held Memorial Day weekend.
Jack Kay, chairman of the IDA, told the crowd that he wants to see the same number of people in the Yorktowne's proposed rooftop lounge in a few years.
"With your help and support, I actually think it's possible," he said. "This shows that Yorkers can accomplish anything they set their minds to."
Yorktowne Hotel Unveiling video, courtesy of AbSketches