Penn Hills Resort: An Abandoned Resort in East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania

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The abandoned Poconos hotel is haunted by the legacy of romantic gimmicks and a fugitive who is violent.

Penn Hills Resort
(Photo Credit: Ray Moore/ Flickr via CC By-NC 2.0)

Honeymooning has been a long-standing custom across the United States. This is why numerous honeymoon resorts and hotels sprung into existence throughout the 20th century. Of course there were some places that were shut down or destroyed as time passes, eventually becoming abandoned. Penn Hills Resort in Pennsylvania is the topic in this piece.

Looking for a romantic place to celebrate your wedding? You should look no further than the now demolished Penn Hills Resort! The once-thriving honeymoon hotel located in Analomink, Pennsylvania, which included floor-to-ceiling flooring, oval beds, heart-shaped bathtubs and wedding bell-shaped pools was beginning to decay before a fire eventually destroyed it down.

Penn Hills Resort
(Photo Credit: Jonathan Haeber/ Flickr via CC BY 2.0)

If you find yourself in Analomink or on a route that was renamed “Paradise Trail,” follow the river as well as the freight railroad tracks , passing by the hanging ropes that hang from the trestle as well as the tiny post office There is an empty Penn Hills Resort.

Penn Hills once had two huge in-ground pools that resembled wedding bells. They are now smoldering like white blisters under the sun. The couples’ suites would have candy apple red heart-shaped Jacuzzis with mirrors, and the space for candle holders. The remnants of trash, graffiti, and grass are now lining the cracks in the cement of the tennis courts that are private along with an entire tree has grown to cover two courts.

(Photo Credit: Ray Moore/ Flickr via CC BY-NC 2.0)

In the Poconos there’s lots of excitement.

The Poconos could be a unique location for an actual honeymoon destination where most people would prefer to have their wedding in a tropical setting. But in the 1940s, luxurious resorts based on love located in the Poconos were the most popular honeymoon spot for newlyweds.

Honeymoons were becoming more popular towards the time the 1940s ended since sex was no any longer considered taboo, as it was prior to the start of the Second World War.

(Photo Credit: Cory Seamer/ Flickr via CC BY-NC 2.0)

Because of the beautiful mountains forests, streams, and mountains and forests, the Poconos were considered to be an ideal location for weddings. Water parks and ski resorts were beginning to appear throughout the Poconos which attracted tourists across the world.

In 1963 Life magazine dubbed the Poconos as the “World’s Honeymoon Capital.” It was said that the Poconos are a key contender against Niagara Falls as a honeymoon destination, drawing more than 100,000 couples every year. This led to the birth of love-themed resorts started popping everywhere in the region.

Penn Hills was a plush resort.

Penn Hills Resort
(Photo Credit: Ray Moore/ Flickr via cc by CC BY-NC 2.0)

Penn Hills Resort was one of the resorts that came into existence due to the Poconos”hearing boom. Penn Hills is situated within Analomink, Pennsylvania, began as a tavern back in 1944 before transforming into hotel that had more than one hundred rooms in the 1960s.

(Photo Credit: Cory Seamer/ Flickr via CC BY-NC 2.0)

Penn Hills Resort had two in-ground pools as well as an ice skating rink and a golf course and tennis courts for private use when the resort was in its prime. The resort also featured colourful cube lampposts from 1965-1964 World’s Fair in Queens.

Decline and closing

In the late 1990s and the into the 2000s, all romantic hotel chains in the Poconos began to decline. Reservations and bookings fell as guests sought for more modern alternatives. A number of Poconos resorts’ costs for maintenance started to surpass their revenues.

Frances Paolillo, the last of the Penn Hills co-founders, ended in 2009 dead, aged 101. Penn Hills closed its doors for good just two months later, and was then closed. Penn Hills owed Montgomery County more than $1.1 million in tax back when it announced the closure. The employees employed at Penn Hills did not receive their final pay checks either.

Penn Hills Resort
(Photo Credit: Cory Seamer/ Flickr via CC BY-NC 2.0)

The demise of Penn Hills Resort was no surprise to anyone living in Monroe County. Even though the resort was offering reservations through 2009. The resort looked more and more shabby over the time leading up to the eventual closing.

A few employees said that only few guests would be in the resort during weekends. “It’s like we work for a haunted hotel,” one employee said. Check-in and check-out are completed within less than 15 minutes. “I don’t want to be here,’ they tell the staff. This isn’t what I was expecting.'” Penn Hills was not maintained properly for a long time even after it was closed.

Penn Hills Resort
Nighttime view of the observation towers at the World’s Fair in Queens, New York, New York, June 1965. The New York State Pavilion’s ‘Tent Of Tomorrow’ can be seen on the bottom left. (Photo by Walter Leporati/Getty Images)

Monroe County had sold several smaller areas from Penn Hills by 2012. Stroud Township purchased the golf course and transformed it into a natural preserve. But, the majority of the resort was left un-sold decaying and vulnerable to vandals.

The main structure of the resort destroyed in September 2017. Arsonists destroyed the majority existing structures before the end of September in 2020. With the exception of one particular Penn Hills structure, all original Penn Hills structures have been removed.

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Penn Hills Resort
(Photo Credit: Jonathan Haeber/ Flickr via CC BY 2.0)

The Penn Hills Resort hit the news in October 2014 after police conducted a search of the abandoned resort in the course of a hunt to find Eric Frein. Frein was the culprit behind an assault on Pennsylvania State Police barracks in September 2014, resulting in a manhunt lasting 48 days.

(Photo Credit: Cory Seamer/ Flickr via CC BY-NC 2.0)

There was a rumor that Frein wrote his declarations on the icerink’s walls. If this was indeed the case, the writings have since been destroyed. Frein has been arrested and sentenced to be executed. The resort, designed for newlyweds is now just a memory.

(Photo Credit: Jonathan Haeber/ Flickr via CC BY 2.0)

After several years of complaints by residents, Stroud Township has begun to tear down its former Penn Hills Resort. Since it was closed, the once-popular tourist spot located on Route 447 has turned into an eye-sore and a security risk.

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Stroud Township leaders have asked the owners to tidy the area for at minimum two years, as per the township’s manager Daryl Eppley. “They’ve done nothing with the property,” Eppley said. “They’ve done nothing in terms of cleanup.”

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Residents as well as firefighters and officials from the community frequently voiced their displeasure with the deteriorating property. Stroud Township recently received court approval to clean and demolish the property on their own “because the owners didn’t do it themselves,” Eppley stated.

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A man stands in front of the fence of the property, spray paint on some of the buildings. Residents say that over the years after the property’s closure, the property has turned into a refuge for criminals and explorers.

The risks here are endless The dangers here are endless, according to Eppley. Unclosed wells and fragments of glass are scattered across the floor. “If a crime is committed, or if someone is alone up there and something bad happens to him – who knows when they’ll be found?”

Debris piles in large quantities cover in the Penn Hills property, including broken glass, cinderblocks, old cement and planks of wood.

Fences surround the entire route 447, but they do little to stop trespassers from entering the area According to Eppley.

Penn Hills Resort closed in 2009 after the co-founder, Frances Poalillo, died at the age of 101. Since since then, the property has worsened.

A number of fires have been reported at the site in recent months Many of them, residents believe were deliberately set with intent. “It’s been rumored for a long time,” said Tom Swope, president of the Stroud Township Fire Department. “It seems like every year we end up there.” Eppley said he was not aware of any electrical sources in the property that could trigger the fire.

Every incident that occurs at Penn Hills costs the Stroud Township Fire Department “a lot of hours and a lot of equipment,” according to Tom Swope, president of the Stroud Township Fire Department. “Because we’re all volunteers, everyone works a regular job.” However, they still need to rise and do their work.”

“Stay off that property,” Eppley recommended. “Something bad is going to happen up there. There are just trespassers who go up there, not realizing how vulnerable they are to being injured or killed. That’s how bad it is.”

According to Eppley the owners are accountable for all accidents that happen within the property. Massive piles of debris present the risk of injury to trespassers and firefighters who have been summoned to the property regularly throughout the years after the resort’s closure.

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