Penn State in deal to sell on-campus hotels

The Penn Stater Hotel and Conference Center in State College is poised to change hands (photo/submitted).

Penn State trustees voted this week to move ahead with a deal to sell two on-campus hotels to a third-party operator, Ardmore-based Scholar Hotel Group.

  • Under the proposed agreement, Penn State would keep the land and lease it, while Scholar would buy The Nittany Lion Inn and Penn Stater Hotel and Conference Center in State College.
  • Details of the deal are still being worked out but it is expected to be finalized this fall.
  • Penn State decided to divest the hotels after a review of their operations.
  • The hotels pay for themselves, the university noted in a press release. But, the school said, other colleges with hotels have benefited from deals with third-party operators who invest in and modernize properties.
  • The Penn Stater has 300 rooms and suites, plus conference and event space.
  • The Nittany Lion Inn, which has been closed since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, has 223 rooms.

What’s Scholar Hotel Group: A company specializing in hotels in college towns.

  • Founded by Penn State graduate Gary Brandeis, Scholar Hotel already operates two hotels in Happy Valley: Hyatt Place State College and Scholar Hotel State College, which is part of Hilton’s boutique brand Tapestry Collection (as is The Yorktowne Hotel in downtown York).
  • Scholar’s other two hotels are near Syracuse University and West Virginia University.


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