In the state of Pennsylvania, there is the famous Poconos region (also known as the Pocono Mountains) located near Stroudsburg. In the early 1940s, hotels began to spring up in the area, many of them structured around the theme of love.
At that time, having a honeymoon was very fashionable among newlyweds. The Poconos region immediately found its place in this lucrative market. The region advertised throughout the country, including in New York. By the 1960s, it had become known as the “capital of the world for honeymooners.”
The Penn Hills resort was owned by Italian immigrants Francis and Charles Paolillo. Initially, in the 1950s, the resort was not particularly successful. It didn’t help that Charles passed away in 1953 and then in 1955, a flood occurred that severely damaged most of the property.
However, Francis and her son rebuilt the resort and expanded it. Its popularity soon started growing. The resort billed itself as “Pocono’s Paradise of Pleasure” and offered guests a stay of “unbridled passion.”
Modest New Year parties were also held there where the hotel claimed: “no balloon goes unpopped.”
Penn Hills Resort eventually became one of the most popular destinations for newlyweds, and it boasted 100 honeymoon rooms. The surrounding area of 500 acres also accommodated a golf course, several bars, a wedding bell-shaped pool, an ice rink, and a ski resort.
Penn Hills was carpeted floor-to-ceiling. The rooms had circular beds and heart-shaped bathtubs.
Demand for “love-themed” hotels began to decline in the late 1990s. The cost of maintaining such extravagant hotels started to exceed the revenues. In addition, more modern options began to appear on the market, so honeymooners turned to them instead.
As a result, many love resorts ended up being closed. Some hotels were even torn down.
Penn Hills Resort gradually declined until its official closure in 2009, two months after the passing of the owner Frances Poalillo at the age of 102. The resort had $1 million in tax arrears, and final wages were not issued to employees upon closure.
The resort became the property of Monroe County due to the unpaid taxes. After the buildings were seriously damaged, the resort was considered abandoned. In 2012, Monroe County sold several plots in the former Penn Hills resort.
In 2016, several New York investors acquired the rest of the property for $400,000.
In the fall of 2017, a fire occurred in the former resort. The main building burned to the ground. After another fire occurred at the end of 2017, the buildings were demolished.
Currently, there are plans to build a new Heritage Center.
Before its demolition, Penn Hills was a pretty interesting attraction for lovers of abandoned places. Graffiti covered the tennis courts and the walls of some of the buildings.
Mold appeared in the pool, as well as on many items of furniture and up the carpeted walls. Mirrors were smashed, and cement became broken up, the gaps filling up with grass.
This abandoned resort was also briefly visited by a violent criminal. Eric Frein, a man responsible for police fatalities, was on the run and hid in this particular hotel. There are rumors that Eric wrote his manifestos on the walls.
But such writing, as well as the graffiti and the mold that covered the rest of the walls has now been razed to the ground. This hotel that once hosted so many happy newly-weds is now no more.
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