Scholar Hotel Group is expanding again — here’s why that’s such good news


By Greg Woodman

Courtyard by Marriott State College. Credit: Marriott

The Scholar Hotel Group announced two new hotels in its local portfolio in August. The company bought Residence Inn by Marriott State College for $15.6 million and Courtyard by Marriott State College for $9.1 million from Apple Hotel LLC.

Residence Inn by Marriott State College  and Courtyard by Marriott State College will be joining Scholar Hotel Group’s other Happy Valley hotels Hyatt Place State College and Scholar Hotel State College and its notable recent additions of Penn State’s iconic Nittany Lion Inn and The Penn Stater.

Scholar Hotel Group’s founder and president Gary Brandeis is a 1988 Penn State graduate, and member of Beta Sigma Beta fraternity. He says that being involved in hospitality in State College is an opportunity to preserve historic buildings that are important to the Happy Valley community.

In an interview this spring with The Happy Valley Adventure Bureau, Brandeis said, “We need to protect and preserve the historic buildings downtown that are meaningful to the community and meaningful to the streetscape. We did that with the Scholar Hotel, which preserves a beautiful historic building on the outside, but the inside is totally reimagined.”

“We love the downtown area and we love that it is supported by one of the largest universities of the country … A vibrant downtown needs both new development and it needs the preservation of historic buildings. We are doing that here in State College and I believe that downtown State College’s best days are in front of us, not behind us.”

We here at HappyValleyIndustry are looking forward to seeing the progress.

Toftrees Golf Resort. Credit: Rushton

There are even more changes coming: recently reported that Toftrees is planning a major redevelopment project to upgrade and expand its 50-year-old property.

Proposed changes include a redeveloped “leisure and conferencing center,” with 150 hotel rooms within the 140,000 square-foot resort and surrounding grounds, according to a summary included in the meeting agenda.

Amenities would include meeting rooms and a conference center, the golf course and clubhouse, an outdoor pool, a 4,000-square-foot luxury spa, a restaurant, private dining room and additional outdoor spaces for events.

I say, bring on the infrastructure! Alumni cannot get enough of HappyValley and want to visit often, and these entrepreneurs are meeting the demand.


— Greg


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