February 2 – JOHNSTOWN, Pa. – Keystone Hospitality has completed the purchase of Holiday Inn Johnstown-Downtown, marking one of the largest private financial investments in the central business district in years.
The LLC purchased the property from Pasquerilla Enterprises in an online auction last year.
No official sale price was announced after Monday’s close. The paperwork had yet to be formally filed with the Cambria County Recorder of Deeds as of Tuesday. But the starting bid was known to be $1.7 million, a sizable minimum price for a building in Johnstown.
“It’s a good day for Johnstown because you have a group of buyers making a major investment in Johnstown,” said Mark Pasquerilla, president and CEO of Pasquerilla Enterprises.
“And they also agree to make it a hotel asset, and they also agree to invest money in the property to maintain the Holiday Inn license. Their standards are very high.”
Inderpal Singh, owner of Keystone Hospitality, could not immediately be reached for comment.
The 159-room full-service hotel, which was managed by Crown American Associates until the sale, opened at 250 Market St. in 1973. More than one million guests have stayed at the property, including international movie stars Paul Newman and Tom Cruise. when they were shooting “Slap Shot” and “All the Right Moves” respectively.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency used the building as headquarters after the Johnstown flood of 1977.
It is also home to Harrigan’s Café & Wine Deck, winner of several Wine Spectator awards.
“I really enjoyed it all,” Pasquerilla said. “I’m a food and wine guy. I’m an outgoing guy and I love to welcome people who visit our city. It was a great experience for me and my family. I think we had great employees. “
‘Good thing to do’
Pasquerilla said now is the time to move on.
Pasquerilla Enterprises also recently announced that its subsidiary, Crown Conventions Center Co., will no longer operate the city-owned Frank J. Pasquerilla Conference Center. Thus, Crown American now only has its headquarters downtown and the Holiday Inn Express in Richland Township.
“I just think it was the right thing for our business and me personally,” Pasquerilla said.
“I think the hotel has kind of passed on to the next generation because they’re maintaining the Holiday Inn flag. It felt like the right thing to do at the time. It was a personal decision.”
Holiday Inn Johnstown-Downtown is Cambria County’s largest lodging establishment. It plays an important role in city tourism and business, especially at events such as Showcase for Commerce, Thunder in the Valley, the All American Amateur Baseball Association Tournament, and the Ameri-Serv Flood City Music Festival.
“Obviously our main interest was to ensure that it continues to be a good, viable downtown accommodation property with the change in ownership,” said Lisa Rager, general manager of Visit Johnstown, a organization that promotes regional tourism.
“It’s different, just because of the history with Crown Hotels who have operated it for so many years, since I’ve been in the business.
“We look forward to continuing on the right path and working with the new owner and the management team.
“The goal is to continue as we have been and ensure this is a quality downtown accommodation property.”
Linda Thomson, president and CEO of Johnstown Area Regional Industries, described the hotel as “very important to our economy.”
“It really is a great opportunity to continue, and we really appreciate their investment,” said Thomson.