MIDDLE SMITHFIELD TOWNSHIP — A well-known resort in the Poconos has closed. Fernwood Hotel and Resort shut its doors because of financial reasons.
Now employees are out of jobs and future guests will have to find other places to book their events.
At first glance, Fernwood Hotel and Resort in Bushkill appears like it’s open. A sign outside reads “Locals…Welcome..Hotel rooms $79 and up… Now Booking.”
When you go inside the resort lobby, the fireplace is still going and posters of upcoming events still hang on the walls.
Then guests came across a sign, telling them the Gamezone is closed.
“It’s a shock,” said Mahtahnah Mackay of Bushkill.
The guests are nowhere to be found and a restaurant nearby is dark and empty.
The marketing manager tells Newswatch 16 Fernwood Hotel and Event Center is closed because of financial reasons.
In a statement, he says: “Ownership is looking to make improvements to Fernwood to make it a viable property for the future. Current plans looking to reopen for the summer of 2014.”
“I don’t understand how they can just shut down like that. They made a lot of money here,” said Mackay.
Mackay was about to book a party at Fernwood and now she’s glad she didn’t. But she feels for those who reserved space for a celebration.
“Not so much angry because I don’t have money in here to lose it, but for everybody around that had things going on. Things that are upcoming, upset for them,” said Mackay.
Newswatch 16 ran into several employees at Fernwood. No one wanted to go on camera. But one woman did speak with us off camera. She says everyone found out about the closure Monday afternoon. Her reaction, she says, is she’s heartbroken that Fernwood had to end like this.
That employee wouldn’t explain how all 40 employees were alerted about the closure. But other employees say they were told only through text message.
Fernwood’s marketing manager says the reason for the text is, “Management felt because most employees did not work that day it was better to contact them directly by phone or text message then to have them spend finances on having them come in that day,”.
While Fernwood’s Hotel and Event center is closed, the Villas and Snowtubing Hill are still open because they’re owned by a separate group.
We did reach a bride who had her wedding booked at Fernwood after Easter.
She says Fernwood is helping her right now to try to find another venue in the Poconos.