Concern in the Poconos as Former Resort Burns Again

STROUD TOWNSHIP -- Charred wood covers the former Penn Hills Resort property the day after a fire destroyed its main building.

"One of our concerns was it was going to burn into the woods," said Schott Reickart.

Scott Reickart's son-in-law owns land that borders the old resort and Reickart witnessed Monday's fire, another fire in 2016, and a fire set by someone in 2014.

When a group of New York investors bought Penn Hills two years ago, they promised to restore the resort, but they never started and sold it in May.

The buildings at the old resort that still stand have been vandalized and they're rotting and dilapidated. Inside, rooms have been trashed, with furniture turned over, broken glass, broken mirrors. It's hard to believe the rooms will ever be honeymoon suites again.

Robyn Orsargos is a realtor in Stroudsburg, concerned that the mess leaves a bad first impression.

"They're visiting, and they drive by this and it looks bad," Orsargos said.

Stroud Township firefighters spent the day cleaning up after the fire, which they fear won't be the last.

"It has the potential to happen again as long as the building is there," Stroud Township Fire Capt. Jim Scullion said.

When Newswatch 16 tried to find out if Stroud Township leaders will press for a cleanup of the Penn Hills property, Township Supervisor Darryl Eppley said he was too busy to talk.

"This was beautiful," Scott Reickart said, adding that the beauty is gone and he fears the buildings won't be torn down soon.

"To get rid of all the debris and everything? Oh, my God, it would take millions."

The former resort was sold from one New York investment group to another in May.

We tried to reach current owners PFA Resort and Hotels, but the company does not have a listed phone and the names of its principal owners are not on the property deed.

11 comments

  • 80 years old and thank GOD

    more things happened here back in the day than anyone wants to talk about. And if I talk about them this post will be down in 5 minutes or less.

  • Fredric

    ACCOLADES TO NEPA 16’s Dave Bohman for the in depth professional job. ..

    With a history of fires and possibly drug dealing and squatters, Stroud can force a demolition at the cost of loosing tax income. ..

    Please, spare me the image babble from the real estate people. They are the problem here. Had they found industry and other uses, this land would not continue to concern fire officials even after THREE FIRES in three years. The land would be operational and have its own security. Tell Ms. Robyn to get off her chair and do something other than tell us why this one site is destroying all real estate values regionally….oh, and incidentally making her paycheck smaller.

    Stroud township can join Ms Robyn on the wall of shame.

    • RicU.

      Scammers,

      There will be NO INSURANCE CLAIM as a claim would create an investigation which would take years. The will only be a quick application for demotion which will be swiftly approved and a donation of $5,000 to $10,000 to each fire company responding along with the mandatory letter of heart felt thanks for their efforts.

      Then the reconstruction begins with the sale of the property for a major profit.

      NO INSURANCE CLAIM… NO ARSON INVESTIGATION.

  • Fredric

    As mention in the first report, this is the way to eliminate building code violations. As stated in the article, a fire save huge amounts on clean up. I’ve seen this before. Watch for the application for building permits to be filed next year and approved in 2019.

      • wesa

        ceeme: because tourism is a horrible industry that only provides minimum wage jobs for the most part, puts great strain on the local infrastructure and in most cases sends the profits out of the area. Places like the Poconos, Atlantic City etc remain an economic nightmare because if this.

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