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Windber committee makes latest play for a hotel

December 27, 2018

For a few years now, officials on the Windber Area Economic Development Committee have been working diligently to bring a major hotel to the Windber area. They say the area is primed for a hotel, and visitors would bring some much-needed commerce to the area.

The committee’s latest effort to attract a hotel includes a book showcasing all that Windber and the surrounding area have to offer.

Committee member and Windber Borough Manager Jim Furmanchik said that 1st Team Advertising, of Johnstown, is preparing 300 copies of a book that includes photos and articles about Windber. It will also include local attractions that draw visitors who may stay in hotels, such as the Flight 93 National Memorial.

1st Team Advertising could not be reached for comment. Furmanchik said 250 books will be sent to potential investors and the 50 remaining books will be left at the Windber Municipal Building.

“It’ll have all of the schools, churches, our local events and our downtown area,” he said.

Schools and churches are often important for hotel construction because many people come from out of town for class reunions, weddings and graduations.

In total, the book project will cost $4,170, all of which will be paid by the committee.

“I don’t want any confusion about it. No taxpayer money went into this,” Furmanchik said.

“It was all paid by the economic development committee, which raised the funds through fundraisers.”

In August, the committee paid $8,000 for a study by Hospitality Marketers International to determine the viability of a hotel in Windber.

The study said that “Windber is a quality location for new hotel construction.”

The study said that Windber would support a hotel with about 75 rooms, a restaurant, a banquet hall, a pool and a gym.

In 2016, Cobblestone Hotels showed interest in building a 30- to 40-room hotel in Windber, but the company requires 30 to 40 percent of the construction costs from an investor.

A hotel of that size would cost about $4 million and require $1.2 million to $1.6 million from an investor.

The hotel would provide about 10 to 12 full-time jobs and 10 to 12 part-time jobs.

The book should be finished in January.

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