No more delays: Yorktowne Hotel will soon reopen for business

Matt Enright
York Dispatch

No going back. No more delays. That's the message from the Yorktowne Hotel as it prepares to finally open later this month.

The nearly 100-year-old hotel in downtown York City will reopen for business with a ribbon cutting Jan. 31, managing director Michael Blum said during a tour of the 123-room hotel Thursday.

Not only is the ribbon cutting set for that date — which is also when guests will first be able to officially stay in the hotel — but the Yorktowne is planning a tour for the city's First Friday in February. People will be able to tour the hotel and see art installations by 12 local artists placed throughout the hotel.

The Davidson Lobby Bar is shown at The Yorktowne Hotel in York City, Thursday, Jan. 19, 2023. Dawn J. Sagert photo

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The only things left to do at the hotel are minor, Blum said. Everything will be functional, open to the public and ready to go for the Jan. 31 date, including the lobby bar and dining area, the WellSpan ballroom and the rooftop lounge, which has both indoor and outdoor capacity.

Closed since 2016 for renovation and originally slated to reopen in 2019, the Yorktowne Hotel, built in 1925, has seen ballooning costs — $54 million, an increase of 170% over the initial projected budget noted in state grant applications — and extensive delays.

"We think that it could be a very diverse space. It could be a cocktail party, it could be a sit-down, you could have portable bars," Blum said of the penthouse lounge. "We're going to be learning what we can do based on what the client is asking."

Other planned events include a grand opening gala in March as well as the wedding of a Yorktowne employee in February.

It's not the first time the Yorktowne has been projected to open; the opening date had been set for November 2022 but was pushed back because of supply chain issues with kitchen equipment.

"If you really boil it all down, it came down to kitchen equipment installing, receiving of kitchen equipment and specifically the challenge of receiving stainless steel," Blum said. "Once we got that here, boom."

The hotel currently employs 72 people, with the number expected to rise as the volume of business increases and summer approaches, he said.

The hotel incurred some additional costs from hiring staff for a planned November opening, but Blum wasn't able to give specific numbers. He did, however, say that it helped with training and development.

"We were able to fine-tune some things without guests arriving," he said, "so I feel like we're much better prepared on Jan. 31 as the result of some additional time and the associates have benefitted from it."

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Guests have been booking spaces for Jan. 31 and beyond, Blum said.

Local flavor is all over the hotel, from the art installations to pieces done by York Wallcoverings on each floor. The hotel also pays tribute to its past: A mural original to the opening, painted by Cornelius Hicks, hangs over the front lobby desk, and a still functioning letter box is available to take mail in the lobby as well.

There are also modern amenities all over the hotel, from the enhanced chargers in the rooms to the Hilton Honors quality fitness center equipped with Pelotons.

Pillows from outdoor furniture rest on chairs inside The Graham Rooftop Lounge to escape the rain at The Yorktowne Hotel, Tapestry Collection by Hilton, set to open Jan. 31, is shown in York City, Thursday, Jan. 19, 2023. Dawn J. Sagert photo

Though the hotel is still seeking tenants for its retail and restaurant space, the hotel will be able to serve food in a variety of ways, from room service to casual dining to table service.

"I just couldn't be more excited," Blum said. "It's long awaited."

When it opens, the Yorktowne Hotel will be part of the Hilton Tapestry Collection, run by GF Hotels. To reserve a room or event, visit the hotel's website.

— Reach Matt Enright via email at menright@yorkdispatch.com or via Twitter at @Matthew_Enright.