After six long years and $52 million, Yorktowne Hotel reopens for business

Matt Enright
York Dispatch

A York County icon has finally reopened for business.

Downtown York's Yorktowne Hotel, nearly 100 years old, reopened for business Tuesday with a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

"Very excited," managing director Michael Blum said after the ceremony. "Could not be more excited to introduce this fully restored, historic property to the community. As you can tell, the outpouring from the community is just overwhelming."

Tuesday's ribbon-cutting was attended by a who's who of York County, including York City Mayor Michael Helfrich, York County District Attorney Dave Sunday, President Commissioner Julie Wheeler and Commissioners Doug Hoke and Ron Smith.

MORE:No more delays: Yorktowne Hotel will soon reopen for business

MORE:Private services planned for Jon and Tim Kinsley, victims of avalanche

MORE:York County coroner: Gun violence should be treated as a public health epidemic

The Yorktowne Hotel, which closed in 2016, was initially supposed to reopen in 2019. Various delays pushed its opening to 2023 and ballooned its budget to $52 million, 170% of the anticipated cost.

But people were all smiles as the 123-room hotel reopened for business.

"We all have a Yorktowne story, and today, you are all part of it," Kevin Schreiber, CEO and president of the York County Economic Alliance, said during the ceremony.

Speakers at the ceremony paid tribute to all of those who had helped the Yorktowne along to its opening day. That included local business executives and philanthropists Jon and Tim Kinsley, who were killed in an avalanche last week. Kinsley Construction was a contractor on the project.

"This project would not have been possible without the Kinsley family," Schreiber said, "our community was rocked last week by the tragic loss of both Tim and Jon, both of whom were integral to this project, both of whom shall be missed, and we hope that this building stands as but one of many tributes to the Kinsley family and the legacy of Mr. Bob Kinsley, Jon and Tim Kinsley."

A round of applause from attendees followed those words.

>> Please consider subscribing to support local journalism. 

As the event went on, employees at the front desk were checking people in for their stays. Blum said the hotel was nearly full for Tuesday night.

“We did it,” exclaimed York County Economic Alliance Director of Strategic Development Kim Hogeman as she speaks during the ribbon-cutting ceremony for The Yorktowne Hotel, Tapestry Collection by Hilton, in downtown York City, Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2023. Dawn J. Sagert photo

"In 1925, York's Chamber of Commerce undertook a community fundraising effort and campaign so that York could have a proper downtown hotel," Schreiber said. "It is fitting that today, we open this community hotel nearly one century later, once again driven by this York community."

The reception afterward even included a sly reference to the long and often tumultuous journey the opening took: a signature cocktail with cognac, creme de cacao and cream.

The name? "Le Tant Attendu," or "The Long Awaited."

Special credit was also paid to Kim Hogeman, YCEA project manager, whose wedding later in February will be the first at the hotel.

"Thank you, York, we did it!" Hogeman exclaimed during the ribbon cutting ceremony to applause and cheers from the crowd.

More:Who was Morgan Daub, the woman at heart of family's planned suicide?

More:Central York faces a new thorny issue: How much oversight parents have over lessons

More:Peoples Bank Park job fair to feature dozens of employers

Jack Kay, the York County Industrial Development Authority chairman, joked that he'd gone from a sexagenarian to a septuagenarian throughout the renovation process, which drew laughs from the crowd.

"I love the design process, the physical construction and watching thousands of tradesmen do their thing," Kay said. "The combination of this effort was to fulfill our initiative, which was to save this cherished community asset by preserving its historical character and transforming it to serve York for the next 100 years, incorporating the design, state of the art technologies, operating efficiencies and desirable amenties."

The hotel will be run by GF Hotels and, as announced by Hilton representative Jenna Hackett, is the 100th in the hotel brand's Tapestry Collection, which also drew a big round of applause.

To book a stay at the Yorktowne hotel or check out its amenities, including a penthouse bar and several event spaces, visit the hotel's website.

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