LATROBE, PA.—Golfing legend Arnold Palmer and hospitality industry icon Bill Marriott yesterday teamed up to celebrate the opening of the SpringHill Suites Pittsburgh Latrobe hotel in Palmer’s hometown of Latrobe, Pa. The 109-room, all-suite, LEED-pursuing (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) hotel is a joint venture between Palmer Hospitality, L.P., Concord Hospitality Enterprises, one of the nation’s leading hotel developer/owner/operators, and private investor Keith H. McGraw of Sewickley, Pa. Concord Hospitality developed and will operate the hotel.
Among the green features are a guestroom energy management system, exhaust heat recovery system, light sensor system that extinguishes guestroom lights 30 minutes after the guest leaves the guestroom, LED lighting, water efficient fixtures in the bathrooms, white roof, high-performance windows, salt water pool, and ozone laundry system.
“We know our customers are very excited about [green building],” Marriott said during a news conference prior to the official opening. “It is a good thing for the environment.”
The hotel is Palmer’s first. “This is something I have wanted to do all my life,” Palmer said. “The land was once all farmland.”
Access to Palmer’s Latrobe Country Club
The new hotel bears the unique distinction of being the only hotel to offer guests an exclusive opportunity to play at Palmer’s Latrobe Country Club, a members-only golf club less than a mile from the hotel, where Palmer learned to play. SpringHill Suites Pittsburgh Latrobe is the latest of many economic and civic contributions that Palmer has made to the community where he was born and has spent much of his life.
A devoted philanthropist , Palmer’s local endeavors include The University Pittsburgh Medical Center’s Arnold Palmer Pavilion and the Winnie Palmer Nature Reserve, a community park dedicated to his late wife.
“I understand and appreciate Arnie’s dedication and deep connection to this area,” Marriott said. “It is an honor for us to be a part of this special destination. Concord is a great owner and operator of many of our Marriott branded hotels. I am proud to be a member of this great threesome.”
“The mid-priced, all-suite hotel concept is ideal for this market,” said Callette Nielsen, vice president and global brand manager, SpringHill Suites. “Our spacious suites with separate areas for sleeping, working and relaxing are well-suited for golfers and other leisure guests, as well as for business travelers visiting the area.”
Marriott said SpringHill Suites is his company’s fastest growing brand with 375 in the pipeline. It has been growing 36 percent year over year.
“For golfers, the Latrobe Country Club is a bucket-list destination, and to work with Arnold Palmer on this uniquely personal hotel endeavor is indeed a career highlight for me and a significant milestone for Concord,” said Mark Laport, president of Concord Hospitality.
Palmer Memorabilia Prominent Throughout Hotel
Palmer’s involvement with the hotel is evident the minute guests walk through the door. At the front desk, they are greeted by a mural of a green golf tee with an autographed, giant ball. The lobby itself is a showcase of Palmer memorabilia, including quotes and letters spanning his storied career, a replica of his Masters trophy, and a glass-top table embedded with bag tags from courses and tournaments around the world. The golf theme is carried out on each floor’s elevator lobby where floor to ceiling murals, featuring a montage of the world’s most famous courses, are depicted. In the bar, guests can enjoy viewing Palmer’s commemorative golf bag from the 1960 U.S. Open Championship and several pair of golf shoes.
The hotel’s board room features framed photos and letters from U.S. Presidents Dwight Eisenhower, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton reflecting Palmer’s prominence in American culture over the decades.
The smoke-free SpringHill Suites Latrobe is conveniently located for guests attending Latrobe Country Club events, as well as visitors to Pittsburgh Steelers training camp, St. Vincent College, Winnie Palmer Nature Reserve, Frank Lloyd-Wright’s Fallingwater, Idlewild and SoakZone amusement parks, historic Ligonier and the year-round activities in the Laurel Highland Mountains. It is located directly across from Kennametal’s national headquarters.