The Hilton Scranton & Conference Center has received enthusiastic support from the national hotel chain whose name it proudly bears. Hilton Hotels Corporation issued a statement Tuesday afternoon to emphasize that it expects Scranton’s newest downtown hotel to be a major part of the city’s future. “We are 100 percent behind Spectrum Origination, LLC and Boykin Management Group. We are certain they will continue to make the Hilton Scranton & Conference Center the finest facility of its kind in the entire Scranton area,” said Jeff Diskin, senior vice president, Hilton brand management. “Based on its substantial progress in 2005, we are extremely confident this excellent hotel and conference center will prosper for many years to come.”
On July 6, Spectrum—the New York-based lender that financed the construction of the $33 million hotel—and the hotel’s ownership group, Scranton Hotel, L.P., jointly filed papers in Lackawanna County Court to implement a “consensual foreclosure” of the property. The hotel will continue to operate normally throughout the transition to new ownership, which could happen as early as September. Spectrum has expressed its intent to acquire the property. In their first effort to set the hotel on the best path to success, Scranton Hotel, L.P., with approval from Spectrum Origination, retained Boykin Management Group to run the day-to-day operations of the facility in December, 2004.
The efforts of Boykin’s staff and management were recognized this spring during a conference of Hilton Hotels Corporation general managers and sales directors at the Toyota Center in Houston. Of 230 Hilton Hotels in the United States, the Hilton Scranton & Conference Center received the award for “Best Physical Condition Hotel.”
The award recognizes the two-year-old facility as being one of the most modern and well-maintained Hilton properties in the country. The hotel was one of only 25 hotels company-wide to receive an award at the conference.
“We want everyone in the Scranton community to know that the hotel continues to maintain the highest level of accommodations and services for all of our guests,” said General Manager Ron Wojcik. “Our hotel has been fortunate to receive a prestigious national award from Hilton, and we have pledged to meet those high standards every single day.”
Other positive changes are also being implemented at the two-year-old hotel, including the addition of new “Hilton Serenity Bed” as part of a nationwide Hilton plan to provide guests with the most comfortable accommodations possible. The hotel also expects to receive a significant boost this fall when the City of Scranton is scheduled to complete its long-overdue parking garage on Adams Avenue.
Boykin Management has made great progress since taking over the facility seven months ago. Under Boykin’s direction, the hotel’s occupancy rate has grown by 20 percent from January through May, 2005, compared to the same period in 2004. The hotel has also experienced a 15 percent increase in revenue so far in 2005. Bookings for banquets and conferences have also increased for 2005 and succeeding years.
“Our goal is to provide the best lodging, banquet and hotel experience possible for all of our guests. That is the case today and that will be the case for years to come as we look forward to our long-term commitment to downtown Scranton,” Mr. Wojcik said.