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Gateway Gettysburg opens first hotel

Richard D. L. Fulton
Emmitsburg Dispatch

(3/25) - The build-out of the 180-acre, Gateway Gettysburg project officially began with the Feb. 1 ribbon-cutting ceremony marking the opening of the 152-room Marriott Courtyard Gettysburg.

About 50 Monahan Group and Courtyard staff, management and guests gathered for the opening of this first of the Gateway Gettysburg facilities. Robert J. Monahan, Jr., president of The Monahan Group, and Ryan Lee, general manager of the Courtyard, jointly "cut the ribbon" and the hotel opened for business at 3 p.m. that afternoon.

The Courtyard represents the first in a series of facilities planned to open this year at Gateway, including an eight-screen theater, another hotel and a conference center.

In addition to its 152 guest rooms, the hotel offers guests complimentary high-speed Internet access, an indoor pool and whirlpool, an exercise room, business center, valet dry cleaning, guest laundry, two meeting rooms and a boardroom.

Food service is available in a café and a 24-hour food market. Guests can also relax in a lounge and bar area equipped with a plasma screen television and fireplace. Near the lounge is an area equipped with computers with Internet access for patron use.

Monahan told The Dispatch that the new hotel, whose construction began in early 2005, would employ about 70 individuals. Asked about bookings, Monahan said, "We already have 94 reservations for the weekend (following the ribbon-cutting)."

Another 250 rooms will be added to the total available accommodations at Gateway Gettysburg in August when the six-story Wyndham Gettysburg is completed, according to Monahan. Work on the Wyndham started last summer.

That hotel will feature a 10,000 square foot ballroom with banquet seating for as many as a thousand guests at one time for dinner, and 20,000 square feet of flexible meeting space. The facility will also offer a lobby bar lounge, private dining rooms, a gift shop, laundry and laundry services, safe-deposit boxes and room service.

Monahan said that the land for the entire Gateway Gettysburg project was acquired in late-1996 from Adams County. When everything is finished, the entire development will have cost around $300 million, Monahan told The Dispatch.

Gateway Gettysburg will ultimately have four hotels when completed, as well as two restaurants and possible retail establishments. Work on the third hotel is slated to commence during the latter part of this year.

"We will be the fifth largest hotel facility for meetings and conference space in the Gettysburg area, Monahan noted, adding that, in addition, the entire complex will employ a projected 1,000 individuals.

"Gateway Gettysburg will offer a new dimension to tourism in Gettysburg. In addition to the two million tourists (the town and battlefield normally experience), there will be more interest among the business community" to take advantage of the new facilities, Monahan stated.