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Forgotten but elegant – The abandoned Penn Hills honeymoon resort in the Pocono Mountains

David Goran

Penn Hills Resort was a honeymoon resort located in community of Analomink, in Stroud Township, Monroe County, Pennsylvania, in the Pocono Mountains region near the Borough of East Stroudsburg.

Initially opened as a simple tavern in 1944, Penn Hills was almost completely rebuilt in 1955 after a summer of massive flooding.

By the 1960s, it had grown into a sizeable vacation destination, with 100 rooms spread out over 500 acres. There was a golf course for the summer and ski slopes and an ice rink for the winter.

The Poconos Penn Hills Resort is located right on the side of Route 447 in the Pocono Mountains region. Source

The Poconos Penn Hills Resort is located right on the side of Route 447 in the Pocono Mountains region. Source

 

The 500-acre resort was founded as a tavern but quickly expanded to become a full ski resort with a golf course, ice skating rink, wedding bell-shaped swimming pool. Source

The 500-acre resort was founded as a tavern but quickly expanded to become a full ski resort with a golf course, ice skating rink, wedding bell-shaped swimming pool. Source

It specialized in honeymoons and romantic vacations and, during the ’60s and ’70s, the resort continued to grow not only in size but popularity. Guest villas featured floor-to-ceiling carpeting, round beds, and heart-shaped bathtubs.

Distinctive, modernist streetlights from the 1964 World’s Fair were installed, as well as an ice rink and a wedding bell shaped outdoor swimming pool. It was titled as the ‘Paradise of Pocono Pleasure’ and was especially set for romantic excursions.

View of the Penn Hills Resort pool, shaped like a wedding bell, suffering neglect after the resort was abandoned. August, 2012. Source

View of the Penn Hills Resort pool, shaped like a wedding bell, suffering neglect after the resort was abandoned. Source

 

It expanded to over a hundred rooms by the 60s. Source

Amenities included carpeted walls, circular 4 post beds, classy heart shaped tubs and many others. Source

 

A heart-shaped whirlpool jacuzzi. Source

A heart-shaped whirlpool jacuzzi. Source

 

The resort catered especially to swingers, honeymooners, and young couples. Typical room in luxury honeymoon suite. Source

The resort catered especially to swingers, honeymooners, and young couples. Typical room in luxury honeymoon suite. Source

In 2009, Penn Hills co-founder Frances Paolillo died at the age of 102.

The resort closed less than 2 months after his death. Workers’ final paychecks were never issued, and the resort owed the county over $1 million in back taxes.

Already in serious disrepair, flooding and copper thieves damaged the buildings further, and the resort was abandoned. The hotel quickly fell into extreme disrepair.

When the Penn Hills Resort finally closed its doors in 2009. Source

The Penn Hills Resort closed its doors in 2009. Source

 

Upon closing, Penn Hills owed the county more than $1 million in back taxes and its employees never received their final paychecks. Source

Upon closing, Penn Hills owed the county more than $1 million in back taxes and its employees never received their final paychecks. Source

 

The empty and decaying resort is now a hotbed for vandalism. Source

The empty and decaying resort is now a hotbed for vandalism. Source

 

Abandoned tiki-themed bar at the Penn Hills Resort. Source

Abandoned tiki-themed bar at the Penn Hills Resort. Source

Some of the resort has been auctioned off; the golf course, ski resort and several undeveloped parcels of land have been sold.

The cottages, villas and other buildings on the hotel grounds remained untouched until March 2016, when Penn Hills Resort was finally sold.