PA Lincoln Highway-era business to close

The Mountain View Hotel & Conference Center, a historic hotel and restaurant founded 1924, is expected to close on Sunday, saddening not only fans of roadside rests and historic hotels, but shocking brides and others who have receptions planned.

Located between old and new routings of the Lincoln Highway east of Greensburg, the popular local landmark was one of the last old-style county hotels along the LH in Pennsylvania. Situated atop a small ridge, it also was part of the tradition in the state of roadhouses that located on mountaintops to serve the boiling radiators of early autos. The P-G and Trib both carried the news. Updates ran here and here.

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The Trib noted that owner Vance Booher III blamed the recession as the most recent factor hurting business, and that his bank “has refused to extend a line of credit that would keep the hotel open. Unless he can obtain an emergency loan by the weekend, he will have ‘no feasible alternative but to cease all major operations.'” That does leave a slim window of hope for continued operation.

The inn’s 89 guest rooms are each uniquely decorated, from elegant 18th century to early American country. The original part of the inn survives along with its knotty pine paneling and great stone fireplace

Vance Booher purchased the inn in 1940 when only one of the original 40 upstairs rooms had running water. Private baths were added by knocking out walls and reducing the number of original rooms to 26.

Vance III took over in 1983 along with his wife Vicki. He has been recognized as an Advanced Certified Wine Professional by the Culinary Institute of America, one of only 16 such individuals in America and the first to be so recognized on the East Coast. Their sons were making it a fourth generation enterprise.

The Mountain View and its original 1925 outdoor pool (removed in 1973) served as a retreat for the wealthy of Pittsburgh until WWII, when it also  served as the social headquarters for Army Air Corps cadets training at the nearby airport in Latrobe, now Arnold Palmer Regional Airport (which lays atop the Lincoln Highway).

The website is still operational, with upcoming events listed. Let’s hope financing comes through to keep it going. It’s also a good reminder to patronize locally owned businesses when you can.

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6 Responses to “PA Lincoln Highway-era business to close”

  1. Mindy Crawford Says:

    This is such sad news. I have stayed there many times, most recently as part of the Lincoln Highway Heritage Cooridor’s Road Rally in September and actually have (had) reservations there for February 6th. I surely hope something can be done.

  2. Denny Gibson Says:

    Sad news and certainly “a good reminder to patronize locally owned businesses when you can”. I admit to missing opportunities here myself. I could not find current or recent rates but recall that they were toward the upper end of my acceptable range which means they were above my target range. But I’m not sure of that and it was on my list for a special stay or maybe even a trip with the Inn as a destination. There does seem to be some hope and, although similar things have happened before, it’s hard to imagine something like the Mountain View Inn just disappearing.

  3. Bob Dieterich Says:

    This would have made a great location for our 2012 conference. Sad to see places like this close because of the economy.

  4. Christian Says:

    This is such terrible news… I’ve known Mountain View Inn all my life. My parents’ wedding reception was there, as well as my aunt and uncle’s. I can remember accidentally knocking over the giant spinning wheel when I was about three years old… This will be a terrible loss for the Lincoln Highway. Something must be done to stop these great landmarks from disappearing. The Ship Hotel, Sleepy Hollow, and now Mountain View. All their stories end the same way. Hopefully someone will step in to save this historic landmark from total destruction, as was the case with Sleepy Hollow.

  5. Tom and Mary Lou Lockard Says:

    This is much different than some abandoned – though treasured – LH landmark passing from the scene. The Mountain View is a wonderful place to stay and eat, as we have on our trips along the LH corridor in Pennsylvania. Will anything be left along the LH for us to enjoy with our grandchildren?

  6. Christian Says:

    I think that the loss of an abandoned, run-down Lincoln Highway landmark is just as terrible as the closing of Mountain View Inn. When you pass a familiar landmark, the memories you have had there start rushing into your mind, a goldmine of joy, regardless of what can be enjoyed there at present. I think that’s the charm behind these landmarks: all the memories they inspire. Besides, all hope of rebirth for these landmarks is lost with their destruction. That is why this closure is not as bad as a fire or some similar disaster.

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