SHAMOKIN, Pa. -- Two new hotels, a medical center, and more are coming to Shamokin. State grant money means a big boost in business for this city in Northumberland County.
This is all part of the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program, state grant money designated for improvement projects. At least four buildings will be torn down in Shamokin to make room for new businesses.
Shamokin has seen its share of blighted buildings. There are run-down properties all over the city, but now a $3 million state grant will help clean things up.
"A lot of buildings that have lost their purpose will be vital again to the economy of the city," said Shamokin Mayor John Brown. "The buildings that they have chosen to put the medical facility at have been a blighted structure for probably ten years or better."
The former Coal Hole bar will be turned into a 40-room hotel. The building is partially collapsed and has been vacant for many years.
One group of people excited for the hotels are the folks from the Anthracite Outdoor Adventure Area.
"The whole idea behind the concept of the Anthracite Outdoor Adventure Area is economic development. And yes, we've been asked how come this hasn't happened, why hasn't this opened up? It needs to take time," said Dave Porzi.
Out of town guests at the adventure area currently stay at the park's campground or hotels in surrounding communities.
"We are really excited about that because now we can take that user and that tourism dollar and keep that right here in Northumberland County," Porzi said.
The mayor is looking forward to the jobs and foot traffic these new businesses could bring.
"With people parking, coming to see the doctors, and that type of thing, to also stopping at our restaurants and hopefully bringing other businesses on the tail end of it," Brown said.
According to Shamokin officials, demolition is scheduled to start later this year. The medical facility is set to open next fall.