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Changes Underway as Atherton Hotel Becomes Graduate State College

by on July 05, 2019 2:23 PM

A new hospitality brand is taking up residence in downtown State College. 

Graduate Hotels is known for its growing number of properties in college towns across the United States and now the brand finally makes its way to Happy Valley, just steps from Penn State’s campus. The brand and its properties have been described by leading publications as “well-designed oases in college towns” and “hotels that double as hyper-local storytelling vessels.” 

Graduate State College takes over the previous Atherton Hotel at 125 S. Atherton St. In October 2018, the company acquired the 31-year-old hotel, which continued operating independently until May. 

“During that time, the team… continued to work endlessly to create what will be Graduate State College,” general manager Harry Jones said. “We’re excited for the opportunity to re-imagine a local landmark. For years, locals and returning guests knew this building as a community gathering place. It will be that and much more when we open Graduate State College.”

Jones expects Graduate State College to make its official debut late this summer. Currently, the previous shell of the Atherton Hotel is under renovations to complete its transformation under the new ownership.

“The property is currently undergoing an extensive renovation featuring a newly-designed lobby and public spaces as well as all new guest rooms,” Jones said. “Changes includ[e] new meeting space, two separate lobby areas for work and mingling and our brand’s very own café featuring specialty coffee and a menu to pay homage to our local roots. 

“The guest rooms have been thoughtfully-curated to celebrate nearby Pennsylvania State University and its surrounding communities. No detail has been overlooked. Lastly, but certainly not least, the outside building improvements and re-design will be a reflection of the exciting changes within.”

The hotel is still open and accepting guests during renovations, according to its Facebook page.

Jones said that once Graduate State College makes its big reveal, visitors can expect a design that reflects State College and Penn State.

“The goal is to create design that keeps guests curious and in a constant state of discovery throughout their Graduate State College stay,” he said 

The hotel also will feature a 24-hour fitness center, complimentary bike rentals and Poindexter Coffee, which will be a cafe by day and wine bar by night. 

Graduate Sate College will be pet friendly, offering a free stay and complimentary BarkBox treats for four-legged guests.

Visitors also will find complimentary WiFi and Malin + Goetz brand bath amenities.

If a look at the brand’s other properties are any indication of what’s to come, visitors to the area will enjoy an elegant, upscale environment, with touches of collegiate charm that hearken back to classic older days of higher education. The few glimpses of the property-to-come’s style that can be gleaned through released interior photos promise plenty of Penn State blue and white, sophisticated renderings of the beloved Nittany Lion and nods to the school’s prowess in particular sports.

Bookings for fall stays at Graduate State College are being accepted at www.graduatehotels.com/state-college

Photo by Sam Oberter

Photo by Sam Oberter

Photo by Sam Oberter

 



Holly Riddle is a freelance food, lifestyle and entertainment writer. She can be reached at [email protected]
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