POCONO MOUNTAINS, PA — On April 18, Rep. Matt Cartwright (PA-08) joined representatives from global lifestyle brand Margaritaville to announce a project that could help connect northeastern …
POCONO MOUNTAINS, PA — On April 18, Rep. Matt Cartwright (PA-08) joined representatives from global lifestyle brand Margaritaville to announce a project that could help connect northeastern Pennsylvania to the world beyond.
Margaritaville, inspired by the songs of Jimmy Buffet, consists of a range of hotels and branded real estate, including 25 lodging locations and over 20 projects in the works, complemented by a wide selection of food and beverage concepts.
The core of the Pocono Mountains project comes from the brand’s plan to develop its first Margaritaville Resort Village. The village will be located in the Pocono Mountains and will begin construction in 2023 with an expected completion date in 2024.
Once constructed, that village will be one passenger-rail service stop along the way of Cartwright’s plan of providing rail service to Northeast Pennsylvania.
Cartwright has pushed throughout his time in office to restore passenger rail service between Scranton and New York City. He held an event in January with the Scranton political and business community to discuss how the area could use President Biden’s Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act to fund that effort.
“We know that putting our area back on the rail map will grow businesses, create jobs and boost tourism, bringing in billions of dollars in economic development. I’m proud to stand with local, state and federal officials to make sure our region takes full advantage of the historic federal investment in passenger rail expansion,” Cartwright said at that event.
Margaritaville’s plans for the Poconos include a first step toward that expansion, with donated space in the village set aside to build an Amtrak station. Amtrak was interested in the area because of its economic opportunities, said Cartwright; the company estimated that connecting New York City and Scranton, with stops along the way, would generate around $87 million in annual economic impact.
“This is a glimpse into what will be a very exciting and financially prosperous future for our region,” said Cartwright. “Think of the economic boom that will occur once the rail service is in place and fully operational. Today is yet another step forward on the long road to restore passenger rail service from Scranton to Monroe County to New York City.”
The proposed Margaritaville resort will include the Margaritaville Hotel Pocono Mountains, a hotel that will pay homage to the original Pocono Manor.
Located in Pocono Township, the original Pocono Manor opened in 1902, and has hosted a golf course since 1912. The original building at the manor was accepted into the National Registry of Historic Places in 1997 and burned down in 2019, just weeks before a planned renovation.
The landmark development project and land donation were applauded by local business and community leaders, including Chris Barrett, president and CEO of the Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau.
“Today’s announcements are game changers for the Pocono Mountains, a desirable destination already hosting nearly 30 million tourists each year. After the devastating 2019 fire at Pocono Manor Resort, we are thrilled the iconic property is making its comeback in such a massive way,” said Barrett.
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