PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Earlier this fall, Keith Platt of the Hill District showed up for a local job fair.
Now he’s an employee of Cambria Suites, the new hotel adjacent to the CONSOL Energy Center on Centre Avenue in the Lower Hill.
“Creates a lot of opportunities, a lot of jobs for us,” says Platt. “It’s good, good for the community, good for the city.”
“The staff that we’ve hired here are fantastic,” says Mark DeIntinis, the general manager of the hotel that opened its doors Thursday.
DeIntinis says Cambria Suites, primarily owned by Rod Piatt with partial ownership by the Penguins, is pleased to be part of an economic resurgence for the area.
“There’s lot of focus on what we’re bringing to the neighborhood and what the neighborhood is going to bring to us,” says DeIntinis.
The hotel’s focus is quality service for its guests in mini-suite rooms that feature all the latest bells and whistles, including a swimming pool and exercise room.
Damon and Andrea Deitrick from North Canton, Ohio, were the first visitors to check in, here for the Thursday night Steelers game.
“Everything about the room — I mean they spared no expense with anything. It’s beautiful, gorgeous,” says Damon.
Right next to the CONSOL, the 142-room hotel is ready for visitors.
“We’re certainly going to take care of anybody who is coming to Pittsburgh to see the Penguins or see a concert,” DeIntinis said. “This is where they should stay.”
Below the hotel on Fifth Avenue, empty buildings and for sale signs continue to plague the area.
Across from the CONSOL is the Salad Cafe, which did experience a short boost in sales.
“It did for awhile,” says Sarah Spencer. “We stayed open for the games and the concerts, and we were doing pretty well. As soon as the holidays hit, we slowed back down again, but we’re hoping after the New Year it will pick up again.”
Hopefully, a holiday slow-down is all that it is.
Some local owners on Fifth complain that whenever there is an event at the Consol, the city bans parking all along Fifth Avenue, making it tough for their customers.
But with a brand new hotel on Centre, there is continued hope that an economic recovery will be shared by all in the New Year to come.