PHILIPSBURG, CENTRE COUNTY - Five years ago, Philipsburg got a historic hotel back up and running. Now just five years later, the hotel's doors are locked once again.
Sue Dance was the Philips Hotel's General Manager. She doesn't blame management for the business failing, but says it just couldn't survive the economic downturn.
"It was a great place for people to go out for a really nice meal, and a great atmosphere, but it was hard for some people in this economy to be able to do that. So it became more of a special occasion place, a destination place and it was just too hard to draw the people in I think."
Many businesses in Philipsburg are struggling. Some say the economic downturn made some go out of business. Others say a new bypass sent traffic elsewhere, slowing business. But not all businesses are struggling, in fact some are thriving.
Davina Hapnoski owns Kneading Body Spa. She's doing well. In fact, she just moved into a new location which more than doubles her spa's space.
"...We catered to our clients, we catered to what they could afford what they wanted..."
Hapnoski says she had customers on multiple occasions, going to, or coming from the hotel. So we asked her why she thinks the hotel closed. While right down the street, her spa's taking off. Especially since they're both "wants", not "needs"...
"I based my prices on the current economy, you won't go to us and pay big city prices, you're going to pay prices you can afford in the economy."
"Do you think the Philips hotel should have lowered their prices some?"
"It probably wouldn't have hurt..."
The owners of the Philips Hotel will now try to sell it. We asked Sue Dance if she thinks another business could survive in this location. She said not only could one survive, but the right business could thrive. Much like other businesses in Philipsburg are thriving, for whatever reason.