Jun 9, 2010

When You Wish Upon A Star

As a little boy in the early 1950's, I would watch Jiminy Cricket sing When You Wish Upon a Star. I thought of Jiminy the other day, when I watched Johnny Callahan swoon about the new Sands Casino Hotel. It occurred to me that Johnny should be careful about what he wishes. I'm concerned that Bethlehem cannot support two large center city hotels. My fear, is that the success of the new Sands Hotel will be at the expense of the classic Hotel Bethlehem. Just as the Hotel Bethlehem's van currently takes guests to the casino, a new modern hotel could shuttle guests to and from historic Main Street. How sad to watch a talking suit clamor about some temporary construction jobs. I wouldn't bet on how many permanent jobs Sands Corporation provides, the casino always has the winning hand. Well, Donny Cunningham rode to Harrisburg and back on empty press conferences on empty steel land, so why shouldn't Johnny try chirping a little?


Anonymous said...

I don't think the hotel bethlehem does a huge number of overnights (except for musikfest, Christmas and weddings, none of which seem likely to be part of a new hotel's market). it is really a small hotel. when I worked for pdc, we did our annual conference there and had to do room blocks at the comfort suites and at a couple of area bed and breakfasts. it wasn't a huge conference.

my guess, two very different markets being served here. the hotel bethlehem will still clean up during musikfest. that seems to be when they really make their money.

For what it is worth, there is hyatt that just opened up on north street, a few blocks from the hotel bethlehem. it doesn't seem to have done much to their business.


Anonymous said...

Clamoring about temporary construction jobs...

...sort of like patting one's self on the back for temporary Census jobs.

Democrats are just so wonderful - the truth of the matter is I'm just jealous of their magnificence.

Sue me. Trial lawyers gotta eat, too.


Anonymous said...

The three Bethlehem Hotels have a moderate occupancy rate now, including the new. Hyatt Place. You might be right on here MM>

monkey momma said...

One can only hope that hotel consumers in Bethlehem see the value of staying downtown in the Historic hotel Bethlehem. Given its proximity to downtown and Musikfest, I can remain optimistic about the hotel's future. Remember, the Sands promised a hotel from the get-go, so this is not new. I know I'd rather stay at a hotel that caters to the folks who are interested in Downtown versus the casino, so hopefully enough consumers will see things my way! It is good that the historic hotel is not huge and does not have a large occupancy needed to keep things afloat. Brides and grooms will continue to want the ambience the hotel provides, too. I love Hotel Bethlehem - we stay there during Red Elvises night every year during Musikfest, and the place has become very near and dear to my heart. It is also my father's favorite place to get a pre-dinner drink when he visits, so let's keep our fingers crossed that the hotel stays afloat, unlike nearby Toy Magic. (Which is a whole other sob story.)

michael molovinsky said...

people confuse quaintness and ambience with commercial success. historic bethlehem is not particularly commercially successful. the art galleries are a labor of love. i doubt that even the moravian bookstore would stand on its own as a business. i too hope the hotel bethlehem survives, but it will be hurt by the new hotel.