The new owners of Allenberry Resort Inn and Playhouse Thursday announced their intention to renovate the property.
Mike Kennedy is a native of Cumberland County and the organizer of a group of investors set to purchase the property. Though the sale will not be complete until mid-September, Kennedy in a news release said the Heinze family has given permission for renovations to begin on the property.
“This property is a treasure of PA history dating back to the late 1700s,” Kennedy said in a news release. “It’s one of the area’s most beautiful estate properties with a rich heritage and deep ties to our community, we can’t wait to help breathe new life into it.”
Kennedy and the Heinze family, who has owned the Monroe Township 57-acre resort since 1944, agreed to a deal four days before the public auction. Less than a week after the deal was struck, Kennedy and a crew of eight other workers and investors began pulling out carpet and furniture.
The plan for the site is to repair, renovate and upgrade facilities to make it a “world-class countryside resort while also staying connected to the characteristics and feel of the late 18th/early 19th century architecture and landscape.”
The news release from Kennedy and the group of investors indicated the guest rooms in the Stone Lodge are being renovated first. Crews will also make modifications to the main building, including adding old-fashioned porches to accommodate a full view of the Yellow Breeches Creek.
Additional plans include the construction of a new main patio, creation of an amphitheater and upgrades and new interior decor to the lodges, guest rooms and meeting spaces.
Artist renderings of the master plan will be released when they are complete.
The new buyers are also reviewing plans for the playhouse and the Heinzes’ idea to develop the adjacent tract to create homes and duplex units for a retirement community.
“We want to take all that the Heinze family has built and make it a point of pride for the next generation,” Kennedy said. “This is such a idyllic venue for so many uses including vacations, local fly-fishing, art endeavors and so much more.
“Having grown up near here, we know this area well,” he added. “We’re looking forward to bringing everyone together to continue to enjoy and care for Allenberry.”
The public will be invited to see the renovation progress at an event in October.
The prospective owners have also welcomed the formation of “Friends of Allenberry,” a group of active residents who will be a liaison with the community.
“This place has created so many memories for families through weddings, parties and just enjoying the grounds,” said Kerrie Truax, executive director of the Friends of Allenberry. “We want to provide opportunities for people to stay connected and be involved, and we want to engage and help the young people in this area.”
Allenberry’s new owners will dedicate a portion of the resort’s profits to funding some of the group’s philanthropic endeavors, as well as offer internships and volunteer days at Allenberry, so local youth can learn about hospitality, finance, leadership and other business components, the owners said.
“We are thrilled that Allenberry is in such great hands,” said Kathleen Heinze, who will serve on the board of the Friends of Allenberry. “The Heinze family is thrilled to know that this beautiful property, the background of wonderful experiences and treasured memories for so many, will continue to enlighten and enliven the lives of our community.”