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Renovated Nittany Lion Inn to Reopen in September

by Staff

The Nittany Lion Inn at Penn State will reopen for guest stays in September after undergoing “extensive renovations and enhancements,” owner Scholar Hotel Group announced on Thursday.

Reservations for arrival dates of Sept. 2 and later will open at noon on March 4 at nittanylioninn.com, which will also be updated at that time with renderings of the hotel interior’s new look.

“We are delighted to announce the reopening of the Nittany Lion Inn, a cherished institution in our community,” Gary Brandeis, CEO of Scholar Hotels, said in a statement. “As we prepare to welcome guests once again, we invite them to rediscover the timeless allure of this historic inn and create new memories that will last a lifetime.”

The reopening will mark the first time in more than four years that the 93-year-old Nittany Lion Inn has welcomed guests. The hotel closed at the onset of the pandemic in 2020 and was temporarily used as student housing.

In 2022, after studying options for the Nittany Lion Inn and the Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel, the university sold the two campus hotel buildings to Scholar Hotel Group. Penn State retains ownership of the land, with Scholar holding a long-term ground lease.

For more than a year, Scholar Hotel Group — which in State College also owns Scholar Hotel, Hyatt Place, Courtyard by Marriott and Residence Inn — has been working on renovations designed to modernize the Nittany Lion Inn while maintaining its historic character.

“From its elegant accommodations to its renowned dining options and impeccable service, every aspect of the inn has been meticulously curated to ensure an unforgettable stay for guests,” according to a news release.

Brandeis, a Penn State alumnus, told Town&Gown in 2023 that there wouldn’t be much noticeable change to the exterior of the building, calling it “such an important asset to the campus, to the Penn State community and to the greater State College community.” Most of the investments, he said, would be made inside with a full renovation of the interior.

He said at the time that in addition to the two existing restaurant spaces in the hotel, the renovations would include the addition of two more food and beverage outlets.

“Ultimately, we think we’re going to have the nicest university hotel in the country at The Nittany Lion Inn,” Brandeis said. “It’s going to be a five-star, full-service hotel—great for conferences and meetings, social events and weddings—and it’s going to honor the history of The Nittany Lion Inn.”

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