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Hotel eyes link with Sheraton

December 22, 1997

Hotel eyes link with Sheraton

By LISA GRAYBEAL

Staff Writer, Chambersburg

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. - Along with a new look, the Howard Johnson hotel on Lincoln Way East also may get a new name.

A $1 million renovation began in November on 97 of the 132 rooms at the hotel off Interstate 81's Exit 6.

"You really have to constantly renovate to stay up with the times," said Monica Kauffman, the hotel's office manager.

It's also getting the makeover to stay in competition as the Chambersburg franchise studies alignment with Sheraton hotels, Kauffman said.

Negotiations with Sheraton are still in the preliminary stages, but the current Howard Johnson hotel, owned by Falling Spring Corp. of Chambersburg, could become a Sheraton Four Seasons hotel by late 1998 or 1999, she said.

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If Howard Johnson links with Sheraton or another hotel chain, it probably won't affect the adjoining Howard Johnson Restaurant, said Barbara Leveroni, vice president of Franchise Associates in Weymouth, Mass., who owns the restaurant.

The restaurant likely will retain its current name even if the hotel changes, she said.

Workers from Geesaman Rock Construction Inc. of Zullinger, Pa., gutted the portion of the hotel that's being renovated and are starting from scratch, Kauffman said.

There will be no balconies off the new rooms and four will be eliminated to make room for three suites and an employee lounge on the second floor.

The redesigned rooms will have new carpeting, wallpaper, furniture and bathroom tile and fixtures, Kauffman said.

Some changes are being done primarily with the business traveler in mind, like wiring the rooms for computers.

While work is under way, hotel management is trying to accommodate guests as best as possible in the hotel's other 35 rooms.

"We've had a couple of tight times because of groups wanting everything we have," Kauffman said.

The portion being renovated was built in 1967 and remodeled in 1985. The hotel's 50-room back wing, constructed in 1981, was renovated three years ago.

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