Thursday, July 16, 2009

Rivers Casino Set to Open!

August 9 is the big day for the opening of the new Rivers Casino here on Pittsburgh's North Shore. Many years in the making, the new casino will offer hundreds of slot machines and a wide variety of restaurants and lounges. The Rivers Casino will be located on the edge of the Ohio River, just west of the Carnegie Science Center and Heinz Field -- about a mile from The Priory. I've had a chance to meet a number of the Casino's operations folks, and it does promise to be a first class operation. I'll keep you posted. . .

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

New "Victorian Porch" at The Priory

Innovation is not always easy in an older building, but one of our recent additions is one so simple that we wonder why we haven't done it before. While our courtyard has always been a nice attraction, it's utility was somewhat limited by the environment - you couldn't use it if it was raining, it could be hot in the midday sun, and you couldn't relax and read if it was dark. Thus, in a brainstorm, we added an awning to cover the elevated brick porch adjacent to the Refectory and added some comfortable wicker easy chairs, along with lamps to illuminate the porch in the evening. We call the result our "Victorian Porch." It's intended to be reminscent of the porch of Victorian era grand hotels, allowing guests a spot to chat, read and reflect no matter what the weather. Guests seem to be pleased with the result. It is amazing how the simple innovations sometimes have the most impact.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy 4th of July

On behalf of my family and staff of The Priory Hospitality Group, please have a safe and happy fourth of July celebration with your family and friends!

And, to all of our veteran heroes and their families present and past, thank you all for the many sacrifices you made to give us the many freedoms we all enjoy today - Thank you!

P.S.: Here is a link to Wikipedia's entry about Independence Day. I thought you might enjoy reading about how it began, some interesting trivia and related customs too! For example, did you know that a salute of one gun for each state in the United States, called a “salute to the union,” is fired on Independence Day at noon by any capable military base? And, that John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, two founding fathers of the United States and the only two men who signed the Declaration of Independence to become president, died on the same day: July 4, 1826, which was the United States' 50th anniversary.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Free Wedding Reception For Afghan/Iraqi War Veteran

I am excited and proud to announce that for the second consecutive year, The Priory Hospitality Group is offering a free Winter White Wedding Reception – valued at over $12,000 - to any veteran or active serviceman/woman who was deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan after September 11, 2001 and who is now residing or has resided in southwestern PA (Allegheny, Armstrong, Beaver, Butler, Fayette, Washington and Westmoreland Counties) or is attached to a military unit located in southwestern PA. The wedding will take place in early 2010.

Interested veterans are encouraged to contact Pittsburgh’s Grand Hall at The Priory and/or visit its Web site for complete rules and regulations. The Priory Hospitality Group is accepting applications through September 15, 2009. The winner will be chosen by random drawing on September 23, 2009 at contestant reception at Pittsburgh’s Grand Hall. The winning couple will receive a Winter White Wedding package for up to 125 guests at Pittsburgh’s Grand Hall at the Priory to be held in January, February or March of 2010!

Here is a link to the rules. And, here is a link to the application.

Good luck to everyone and please spread the word!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Pennsylvania Innkeeper of the Year Finalist

Recently, the PA Tourism & Lodging Association honored me as one of only two finalists as Innkeeper of the Year at their Spirit of Hospitality Awards celebration!

Congratulations to all of the winners and many thanks to my family, our staff and to you our valued guests for your support in all we do to create a great spirit of hospitality at the Priory Hospitality Group!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Red, White and Blue Summer Wine Tasting

Join us for our third Summer Wine Tasting in the Courtyard at the Priory on Thursday, July 16, 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m., with Reid Vogel of Capital Wine and Spirits in The Courtyard at The Priory.

This month's theme is Red, White and Blue! (See below for more details.)


Each month features a different theme and local or national wine expert. Enjoy four unique wine paired with light hors d'oeuvres from Priory Executive Chefs Michael Henney and Peter Phillipy.

Tastings are the third Thursday of each month - July 16, August 20 & September 17. Tickets are $45 per person/per tasting.

Guests will enjoy samplings of the following Wines:

California sparkling wines in red, white and blue bottles

Rutherglen Estates Red (85% Shiraz/15% Petite Syrah) '05, Victoria, Australia

Whitehaven Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc '07, New Zealand

Shooting Star Blue Franc '07, Washington State