Wednesday, February 29, 2012

New North Shore LRT Preview

Our Corporate and Group Sales Manager, Gene Lucente, had the opportunity recently to tour (with a hard hat) the soon to be opened North Shore Connector of the city's Light Rail Transit (LRT) system. The North Shore component has two stations, an underground station and an above ground station. The underground station is between PNC Park and Heinz Field; the above ground station is past Heinz Field near the Rivers Casino. If nothing else, the stations and the new line are impressive looking, and are fed by one of the longest sub-river tunnels in North America. The North Shore Connector links the Heinz Field/ Rivers Casino part of the North Shore with downtown Pittsburgh -- first at its Gateway Center stop and subsequently Station Square and the southern suburbs of the city.

Here are some shots of the new stations and line. These depict the outdoor station near Rivers Casino. More to come . . .

Three Rivers Rowing Juniors Boosters Wine Tasting March 8

The Three Rivers Juniors Boosters Organization is hosting its third annual Wine Tasting Fundraiser at our Grand Hall. This event is always a blast, with exotic wines paired up with some amazing heavy hors d'oeuvres and carved meats prepared by Priory executive chefs Pete Phillipy and Mike Henney. Entertainment is by jazz legend Kenny Blake.

Tickets are $75 per person, and may be purchased through the Three Rivers Rowing Juniors Boosters website.

Particulars are:

Date: Thursday, March 8, 2012
Time: 6:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
Poured: Four wines (to be announced shortly); as always, the Priory insists on a good three
finger pour with refills if you like
Wine host: Reid Vogel, Capital Wine and Spirits
Menu: To be announced shortly
Entertainment: Pittsburgh jazz legend Kenny Blake
Tickets: May be purchased through the Three Rivers Rowing Boosters Organization website

Three Rivers Rowing Juniors program is open to any youth from grades 8 through 12. It teaches discipline and physical fitness, and is practically unique among competitive programs in that all team members participate in competition. If a boy or girl practices, he or she will be rowing in a boat. The Wine Tasting fundraisers over the past three years have permitted the TRRA Juniors Boosters to purchase critical equipment and two eight person boats (which cost in excess of $36,000 apiece). These funds allow the program to stay competitive and healthy, and to continue its mission of promoting physical fitness and fighting childhood obesity.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Bike Pittsburgh Designates the Priory as a Bike Friendly Employer!

We were exceptionally pleased to have Bike Pittsburgh designate the Priory Hotel as a "Bike Friendly Business." We are the only hotel in Pittsburgh designated as "Bike Friendly." This is an honor for us, as it took a good bit of investment of time and money, working with Bike Pittsburgh over a year's time, to achieve the designation. Among the things we did to merit this recognition was constructing a bicycle shelter in our courtyard for guests and employees, engaging in an employee education program concerning bicycle routes and trails, investing in bicycle education materials, such as maps, and purchasing bicycle maintenance and repair items.
It is our honor to be Pittsburgh's first Bike Friendly Hotel. With our close proximity to the Three Rivers Heritage Bike Trail, a portal to the Great Allegheny Passage (which takes you to Washington, DC), we look forward to better serving our bicycle enthusiast guests.

Click here and here for a listing of local bike trails.

Pictured above are our Corporate and Group Sales Manager, Gene Lucente, and Tim McGlothlin, both of whom were leaders among our staff in securing our Bike Friendly Employer status. Our thanks to Lou Fineberg of Bike Pittsburgh for guiding us through this process, and to Allegheny County for a matching grant which allowed us to leverage our own investment.

Friday, February 24, 2012

NCAA & St. Pat's Shuttle!!!

On March 15 and 17 we will have a special shuttle to downtown Pittsburgh for our guests attending the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament first and second rounds at the Consol Energy Center, and for our guests gearing up to celebrate St. Patrick's Day with Pittsburgh's annual parade.

Click here to check on ticket availability for the NCAA Tournament in Pittsburgh. Click here for a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette story about the tournament.
The shuttle will run on Thursday the 15th from 7:00 a.m. until 11:00 p.m. (the four games will be played in pairs -- the first starting at noon and running until approximately 4:30 p.m., and from 6:00 p.m. until approximately 10:30 p.m.).

Saturday the shuttle will run from 8:00 a.m. until approximately 7:00 p.m., though this end time may be adjusted since the time of the second round games has not been announced yet.

Our goal is to provide our hoop fans and our St. Patrick's revelers with a fun and seamless experience in Pittsburgh this mid-March weekend. The idea is to relax and have fun; so if you are traveling to Pittsburgh for either of these events, The Priory is your St. Patrick's Parade hotel and your NCAA Tournament Pittsburgh Hotel!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Pittsburgh Steelers Say Thanks to Priory Fine Pastries

Our Priory Fine Pastries bakery was honored to be asked to provide a special cake to the Pittsburgh Steelers for their defensive unit. The cake, featuring a football helmet and football field, was created and baked by our pastry chef Jim Lazeration and his assistant Ange Maines. They did a fabulous job, and the Steelers were kind enough -- unbidden -- to send a photo of the defensive coaches and players posing with our cake signed by Steelers Head Coach Mike Tomlin. This was a real treat for our Priory Fine Pastries staff, and we were truly gratified that the Steelers staff and Mike Tomlin took time out of their schedules to take the picture, autograph it, and sent it to us. It hangs with pride on the wall of our retail store right now!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Itinerant Businessman Promotes Project to Combat Homelessness at the Priory

Real estate developer Frank McKinney has been traveling from city to city to promote his "Survival to Thrival" program, designed to give the homeless a boost toward improving their situations. As part of his public relations plan, McKinney switches places with a homeless person -- trading his spot in a luxury hotel (in Pittsburgh, it was our Priory Hotel) with the homeless person's bunk in a local shelter. In this case, the lucky recipient was David Aikens, who was chosen by 200 of his peers and case workers from the Light of Light mission to participate in the room swap.

WTAE TV, our local ABC affiliate, covered the place swap. See the story here.

For our part, we were delighted to help Mr. McKinney in his efforts. Mr Aikens was a gracious guest, and we were very happy to participate in his special night.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Winter Specials Continuing Through March!

We are offering some incredible special rates on both our room rates and rates for our most popular packages, including our Romance, Romance package and our Rivers Casino package. For instance, we are offering our standard queen rooms for $109 per night (plus tax) for much of January and February, and our casino package is $189 per night and $169 per night. Visit our website at for more information, or call us at (412) 231-3338 or (866) 3PRIORY to book a room.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

February Wine Tasting

Our normal Wine Tasting schedule doesn't start until April, but every February we give a little taste of the Tasting in our Grand Hall. Our little taste this year is on February 16, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. in our Grand Hall, and features wines host Deb Mortillaro and Mike Gonze of Dreadnought Wines. In the spirit of the rapidly approaching St. Patrick's Day, we're also offering entertainment by Irish Troubadour Terry Griffith. We're featuring the following wines:

* Louis Scheurebe: A wonderful German white wine, which is softer than a Riesling but balanced with some nice acid. A Kabinet, this is a dry wine.

* Paul Blanck Pinot Blanc, Alsace: Bolder and fuller than the Scheurbe. Not a Pinot Grigio.

* Sattler St. Laurant 2006, Austria: Deb and Mike picked this so that they can tell the story of how this is one of the two grapes that are grafted together to make Zweigelt. This also will show that Austrian wines can handle some age. .

* Lancatay Bonarda, Argentina: If you are tired of hearing the word Malbec try Bonarda. It is a little bigger and more complex. It grows where Malbec does but Deb and Mike think it makes a more interesting wine.

Chefs Pete Phillipy and Mike Henney are offering some culinary treats in the form of heavy hors d'oeuvres to accent our wines:

Shrimp fajita with lime sour cream with the Scheurebele;

Goat cheese soufflé with roasted apples and mango coulis with the Paul Blanck;

Smoked chicken and spinach stuffed with cremini mushrooms with red pepper with the Sattler; and

Roast beef tenderloin with tomato bruschetta on ciabatta bread, with pesto oil, with the Lancatay Bonarda.

It should be a fun night, as always. Tickets are $50 per person. Contact Gene Lucente at (412) 224-6300, or at to make reservations.