The Poconos is a premier tourist destination that provide endless opportunities for hiking, skiing, golf, and so much more.
But while it might be an attractive place to visit for recreation, there are a multitude of large employers that make up the region's workforce. From manufacturers to resorts, there are several large companies that drive the local economy.
One company that has a significant impact in the region in regard to economic impact is Split Rock Resort & Golf Club in Lake Harmony, Carbon County.
Here to answer this week's “Behind the List” questions is Rocco Baldassari, director or resort operations at Split Rock.
Lehigh Valley Business: How long has Split Rock Resort & Golf Club been in business and what are its primary services?
Rocco Baldassari: Split Rock has been in business since 1941 with the opening of the lodge.
We're a full-service resort; customer service and hospitality are our primary focus.
We provide lodging accommodations, as well as an indoor water park, multiple on-site restaurants, recreational and social activities.
Our resort offers suites, lodge rooms, villas and cottages with distinctive mountain-town charm.
Our historic Split Rock Lodge overlooks the beautiful Lake Harmony. Our Willow Brook and Galleria suites are modern and cozy. Our Villas at Westwood are perfect for long stays, featuring a fireplace, full kitchen and dining area. …
H2Oooohh!! is the indoor family water park adjacent to the Galleria at Split Rock Resort. … With 53,326 square feet of water attractions to enjoy, it offers Pennsylvania's first Flow Rider, five large tube slides, a wave pool, activity pool, fun play structure, crossing activity, snack and tiki bar.
Our dining options offer a wide range of cuisines and include the Lake View Tavern, Thirsty Moose Saloon, Split Rock Grill, Lago Deli and our food court in the Town Center. Our recreation and social activities include an 18-hole miniature golf course, regulation bowling alley, arcade, movie theater, monthly themed parties, laser tag and more.
We [host] family getaways and corporate meetings with over 10 meeting rooms and a 45,000-square-foot convention space.
LVB: What have been some of the biggest challenges and opportunities that Split Rock Resort & Golf Club has encountered throughout its years in business?
Baldassari: In the 1970s, the lodge was destroyed by a devastating fire. One year later, the cottage owners formed a group to begin the rebuilding process.
Split Rock Resort was fortunately given the ability to expand. Since the rebuilding of the lodge, the Galleria/Town Center was built, along with six buildings which include our Willow Brook Suites and many more buildings that create Westwood Villas.
LVB: How does Split Rock Resort & Golf Club directly stimulate the local economy? How does it get involved with the local communities?
Baldassari: Split Rock Resort brings many outsiders from New York City and Philadelphia and even farther that want to escape the daily chaos of their lives and relax in the serene Pocono Mountains. This brings more customers to our local businesses.
We find it very important to give back to our local communities, and we often give donations to our local fundraisers.
Additionally, we have provided discounted tickets for our local high school students at our H2Oooohh! indoor waterpark.
LVB: The Pocono region is a prime destination for tourism. How does Split Rock Resort & Golf Club make itself stand out as an attractive destination for visitors? What marketing initiatives does it implement to bring people to the area?
Baldassari: Split Rock Resort stands out from its many competitors because its vast amount of on-site amenities makes it truly diverse.
While many other resorts in the Poconos have indoor waterparks, most don't have an eight-lane cosmic bowling alley, arcade, weekly activities, beach access to beautiful Lake Harmony and a first-run movie theater.
Our variety of lodging spaces makes us incredibly unique. Split Rock offers historic Lodge and spacious Westwood Villas to our modern Galleria and romantic Willow Brook Suites. Furthermore, our 76,000 square feet of convention and meeting space make us one of the largest meeting centers in the Pocono Mountains.
Our marketing initiatives include a variety of print advertisements, billboards, radio and television advertisements.
However, we believe word-of-mouth marketing is truly the best form. And it's the reason we continually work hard to reach our highest ability of guest satisfaction.
LVB: What does the future look like for Split Rock Resort & Golf Club? Does it have plans for growth?
Baldassari: We have recently undergone a multimillion dollar renovation of our Galleria/Town Center and resort.
With upgrades continuing into the future, we expect the resort to be a popular destination in the Poconos for years to come.