Delegates familiar with the Happy Valley know that along with Penn State’s many academic, athletic and artistic assets, the destination gets an A+ for its two conference and meeting anchors, the IACC-approved Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel and the historic AAA Four Diamond Nittany Lion Inn.
Both managed by Penn State Hospitality Services, these standout properties continue to define the State College area as one of the mid-Atlantic region’s premier group coordinates.
In terms of its modern meetings era, the story goes back to May 1994, when Penn State unveiled the $43 million Penn State Scanticon Conference Center Hotel. Purpose-built as “a bridge between academia and the outside world as part of the University’s land-grant mission of teaching, research and public service,” the center was an immediate hit.
“Within a year, we had conferences from most of the colleges,” says Mike Ostroski, Penn State’s director of conferences and institutes for 18 years, on the occasion of the center’s 20th anniversary this May. “That was the purpose—to highlight the academic strength of Penn State. It was planned and executed as a place where faculty could highlight their research.”
Renamed the Penn Stater Conference Center Hotel in 1997 and expanded in 2004, the venue is going stronger than ever, continuing to host major events like The National Autism Conference, now in its 18th year.
Located in Innovation Park, just minutes from campus, the Penn Stater, with 300 luxurious rooms and suites, offers 58,000 square feet of dedicated space, including 41 conference rooms and a 10,000-square-foot ballroom. Dining, a fitness center and a pool, as well as a full complement of amenities and personalized services, round out the appeal.
Beloved by alumni as Penn State’s “Living Room,” the Nittany Lion Inn has been guardian of the university’s meetings heritage since 1931. Located on the northwest corner of campus, this 233-room National Historic Landmark, its Georgian Colonial-style architecture smartly dressed in Penn State white and blue, offers 20,000 square feet of flexible event space, elegant ballrooms for social occasions and a skylit atrium. With its award-winning wine list, The Dining Room is also a favored destination for private gatherings.