In 1893 Businessmen of the Exposition Park Co. built a new resort hotel on a lakefront parcel of property on the southern end of what was then known as Exposition Park. As the new resort began to grow and prosper, so did the need for higher end accommodations. In 1902, construction began on the rebuilding of the Exposition Hotel into the new Hotel Conneaut. While most of the original hotel was demolished, one wing was retained and reused in the new hotel, and still stands to this day.
Originally, Hotel Conneaut boasted 150 guest rooms. Room rates were $1.00 per day and meals were only $.35. Early promotional materials for the new hotel read as follows:
“This modern hostelry is most beautifully situated on the western shore of Conneaut Lake, in Exposition Park, midst a luxurious grove of tall shade trees stretching to the water’s edge. The spacious veranda extends the entire length of the hotel, overlooking the lake. The interior of the hotel is well furnished throughout, everything being designed for health and comfort.”
In 1925, the hotel was expanded to include 150 more guest rooms and a new Crystal Ballroom and apartments.
On April 29th 1943 the hotel was struck by lightening and the resulting fire destroyed more than half the roof. Unable to obtain permission ro replace the damaged roof due to World War II, the damaged section was demolished resulting in a remodeled hotel of 150 rooms.
Today the hotel Conneaut is the only hotel in operation on Conneaut Lake and the last surving of over a dozen hotels that once stood in Conneaut Lake Park.
In 2003 Hotel Conneaut celebrated a century of hospitality.
What has not changed in 100 years is Hotel Conneaut’s timeless charm and draw to those seeking escapism from this ever-changing, fast paced world. Hotel Conneaut is a solid link to the past.
1893 – Exposition Hotel opens
1895 – Park Convention Hall is moved from other side of Park and attached to Exposition Hotel.
1903 – Exposition Hotel is rebuilt into Hotel Conneaut, utilizing sections of old Exposition Hotel and the Park Convention Hall.
1925 – Hotel Conneaut receives two additions – (1) a north wing including the 1000 person capacity, main dining room and more guest rooms, and (2) a south wing including the Crystal Ballroom, more guest rooms, and even apartments.
1943 – Hotel Conneaut suffers fire that destroys the main dining room, main lobby, and approximately 150 guest rooms. Due to war effort, the damaged part of the hotel was demolished and not rebuilt.
1945 – Hotel Conneaut reopens in its current configuration after extensive renovations .
1982 – Renovation program is launched to remodel 20 rooms a year.
2003 – Conneaut Lake Area Historical Society sponsors Hotel Conneaut’s Centennial Celebration – First Annual Holiday in the Park is held as part of Hotel Conneaut’s Centennial Celebration
• It is the last surviving of approximately a dozen similar hotels that once stood inside Conneaut Lake Park and around Conneaut Lake.
• Is a wooden hotel, unlike modern hotels of steel and concrete construction.
• Each wing of the hotel once had a red-roofed cupola on top. Today one cupola survives.
• Once boasted amenities such as a bakery, children’s nursery, billiard room, 1000 person capacity dining room, gift shop, barber shop, tap room, radio room, Crystal Ballroom.
• Perry Como used to cut hair in the hotel barber shop during the day and perform at Dreamland Ballroom during the evenings.
• Many famous personalities have stayed at Hotel Conneaut, including Sharon Stone, Perry Como, Doris Day, the Beach Boys, Max Schmeling,
• Hotel Conneaut was once dubbed “The Crown Jewel of Conneaut Lake”.
• Is the last hotel that is located within the gates of an amusement park.
• For many years, the undertaker’s convention was held at Hotel Conneaut.
• After 1925, Hotel Conneaut was considered the largest resort hotel in Pennsylvania.