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Mother Natures Son
03-21-2014, 19:14
About a year a ago, the was a several post on this list about the poor shape of the Doyles. From the pictures that were posted here, it looked like the end was near for this old lady of the trail. Has anything changed in the past year? (Has the building been repair or is there planning to do so?)

Slo-go'en
03-21-2014, 19:23
I'd be real suprised if there were (improvements). It needs so much work it would be cheaper and easier to take it down and build a new building.

takethisbread
03-22-2014, 06:24
it's a great building, it's hurting for sure . I'm not sure how long Pat and Vicki are planning on sticking around, but I doubt they have the kind of money to do a complete rehab of the building.


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tiptoe
03-22-2014, 13:29
It is a grand old building, and maybe a local historic preservation group can raise the funds. There are wonderful old architectural details, and there's even a ballroom on the third floor.

Sly
03-22-2014, 15:34
Depending on the local codes, with some cheap labor (next to nothing) and a good project manager you could maybe get away with $100,000 to get the place right. If the building inspector is a PITA and ADA codes are needed, triple that or more.

Wolf - 23000
03-22-2014, 19:00
I spend a couple nights there last month. It needs a lot of work. The one thing that is both a curse and a blessing is because the building is so old, it may not be legal to tear it down - historic monument. As it has been point out it maybe cheaper if it was just torn down and started over. On the positive side, because it is an historic monument it might be possible to get a grant to fix the place up.

Wolf

Starchild
03-22-2014, 19:45
I got yelled at for using the fire escape

double d
03-22-2014, 22:15
The Doyle is a cool place, needs some refurbishing, but its a cool place, lots of hiking history there.

ChinMusic
03-22-2014, 22:32
The Doyle just needs to not fall down or burn.

Astro
03-22-2014, 22:40
Matthewski was looking for some Angel Investors. Well I think that is what we wanted (thread actually said "Angle").

Slo-go'en
03-23-2014, 10:57
The Doyle just needs to not fall down or burn.

Indeed, there is nothing like being in a tinder box with 100+ year old electrical wiring to make you just a little nervous...

CarlZ993
03-23-2014, 13:25
I got yelled at for using the fire escape
I'm surprised the fire escape supported your weight. :)

Structurally, the building needed a lot of work. But, the place is a dump. My room had cobwebs everywhere & an unswept floor. I slept in my sleeping bag rather than in the sheets of the bed. In any other setting, I would have refused my stay there & found other lodging.

Food was good, though.

Another Kevin
03-23-2014, 13:27
Indeed, there is nothing like being in a tinder box with 100+ year old electrical wiring to make you just a little nervous...

The old knob & tube stuff is actually pretty good: they knew what they were doing, and had respect for what electricity can do. Yeah, there are often exposed conductors, which isn't good, but the phases are six inches apart and the wires are insulated by porcelain anywhere they have to go through a stud or a joist, or make a turn.

The stuff that scares me is the cotton Romex from right after WWII and the aluminum stuff from the 1970s. The cotton stuff is especially bad because the gutta-percha insulation has rotted away, and crumbles at a touch, leaving a pair of twisted bare wires carrying opposite phases. I had a fire in a wall once with that crap. Fortunately, it just left scorch marks on the drywall and didn't do any real damage other than making the circuit fail.

HikerMom58
03-23-2014, 13:31
It seems like there's no "update"... it remains the same or a lil worse! :)

Prime Time
03-23-2014, 20:52
I stayed there because I got there in the late afternoon and proceeded to down 4 or 5 20 oz. beers and was too lazy and impaird to make the wise decision. It was a show to be sure but not in a good way. A friend couldn't retrieve his backpack until noon the next day because he left it in the bar area which Pat refused to unlock until it reopened the next day as if the wolf man was locked up in there until then. Someone who had just walked in the door ordered food at 7:45 pm (the kitchen closes at 8:00) and received a ridiculous toungue lashing from Vicki at how "you hikers always wait until the last minute to order your food" and refused to serve him.

The rooms are too dangerous and dilapitaded for words. Half the guests never got the extremely complicated instructions for escaping in the event of a fire (all doors are locked and can't be opened from the inside except one which leads out to a wrap around porch on the second floor with broken floor boards and an emergency escape ladder that looks ready to fall off). When I inquired about working smoke detectors Pat replied "nothing works in this place".

I'm glad I went to say I saw it, but I'd never go back.

Lone Wolf
03-23-2014, 20:58
never did like that place. never understood all the hoopla

mankind117
03-24-2014, 15:09
I was there in February during a backpacking trip. The place didn't seem like it had seen any updates, still rather old and worn out looking. The owners were very friendly however and the food was excellent and reasonably priced. I would stop again.

Tom Murphy
03-24-2014, 15:52
[QUOTE=Another Kevin;1864019]The stuff that scares me is the cotton Romex from right after WWII /QUOTE]

Updated my service to 200 amp circuit breaker panel for a hot tub - I had a fuse box with "screw-in circuit breakers".

Electrican found this stuff everywhere. The line from the pole on the house inot the fuse box was scary...

lucky luke
03-27-2014, 07:08
i got there in february 1984, after hiking in from the hudson river bridge in ny. starting out dec. 24. temps got down to -25. the night in the doyle was my first night in a building with 4 walls. i will never ever forget that huge, deep, cast iron bath-tub, that held so much water you could stay in there for 2 hrs and it was still warm. i took 2 baths to get a, the smell off, and b, raise my core temperature back to normal i had a great night with a few of the incedibly cheap beers and nice talks with the locals, slept warm and cozy for around 7 dollars (5,83 plus tax comes to mind, but i may be wrong about that. its been a while...) the "doyle back then" easily beats any other hotel i have ever been to! and i dearly hope it gets fixed. happy trails, lucky luke

Berserker
03-27-2014, 09:11
Hmmmm...interesting read here. I did the section from Pine Grove Furnace SP to Duncannon last weekend, and considered staying at the Doyle the last night before I headed home just to see what all the fuss was about. My buddy and I ended up hiking out a day early since it was supposed to get into the teens that last night and I just didn't feel like sleeping in that. So we checked it out and met Pat, seems like a nice guy. Ultimately since we had a car we headed into Harrisburg, grabed a hotel with a Buffalo Wild Wings basically in the parking lot, and had a nice relaxing evening of wings, a couple brews and watching some March Madness. Based on the descriptions above it sounds like we made the right call.

Pedaling Fool
03-27-2014, 09:19
My vote: Tear it down and build a community garden.

bamboo bob
03-27-2014, 09:31
The Doyle is really way better than it used to be. I've stayed there three times. In 2000, 2002, and 2005? And I've stopped by on occasion since. Anyway each time it was way better than the time before. So I have to ask is the Doyle improved? Compared to what? It's quite a testament on the wimpification of AT hikers the the Doyle isn't "good enough"

It used to be a pit now it's a dump.

The Pub remains one of the better stops on the trail.

steve0423
03-27-2014, 09:52
The Doyle is quite simply whatever you make it. Has been for a long time.
If you’re the easy going or eccentric AT history buff looking for different experiences, it’s Shangri-La.
If you’re very safety orientated and cleanliness and aesthetics ranks high on your list, you may feel it’s a good place to go to die.

lemon b
03-27-2014, 15:22
Seems to be that it's going to take someone with a lot of extra money, no common sense, and a true love of a short period of AT History to fix the Doyle.

Prime Time
03-27-2014, 19:59
No one in their right mind is going to try and fix the Doyle. Any sale or transfer of ownership will surely come along with and endless list of required upgrades and repairs. This is Pennsylvania, not Panama. Once Pat gives it up (probably a year, 2 at the most based on what I witnessed when I was there), that will be the end of it, unless, God forbid, there's a tragedy first.

kolokolo
03-27-2014, 22:34
I stayed overnight at the Doyle in 2012. Food was great, room was clean. I enjoyed it. Guess I'm easy to please.

ChinMusic
03-27-2014, 23:37
I stayed overnight at the Doyle in 2012. Food was great, room was clean. I enjoyed it. Guess I'm easy to please.
I stayed last year, similar feelings.

Matty + Doyle = memorable

Grampie
03-28-2014, 09:47
A stay at the Doyle is one of the great AT experiences. You will have missed something if you don't spend the night.

Hot Flash
04-29-2014, 10:18
A stay at the Doyle is one of the great AT experiences. You will have missed something if you don't spend the night.

Maybe your own death.

Mother Natures Son
04-29-2014, 10:48
Had a friend just get back from the Doyle's. His views was one of "How do they get away with that"? (He's in the building trade.) Stuff that would made a code officer's head spin is somehow "over looked" at the Doyle''s. I know the Pine Grove Iron Master's Hostel was bad (near the end of when AYH owned it. It's a 100% better now) but the Doyle's is something else! Could something like the rebuilding of the Iron Master's work for the Doyle's? (Grants and stuff)

Crazy Larry #1
04-29-2014, 20:45
I spend a couple nights there last month. It needs a lot of work. The one thing that is both a curse and a blessing is because the building is so old, it may not be legal to tear it down - historic monument. As it has been point out it maybe cheaper if it was just torn down and started over. On the positive side, because it is an historic monument it might be possible to get a grant to fix the place up.

WolfYes!!!!!!!!!

Crazy Larry #1
04-29-2014, 20:46
Matthewski was looking for some Angel Investors. Well I think that is what we wanted (thread actually said "Angle").I'd be a willing participant

Crazy Larry #1
04-29-2014, 20:54
The Doyle is really way better than it used to be. I've stayed there three times. In 2000, 2002, and 2005? And I've stopped by on occasion since. Anyway each time it was way better than the time before. So I have to ask is the Doyle improved? Compared to what? It's quite a testament on the wimpification of AT hikers the the Doyle isn't "good enough"

It used to be a pit now it's a dump.

The Pub remains one of the better stops on the trail.


The Doyle is quite simply whatever you make it. Has been for a long time.
If you’re the easy going or eccentric AT history buff looking for different experiences, it’s Shangri-La.
If you’re very safety orientated and cleanliness and aesthetics ranks high on your list, you may feel it’s a good place to go to die.




Seems to be that it's going to take someone with a lot of extra money, no common sense, and a true love of a short period of AT History to fix the Doyle.


I stayed overnight at the Doyle in 2012. Food was great, room was clean. I enjoyed it. Guess I'm easy to please.


I stayed last year, similar feelings.

Matty + Doyle = memorable


A stay at the Doyle is one of the great AT experiences. You will have missed something if you don't spend the night.


Had a friend just get back from the Doyle's. His views was one of "How do they get away with that"? (He's in the building trade.) Stuff that would made a code officer's head spin is somehow "over looked" at the Doyle''s. I know the Pine Grove Iron Master's Hostel was bad (near the end of when AYH owned it. It's a 100% better now) but the Doyle's is something else! Could something like the rebuilding of the Iron Master's work for the Doyle's? (Grants and stuff)
I think we or someone ought to form a committee and lets get some money rolling and fix the damned Doyle!

Tuckahoe
04-29-2014, 21:08
I spend a couple nights there last month. It needs a lot of work. The one thing that is both a curse and a blessing is because the building is so old, it may not be legal to tear it down - historic monument. As it has been point out it maybe cheaper if it was just torn down and started over. On the positive side, because it is an historic monument it might be possible to get a grant to fix the place up.

Wolf

I do not know of any laws that would make the demolition of a building like the Doyle or any historic structure illegal. Localities may have historic districts that may regulate and require reviews by local preservation boards regarding the appropriateness of restorations, renovations, architectural alterations and demolition. The problem with structures like the Doyle is that when they are not properly maintained and preserved they reach apoint that the only thing to do is tear them down.

Looks like most everything regarding historic preservation in Pennsylvania can be found here -- http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/historic_preservation/3741

Malto
04-29-2014, 22:07
I was just there for lunch last weekend and the food was very good, not just hiker good. The restaurant area seemed in better shape than a year ago but it could just be fading memory.

Lone Wolf
04-30-2014, 00:19
the doyle hotel is not an historic building. there are quite a few hotels of the sort built by anhauser-busch in PA

DavidNH
04-30-2014, 08:11
I'd be real surprised if there were (improvements). It needs so much work it would be cheaper and easier to take it down and build a new building. and that's what really should happen.. blow up the place and put up a new building in its place. I've never understood the attraction of the Doyle. I'd rank it as one of the worst lodging establishments on the trail. Everything is old and run down. Folks might like it because there's a bar on the ground floor and lots of opportunity to party and get drunk. But really.. the place was in poor shape in '06 and probably worse now. No privacy either.

ChinMusic
04-30-2014, 08:41
I do not drink and enjoyed my stay. I agree that the building is reaching its end. I feel fortunate to have experienced it for what it is.

SonrisaJo
05-01-2014, 00:18
Why is there not a Kickstarter or similar for this? I realize the cost of seriously upgrading The Doyle would be ridiculously high, but surely we could scrap together enough to start the process. There's a PNT documentary on Kickstarter that aimed to raise $1700 and has $4200 and counting.

Tuckahoe
05-01-2014, 00:46
Renovation of a stucture such as the Doyle could easily run in the 10s of millions of dollars to insure the building is sound and up to code. How could that be raised in a kickstart campaign?

mr.rainmaker
07-14-2014, 12:45
I stayed at the Doyle recently and absolutely got feasted on by bed bugs even while sleeping in my bag liner... at least the beers were cold downstairs..

ki0eh
07-14-2014, 14:51
They just got in one of the local papers: http://cumberlink.com/news/local/hikers-cumberland-county-businesses-help-each-other-along-route/article_cc7b5148-0a3d-11e4-803a-001a4bcf887a.html

Lyle
07-16-2014, 12:33
Why is there not a Kickstarter or similar for this? I realize the cost of seriously upgrading The Doyle would be ridiculously high, but surely we could scrap together enough to start the process. There's a PNT documentary on Kickstarter that aimed to raise $1700 and has $4200 and counting.

I would have said getting enough for a renovation was impossible. That was before I heard of this guy getting $50,000 for a potato salad recipe. Guess it's all in how it's written/presented.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/site/ct-potato-salad-kickstarter-huppke-talk-20140715,0,3397670.story