View Full Version : the "New" Iron Master's Hostel

Mother Natures Son
04-24-2011, 17:46
Has anyone stayed at the Iron Master's hostel since it reopened?:banana

04-24-2011, 20:26
Yes! Last night as a matter of fact. Last time I was there was as part of a work party in January 2010, so the place was completely beat up and about to go through management change. The change from last year is AMAZING! It's in great shape and ready to go. There's still work to be done, but so much progress has been made.

A couple things have changed. Dining room is now where the "lobby" check in area was. Old dining room is now the lounge. There is also meeting space available for group events, sort of a boardroom setup. Free wireless internet is still available. Ask Ray for the password. Kitchen is no longer available to be used for cooking. Ray, the caretaker, explained that is due to insurance issues. There is a kitchen fee of $200 per day for group/event bookings. Dinner and b'fast come with your fee now. It's spartan food, but we appreciated it coming off the trail. Dinner was spaghetti and tomato sauce which is prepared at a local restaurant. Ray sets it out for you, and you do the microwaving. We supplemented with some of our pack food and had a pretty nice feast. B'fast is toaster waffles, syrup and o.j. and coffee. (Don't run the microwave and toaster at the same time. The breaker trips.) Again, we supplemented with our pack food and had a nice start to the day.

I think there are fewer beds available now...maybe 28?

Our group of 4 had the entire place to ourselves last night and this morning. It was a real treat to see it back and running again.

04-24-2011, 20:37
the breakers tripped makeing popcorn during every ruck. alot of times. over many years. the building has not enough servise. by not re doing the electrics and then increacing prices and decressing servises, and now hearing of a 200 dollar charge for group kitch use,..im out. safty first. the carbon monoxide issues are why no one can use the kitch on a regular basis i bet. every time you use the ovens, the place starts raining with condensation and filling with co2. its a disaster. we have had to open windows and get air many times just to be alive. i cant belive how utterly misshandeled this place has been since way way long before they even ripped off my dear donna not paying her. the state messed up. no more support from matthewski for this death trap. get real.

04-24-2011, 21:17
The commonwealth doesn't manage the place, though they do own it. The Central Pennsylvania Conservancy is managing it now. The Delaware Valley Chapter of American Youth Hostels was managing it up until about this time last year, and I will agree that the Ironmaster's was in serious trouble under their management. There is a different mission for the place now, and a $200 fee for a group to use a kitchen for a large event is not out of line. I've had to fork over more than that for places half as nice for group events. The kitchen was completely gutted and re-done. There is more to do. It'll take time. But it's a much more promising situation than it was a year ago. We enjoyed our stay last night.

04-24-2011, 21:23
well im a contractor with a licence and i wouldnt call a gut job a gutting unless you gutted the dangerously overloaded electric system witch needs seperating and increased service amps so the lights would not blink and breakers not trip and so on.anyone makeing a dollar while risking safty isnt makeing much but trouble.

Mother Natures Son
04-25-2011, 18:21
As a former volunteer with over 20 years of experience at the Iron Master's I'm here to tell you the problems didn't start only a few years ago. When the hostel opened in the early 80s it was fantastic and well cared for. In fact, I remember Hostelling International bringing in tour busses from distant cities just to see the hostel and the state park! The problem is no one put money into the building and it showed. I wonder with the economy and the new folks that run it whether the cycle will be repeated or broken. Anyone care to rub a crystal ball and foresee the future on this subject?

04-25-2011, 18:31
i agree mo nattys son. when i was a kid if you stopped there the tour lady was in period garb and i also remember the busses. the property has problems beyond the scope of the funds to manage them. the term in the buissness is "dynasaur" or :money pit". it means that whatever you do short of the most that could be done , is waste. it means the buildings been raped by one to many hany men, winter storms and over use. the final state of the place in my opinion, and when i sell my art i will pay for, is to add on a green energy efficient hostel /tourist attraction while restoreing the original building to mint condish and includeing excavations on site to be covered in veiwing glass . only then can the most honorable iron masters mansion be a sitefor your grands hiking eyes.

04-25-2011, 18:36
there is no shame or blame in admitting missmanagement still exists. most of the efforts will be to good gain in the short run. and if thats what we can afford, so be it. but the electrics are only a matter of a 3 to 4 thousand dollar redo, my contractor bill sheilds would be your best bet. he underbids and over satisfies. i gave him the last job of 35 resepticals and 2 new service boxes exspecting it to be twice the 3200 he asked. he leaves not a dust speck or print nor do his men pee on bushes.