Preliminary plans for a major development on Terrace Mountain and the Hawn’s Bridge area of Raystown Lake are in the works.
The plans, while still in the infancy stages, include building a luxury resort hotel atop of Terrace Mountain in Union Townshipand the construction of a marina in the Hawn’s Bridge section of Raystown Lake in Juniata Township.
Roberts is considering developing 440 acres of Terrace Mountain in Union Township, which overlooks the northeastern portion of Raystown Lake, for the resort hotel, which could include 200 to 300 rooms.The land for the proposed Terrace Mountain Lodge, on a 440-acre site inUnion Township, is currently owned by Rod Roberts of Austin, Texas, who is affiliated with Lancer Resources. He purchased the land from Gladfelter Paper Co. in 2011, which owned it prior to the development ofRaystown Lake.
The southern end of the property owned by Roberts is on a 400-acre section of land in Cass Townshipwhich is proposed for recreational activities.
Camilla Hardee, development and marketing consultant for Roberts, said there’s absolutely nothing set right now and Roberts is checking to see if his plan is even feasible.
“It’s basically a vision right now,” said Hardee. “We’re in the early planning stages, and we’re doing our due diligence to check on the feasibility of the project.”
Other potential amenities on the Terrace Mountain Lodge site could include luxury suites, traditional guest rooms, cabin rentals, vacation homes, rustic “glamping” at a fly fishing retreat, a full service spa and salon, fitness center, art classes, a fine dining restaurant and casual dining restaurant.
Other proposed plans include a 20,000-square-foot indoor function space, outdoor function space, wedding chapel and gazebo.
Additionally, he also wants to seek a partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to develop land below the proposed resort site for a marina, tentatively titled Hawn’s Bridge Marina. Plans for the marina include boat slips, canoe rack spaces, sailboat rack spaces, a launch ramp, beach, restaurant and store.
Though Hardee would not specify who Roberts met with in the county, she did indicate he has held meetings to see if there is any interest in the plan.
“We’re working on a land plan,” said Hardee.
When Roberts purchased the land in 2011, Hardee said he began to envision its potential.
“He basically fell in love with the property and just started envisioning what it could be,” said Hardee. “He’s traveled all over the world and he’s enjoyed resorts with great views. The view from the top of the property (on Terrace Mountain) that overlooks Raystown Lake is as good as some of the luxury resorts he’s stayed in around the world.”
Though he’s been thinking about this since purchasing the land, Hardee said he began to work on it in earnest about a year ago. He’s also working with an architecture firm in Austin, Texas.
“He’s pursuing a feasibility study to see if this is something that can actually happen,” said Hardee.
Hardee couldn’t specify what is planned for the marina, other than plans have to involve a public/private partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
“It’s too preliminary, but we’re looking at what would fit on the land and still be conducive to the terrain,” said Hardee. “It’s too preliminary to build a profile other than he wants a high quality property.”
Huntingdon County Visitors Bureau executive director Matt Price said he’s pleased the area is being considered for an investment of this magnitude.
“The jobs, tax revenue and enhancements to local quality of life that would be created would make this a very attractive project, and one the visitors bureau will do everything within its mission to support,” said Price. “We encourage other organizations, local governments and citizens to do the same.”
Huntingdon County planning director Mark Colussy said there ere things that would need to be addressed if development is even considered.
“Right now, there’s not a suitable road access into that properly that would be suitable for that much traffic,” said Colussy. “You can get there, but not for as many people as they want to serve.”
Another thing that would need to be addressed is sewage.
“If they put in a lodge resort, hotel or whatever their intent is, there’s a pretty significant water and sewage disposal need,” said Colussy. “Since there are no public utilities in that vicinity, they would have to figure out the best way to manage. It doesn’t seem reasonable to extend utilities that far, so it seems as if the best option would be to do an on-lot system. It’s possible, but there’s some work that needs to be done.
“These are typical things you want to look at when you have a bigger development, but from what I understand, they’re in an exploratory phase at this point,” he added.
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