Choice Hotels to convert former potato chip factory into new Clarion hotel

A rendering of the Clarion Hotel at The Chip Factory. Photo credit: Choice Hotels International (The 60-room Clarion Hotel at The Chip Factory will be located in Columbia, Pa., and will be operated by Murphy Hospitality Management.)

Choice Hotels signed an agreement with Cimarron Investments to develop a new Clarion Hotel in downtown Columbia, Pa. The multiple-story, 60-room property is an adaptive reuse of the town’s historic potato chip factory, preserving much of its original structure.

Located at 12 North 2nd Street, the property was built in 1876 as a hardware store before becoming an umbrella factory and then the Becker Pretzel Bakeries—Potato Chip Division in 1940. Designed for both business and leisure travelers, the Clarion Hotel at The Chip Factory will offer rooms with views of the Susquehanna River, as well as a full-service restaurant and bar with local craft beers, liquor and wine and a rooftop bar area. The property also will have flexible meeting and event space, catering services, fitness facilities, a business center and an on-site parking garage.

The new Clarion hotel is located in downtown Columbia and is accessible to U.S. routes 30, 83 and 283, positioning the hotel as a destination for guests traveling to the area for conferences, events and tourist attractions. The property is also a short distance from leisure attractions such as the American Music Theater, the National Watch and Clock Museum, the Turkey Hill Experience and numerous art and antique destinations. Several large area employers include GlaxoSmithKline, Donegal Insurance, The Hershey Company and Turkey Hill Dairies.

Choice Hotels teamed with Cimarron Investments, a Columbia-based real estate firm specializing in development, renovation and leasing, to develop the Clarion Hotel at The Chip Factory. Murphy Hospitality Management, which is owned by the same group as Cimarron Investments, will own and operate the hotel.