Settlers Hospitality Group has officially closed on its purchase of Ehrhardt’s Waterfront Resort on Lake Wallenpaupack. Plans are progressing to relaunch Ehrhardt’s in May as Silver Birches Resort, which had been the name of the property from 1928, when George and Rachel Singer built the inn, until the late 1980s when the name was changed to Ehrhardt’s.
Each of the three components at Silver Birches Resort—the Resort, the Restaurant, and the Banquet Center—will be restored to its original architectural style in consultation with the award-winning firm Bohlin Cywinski Jackson, whose local projects have included Ledges Hotel and the Hawley Silk Mill. Dakan Enterprises and Grimm Construction are actively working on Silver Birches’ build out.
All building exteriors at Silver Birches will reflect an updated color palette featuring vintage colors of pale grey and white to unify the resort’s aesthetic. All exteriors and trim will be re-painted, and new fencing, rails and roofs will be installed.
Interiors will focus on a vintage theme. Antique quilts and fabrics will be added to the decor in a style complementary to a lakeside cottage retreat. A significant investment has been made on in-room amenities, including Keurigs, an extensive product line of soaps and shampoos, upgraded linens, mattresses, and furniture.
The Resort is comprised of the Inn, the Motel, Cottages, and Houses.
“The overall look and feel will be of a mid-20th century vintage resort comparable to those of the classic Catskills and Adirondacks genre,” says Owner Justin Genzlinger. “The Houses and Cottages will be ideal for family vacations, and will feature lots of new amenities, while the restored Inn and Motel will be oriented toward romantic couples’ getaways.”
Silver Birches Resort will join its sister properties, The Settlers Inn and Ledges Hotel, as a member of Historic Hotels of America and Select Registry.
“We’re pleased to confirm our initial hope that the Ehrhardt family will be staying on to run day-to-day operations at Silver Birches,” says Justin.
Continuity and Sustainability
Eric Ehrhardt will serve as interim Assistant General Manager and Chief Operating Officer for all Settlers Hospitality Group properties; Sue Ehrhardt will oversee Silver Birches’ lodging operations; Craig Ehrhardt will be the restaurant’s General Manager; and Steve Ehrhardt will manage The Waterfront as well as Settlers Hospitality Group’s weddings and events.
“Our family is excited to continue to be involved at the resort and with the Genzlinger family as they apply their vision for the future to this very special property,” says Eric.
As part of the renovation process, Owner Grant Genzlinger, has been working with Talen Energy forester Paul Kawalczyk on an approved plan to enhance the native plants of the Silver Birches shoreline. This will include the proper management of existing native species to create habitat for birds and wildlife, as well as reintroduction of native birch trees to the shoreline and throughout the property.
“We are committed to having the resort fit naturally into its setting and to maintaining the grounds sustainably for the enjoyment of all the guests who visit the resort, whether from the road or from the water,” says Grant.
The Inn, Lakeside and Cottages
The original Inn is undergoing a full historic renovation to a 1920s farmhouse style. As the cornerstone of Silver Birches Resort, it will serve as a romantic escape for couples and will feature extensive new guest amenities.
The original Inn and Lakeside will include:
- Five deluxe king rooms
- Seven luxury king suites
- Lake views from every room
- Amenities such as fireplaces, wet bars, private porches and whirlpool tubs
- Great room with original stone fireplace
- Activity center and gift shop with lake-geared items and provisions
- Double the amount of dock slip rentals
- Free and rental recreational activities like kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, canoeing, paddle boating, and row boating. All activities are subject to Talon Energy’s permitting process.
- New decking, fencing, patio furniture and umbrellas at the swimming pool
- Snack and drink service at the pool, sun porch, and on the lawn
- A nearly 700-foot newly landscaped lakefront below the pool, Inn and Motel
- New lakefront lounge & Adirondack chairs
- Year-round heated sunroom enclosed in glass on three sides
“Guests can sit virtually outside with an amazing view of the lake,” says Justin Genzlinger. “In warmer seasons, they can gather around the inn’s three gas fire pits and enjoy the sunset, which is the heartbeat of Silver Birches.”
Every evening, Silver Birches will host a complimentary sunset toast for guests. “We’re excited about this new tradition,” adds Justin. “What makes Silver Birches so special is its view of the sunset on Lake Wallenpaupack 365 days of the year.”
The resort’s motel, designed for couples and families, will be fully renovated into a contemporary version of its original 1966 incarnation. The vintage 1960s-modern style will showcase grey and white tones with red accents.
“The motel units will be a bit edgy and lots of fun,” says Owner Jeanne Genzlinger.
Highlights of the newly renovated motel will include:
- Eight guest rooms
- Bathrooms with walk-in tiled showers or new tubs and showers
- End units with new picture windows for views of Lake Wallenpaupack
The Dock at Silver Birches
The restaurant and bar area, which will become known as The Dock, will feature an expanded deck and renovated bar area.
The Dock restaurant will offer a casual dining experience at affordable prices similar to those of Ehrhardt’s Waterfront Restaurant. “The menu will include a combination of water-inspired foods and modern culinary twists on dishes that would have been prominent when Baby Boomers were kids,” says Executive Chef Ben Sutter. “Classics and comfort foods from soups, snacks, salads, sandwiches and light entrees.” More information about The Dock will be available in March.
The Waterfront at Silver Birches
The Waterfront at Silver Birches, the resort’s banquet center, will remain substantially the same, hosting weddings, community banquets, daytime bus business and holiday events. Decor such as tablecloths and centerpieces may be updated. The Waterfront’s existing packages will continue in addition to new options consistent with other Settlers Hospitality Group properties.
Silver Birches’ Grand Opening is slated for May 20.Visit www.SilverBirchesResortPA.com for more information.
Silver Birches – Pool
Silver Birches – Restaurant
Silver Birches – The Inn
About Settlers Hospitality Group
Settlers Hospitality Group is owned by the Genzlinger family, which has operated The Settlers Inn in Hawley, PA for more than 35 years—and more recently, along with family member John Shuman, have established a collection of local hospitality and lifestyle businesses including Ledges Hotel, the Hawley Silk Mill, Cocoon Coffee House, Mill Market and Lake Region Fitness.