HAWLEY- Just two months after a fire caused $1 million in damage to Ledges Hotel in Hawley, there was a soft reopening Thursday evening.  
    Following two winter storms in the first half of February, ice built up and put pressure on the gas line, which caused a gas leak. Proprietor Justin Genzlinger said the fire on February 14 was set off when the leak reached the heating and air conditioning unit. Aside from the fire damaging a few rooms, 90 percent of the damage was from water and 10 percent from the fire.  
       Genzlinger said the fire was ruled an accident and no one was hurt during the ordeal. For 62 days the business was closed. But, within 24 hours teams were in place, working to reopen the business. In a matter of about 72 hours, he said the damage and debris was removed from the building. AMSkier Insurance from Hawley, Genzlinger said really helped to protect his business by coordinating with a larger insurance company and paying the claim. That, he said worked out well because it was not, “too big of a hit to our business.” Genzlinger who is the son of Jeanne and Grant Genzlinger who own the Settlers Inn, noted that in the family's 34 years of business, the family had never experienced a fire or other disaster. The biggest difficulty, he said was being closed for two months and not knowing exactly when he would reopen.
    Over 15 different teams, all but one, were based in Wayne or Pike Counties who helped to get the hotel in shape to be reopened. Looking at the bright side of the situation, Genzlinger said “the silver lining of this, roughly $1 million of this business was pumped into the local community to fix this problem.” The quick response and continuous hard-work from the staff, Genzlinger noted is the reason the business was able to reopen so quickly.
    Part of the reason for the push for the quick reopening, is that the hotel is booked for a wedding Friday. Literally, Genzlinger said the paint was still drying Thursday afternoon in a few of the rooms. There will be a grand reopening for the public with the restaurant Saturday night, April 19 with a Grateful Dead tribute band and party.
    Most everything was done to look as it was before the fire. But functionality wise, Genzlinger said some sound proofing and barriers between the restaurant and hotel were added. While closed, he said work was done, that was already planned for a few “capital improvements.” One such adjustment was additional wind walls and heaters in the restaurant so guests can enjoy outdoor dining starting May 1 which will go to the end of October. That, he said, is the biggest difference for the customers.  
    The heating system that Genzlinger spoke about, Marla Tremsky the director of food and beverage said is a “state of the art heating system” that can bring the deck temperature up to 70 degrees. During the nice weather, the panels on the deck can be lowered so people can continue to enjoy the, “majestic, magical Wallenpaupack river gorge,” said Tremsky.
    The wooden furniture in the hotel is not new, instead the wood came from a tree that was damaged on another property owned by the family during Hurricane Irene a few years ago. The wood was repurposed to make all of the furniture in the bar and the shelves that make a “raw rustic look,” said Tremsky.
    Although the hotel has not fully reopened, it is fully booked and the Front Desk Manager Terri Marcellus said there is, “nothing like starting with a  full house,” so the staff could “jump right in.” With the wedding occurring Friday, she added that “its a nice way to start, a nice rebirth.”