The Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau – celebrating its 75th anniversary – honors its remarkable, diverse history with a Top 10 list of moments which have made northeastern Pennsylvania one of the nation’s most enjoyable vacation destinations.
• 1926 – The Pennsylvania Power and Light Company dammed a creek and built a hydro-electric plant, creating 5,600-acre lake with 52 miles of uninterrupted shoreline enjoyed today by boaters, fisherman and water sports aficionados.
• 1938 – Shawnee Inn and Golf Resort hosts the PGA Championship, where Paul Runyan upset the great Sam Snead. Shawnee is one of more than 30 golf courses throughout the Pocono Mountains which showcases legendary layouts by A.W. Tillinghast, Donald Ross, Robert Trent Jones Sr. and modern designs by Jack Nicklaus.
• 1945 – The Farm on the Hill became the first official honeymoon resort in the Pocono Mountains, which would later be named the “Honeymoon Capital of the World” by Life Magazine. “Pocono Love Potion” was introduced in 1972.
• 1946 – The Pocono Mountains embraced the opening of Big Boulder Ski Area, the first commercial ski area in Pennsylvania and the first to make snow. Today, nearly a dozen ski areas combine to provide more than 170 slopes and trails for downhill or cross-country skiing.
• 1967 – The Pocono Mountains’ Pike County is considered the birthplace of the American Conservation Movement as the county was home to Gifford Pinchot, an early conservation proponent and the first head of the U.S. Forest Service. Hickory Run’s Boulder Field, a National Natural Landmark is also located in the four-county region.
• 1974 – NASCAR holds its first race at Pocono Raceway and continues to host two events annually – the Pocono 500 and the Pennsylvania 500 each summer.
• 1975 – The first “Fall Foliage” was held in Carbon County. The PMVB now provides a 24-hour hotline with real-time updates on Mother Nature’s majestic color changes.
• 1989 – The PMVB hosted the Tour de Trump and again in 1991 as the Tour DuPont Race. Moreover, the town of Jim Thorpe is rated as one of the best mountain biking destinations in the United States.
• 2005 – The Pocono Mountains welcomed Great Wolf Lodge, the northeast’s largest indoor waterpark resort. This spurred the onset of planning for additional waterparks throughout the region.
• 2007 – The region's first casino, Mount Airy Casino Resort – featuring Vegas-like slot-machine gaming – provides another exciting tourism element within this year-round destination.
The four-season destination provides the ideal backdrop for corporate outings and meetings. If it’s an overnight stay, a weekend getaway or an extended vacation, people are increasingly discovering the convenience of the Pocono Mountains properties and value-laden stay-and-play packages.
Combined with the close proximity of New York City, Philadelphia and the Jersey Shore, the mountain getaway has only grown in popularity over recent seasons. People are choosing to stay closer to home rather than fight the rising travel costs and overcrowding at other destinations. Instead of checking extra luggage, boarding planes and waiting in lines, smart vacationers are making the short, scenic drive to the Pocono Mountains.
For more information about the myriad activities in the Pocono Mountains, call 800.POCONOS (800.762.6667) or visit www.800poconos.com.