Washington real estate men Robert Holland and Bruce Lyons have agreed to purchase the 173-year-old Bedford Springs Hotel, a 3,000 acre resort in Pennsylvania.
Holland and Lyons will pay $4 million for the aging hotel and its forests and golf course and say they plan to spend another $5.5 million to refurbish and expand the facilities.
Located a 2 1/2-hour drive north and west of Washington, Bedford Springs has been a mountain resort since 1803. It fancies itself a smaller, less formal equivalent of Virginia's Homestead or West Virginia's Greenbriar.
The hotel owned by L. Gardner Moore, 83, who once managed the Shoreham and Sheraton Park hotels in Washington. It is a popular vacation and convention locale for Washington area residents.
Holland & Lyons are a pair of young real estate men who in 10 years have gone from renovating houses in inner city neighborhoods to developing major projects including the Papermill condominiums on the Georgetown waterfront.
The two now control more than a dozen companies. The Holland and Lyons real estate empire has been bankrolled by their silent partner, Warren Avis, who founded and later sold the "we try harder" rental car company.
Neither could be reached for comment on the Bedford Springs purchase, which was disclosed yesterday in Pennsylvania.
The two developers have told Bedford Springs officials they plan to expand to year-round operation at the hotel, which now is open only eight months of the year.
The hotel has 245 rooms, and 18-hole golf course and hundreds of acres of wooded mountain lands.
The golf course is to be upgraded and and eight indoor tennis courts added to the hotel's attractions.
Holland and Lyons plan to develop two-acre homesites on part of the hotel's mountain property, Pennsylvania sources said.
Bedford Springs has attracted presidents from James Polk to Dwight Eisenhower and was used during World War II to inter Japanese diplomats and to train Navy Morse code operators.
The Pennsylvania project will be the first big step outside the Washington market for Holland & Lyons Associates. The company owns a real estate business and an auto dealership, Coastal Motors in Annapolis, but most of its projects are in the District of Columbia.