Category Archives: In The News

Starbucks at Willow Valley Crossroads

A new Starbucks is opening next week in Willow Street, taking a spot in a mixed-use development near Willow Valley Golf Course.

The Starbucks at 2412 Willow Valley Drive will occupy a new building in Willow Valley Crossroads, a commercial complex between Long Lane and the DoubleTree Resort.

The new Starbucks is opening Friday, March 6, a company spokesperson said.

The 2,100-square-foot Starbucks near Mick’s All American Pub will feature a drive-thru and operate with 20 to 25 employees, according to a Starbucks spokesperson.

Starbucks, which now has 15 locations in Lancaster County, will also be also opening a new one early this spring in The Crossings at Conestoga Creek, the Wegmans-anchored shopped center near Long’s Park.

Of the Starbucks now in Lancaster County, three are inside Target stores and one is inside a Giant. There’s also one inside the Lancaster Marriott at Penn Square and at a Pennsylvania Turnpike rest stop near Bowmansville.

Veteran Administration Community Clinic – Ribbon Cutting Ceremony

On November 27th, The Lebanon Veterans Administration had a Ribbon Cutting Ceremony and Open House at 212 Willow Valley Lakes Drive, Willow Street to celebrate the opening of their newest out- patient clinic in Lancaster.    Many VA, WVA & local dignitaries were invited to attend and Diane Poillon was asked to assist with the ribbon cutting along with Helen Fanus a long time VA Nurse Manager who moved to the new clinic when it opened on December 10th.

The new clinic is almost twice the size of the current clinic in Greenfield and is able to offer more services for our Veterans.  Willow Valley is very happy to welcome them to our WV Lakes Business & Medical Center as they take the last available suite in our 212 building.   Many Veterans from the Willow Valley Communities and people from the surrounding neighborhoods came by to tour the new clinic and to enroll for services.

Ribbon Cutting of VA Clinic at Willow Valley

Willow Valley Square Shopping Center Update

The Square has gone under a lot of changes over the past few years with the addition of the Advance Auto Parts store and the renovation of the McDonalds.  In 2018, the CVS and Fulton Bank moved across the street to Crossroads and Darrenkamp’s Market ended 86 years of serving the community.   Giant Food Stores stepped into the Darrenkamp location with a big renovation to the store which took place over a 14 day period.    The store is beautiful and people continue to come and check it out – many of the Darrenkamp’s employees were able to transfer over to Giant so there are a lot of familiar faces.

Giant at Willow Valley Square

Willow Valley Crossroads Update

In 2018 we were very happy to welcome three new businesses to Crossroads.   Both CVS/Pharmacy and Fulton Bank opened their new stores in April.   Turkey Hill opened their newest store in October with MTO (made to order) food service which is a new design for them.   All of these businesses, as well as Morr’s Range that opened in November 2017, are very pleased with the overwhelming welcome they have received from the Willow Street community.

Turkey Hill at Willow Valley Crossroads
Fulton Bank at Willow Valley Crossroads
CVS at Willow Valley Crossroads
Morr Outdoors at Willow Valley Crossroads

Morr Range Celebrates 1 Year at Willow Valley Crossroads

Morr Indoor Range and Training Center celebrated its 1-year anniversary of
opening its doors as a Willow Valley Crossroads tenant on December 9, 2018. Morr Range was one of the first three tenants to occupy space at the newly developed center.

At its new location, Morr Range offers an indoor shooting range, retails storefront, and many types of educational classes for firearms users of all levels. The classes include women-specific Ladies Night events, First Shots classes for beginner firearms users and collaborative events with the US Law Shield on firearms legality.

In 2018, Morr Range began presenting outreach events with local students on situational awareness and general safety practices. Morr also hosted its first DoMorr Community Event in the fall, raising donations for a local shelter and aiding the American Red Cross with blood donations.

If you’re interested in Morr Range’s services, classes, events, or have other questions, please visit the website at or call 717-517-7135.

Morr Indoor Range and Training Center is a family owned business in Lancaster, PA, established in 2010. Morr offers a variety of services including an indoor shooting range, training center, and retail store.

Willow Valley Business & Medical Center to add the Lancaster VA Community Clinic

Willow Valley Associates announced that the Lebanon Veterans Administration Medical Center leased 15,000-square-feet at 212 Willow Lakes Drive, Willow Street, PA.  This location will allow the VA to double the size of their Lancaster Community-Based Outpatient Clinic.

“The Willow Valley location will provide veterans with easy access to a variety of specialty medical services which the VA said was an important criteria in selecting a new location,” said Rick Poillon of Willow Valley, “we believe it will be a great location as Penn Medicine Lancaster General Health, UPMC Pinnacle, Orthopedic Associates of Lancaster and numerous other medical providers are already located at the Willow Valley Lakes Business & Medical Center.”

ROCK Commercial Real Estate represented Willow Valley in the transaction. “ROCK’s research team provided analytics that indicated the VA’s relocation to Willow Valley would reduce the cannibalization of their other two locations and further expand their reach into southern Lancaster”, said ROCK Brokerage Advisor Kevin Hodge.

The new clinic located on Route 222 (Beaver Valley Pike) in Willow Street will also be accessible by Lancaster’s Red Rose Transit which makes stops to the Center multiple times daily.  The VA said that it will be offering primary care and telehealth services, including mental and behavioral health, laboratory, physical therapy, women’s health and optometry.

The Lancaster Community-Based Outpatient Clinic’s opening is anticipated for the fall of 2018.

About Willow Valley and related companies:

Willow Valley has been a leader in the hospitality and real estate industries in Lancaster County for over 50 years, building and managing hotels, healthcare facilities, apartments, retail and office space.  Companies include DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Lancaster, Willow Valley Square Shopping Center, Willow Valley Lakes Business & Medical Center, Willow Woods Apartments, Willow Valley Communities, Hampton Inn Mountain Springs Ephrata, Hampton Inn & Suites Mount Joy, Hilton Garden Inn Harrisburg, Homewood Suites Harrisburg, Smart Life, Connections at Home, and CCS (Creative Construction Solutions.

Happy 1 Year Anniversary to our Hampton Inn & Suites Mount Joy & Ephrata!

It’s been a year since Willow Valley Associates, Inc., added the Hampton Inn and Suites in Ephrata and the Hampton Inn and Suites, Manheim/Mt. Joy to their portfolio.  Both hotels have continued the Willow Valley mission of “We Create Great Experiences”   We congratulate the teams at both of these fine hotels including General Managers, Emi Nissley and Jenn Katke and the Regional Manager, Brett Sechrist.

Through the last nearly 50 years, Willow Valley has grown from a small motel and restaurant along Willow Street Pike to what is now the Willow Valley family of companies, including the DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Lancaster, Willow Valley Square Shopping Center, Willow Valley Lakes Business & Medical Center, Willow Woods Apartments, Willow Valley Communities (a 2,500 resident, 55+ community), the Hilton Garden Inn and Homewood Suites by Hilton in Harrisburg, and now the Hampton Inn & Suites Ephrata and Hampton Inn & Suites Manheim/Lancaster West.

Congratulations and Happy One-Year Birthday!  We look forward to many more years of excellence!

Helping others in need!

The Willow Valley team members participated in a hurricane relief donation effort in coordination with Chaplain Alec and Grace Church.  Together we raised $1,875, matched by Willow Valley, for a total of $3,750!

We are proud of our team for contributing to this effort to assist others who suffered the devastating effects of Hurricane Harvey.

Crossroads Ground Breaking Ceremony

The skies may have been cloudy but it was a bright day in our company’s history!  The Crossroads ground breaking was celebrated on Friday, June 23, 2017 with a great group of people including representatives from West Lampeter Township, the first tenants: CVS, Fulton Bank, Morr Outdoors, Mick’s All American Pub and Turkey Hill as well as a host of Willow Valley team members!  Everyone was excited to listen as Diane and Rick Poillon talked about where Willow Valley has been and the exciting new things to come.


Hampton Inn and Suites Mount Joy Receives National Recognition!

The Hampton Inn and Suites, Mount Joy, has been awarded the “Circle of Excellence Award”.  This award is given to the very top hotels of the Hampton Inn brand; only those hotels who score in the top 10% are recognized in this way for their commitment to Product, Service and Excellence.  Willow Valley is honored to receive this award.  We are proud of General Manager Emi Nissley and her talented team for living out the Hampton promise to be Friendly, Authentic, Caring and Thoughtful and their commitment to the Willow Valley Vision to Create Great Experiences for everyone we touch, making their lives better.

Homewood Suites by Hilton – Harrisburg East receives national recognition!

The Homewood Suites by Hilton – Harrisburg East Team recently received national brand recognition at a “by invitation only” awards event held in Las Vegas, NV. Our Homewood by Hilton – Harrisburg East won the Hilton Connie Award of Merit. Of the awards recognized at this event, this is the only award that recognizes the very top hotels, the best of the best, among the Homewood Suites by Hilton brand.  This award is earned by achieving high service and cleanliness scores combined with “Outstanding” Hilton Quality Assurance Audits.

Spirit of Hampton Winner

We would like to congratulate Courtney Shenk of the Hampton Inn & Suites Mount Joy who has won the Spirit of Hampton Award!

Whether it’s filling in for sick teammates, lending a hand in other departments or working overtime at a sister property, you can always count on Courtney to always be there for you.  And it’s not just at the hotel, Courtney is a “Super Starfish” who is really involved with her community and humanitarian needs.  She regularly goes on mission trips to other countries like Africa, Australia and Austria where she helps teach children English.  At her church, she leads a youth group of middle schoolers and has even been known to anonymously pay dues for an individual who couldn’t have otherwise been able to attend a retreat.  Thank you for all you do “Crunchie”, to make our lighthouse brand shine brighter than ever before!


Servant Leadership Award

Water Street Mission named a new annual award after Marlin and Doris Thomas at their September awards banquet.  It is called the Marlin and Doris Thomas Servant Leader Award and will be presented each year to a local person who demonstrates servant leadership as they minister to our local community.  This year’s award was presented to Dr. Jim Amstutz, the Executive Director of the Lancaster County Council of Churches.

Willow Valley Acquires 2 Hampton Inn & Suites Hotels

Lancaster, PA (October 24, 2016) — Willow Valley Associates, Inc. announced the addition of two Hampton Inn and Suites hotels to their portfolio. The Hampton Inn & Suites Ephrata, and the Hampton Inn & Suites Manheim/Lancaster West (close to the Spooky Nook complex), were acquired on October 24, 2016.

“We’re excited to bring these two strong hotels into our Willow Valley team / family”, said Diane Poillon, President and CEO of Willow Valley Associates. “In the Lancaster region they are strong performers.   We look forward to working with the teams at each site, and to continuing their success in the Lancaster market.”

Poillon announced that Brett Sechrist will be the Regional Manager of Focused Service Hotels for Willow Valley.  He will manage the four focused service hotels in Willow Valley’s portfolio. Previously Sechrist was the General Manager for Willow Valley’s Homewood Suites and Hilton Garden Inn.

Through the last nearly 50 years, Willow Valley has grown from a small motel and restaurant along Willow Street Pike to what is now the Willow Valley family of companies, including the DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Lancaster, Willow Valley Square Shopping Center, Willow Valley Lakes Business & Medical Center, Willow Woods Apartments, Willow Valley Communities (a 2,500 resident, 55+ community), the Hilton Garden Inn and Homewood Suites by Hilton in Harrisburg, and now the Hampton Inn & Suites Ephrata and Hampton Inn & Suites Manheim/Lancaster West.

Willow Valley Business & Medical Center – News Update

We are very happy to announce that the former Blue Ball National Bank/Community Bank building has been leased by Univest Bank & Trust.

The branch will be opening on Monday, August 29, 2016 and will be having their ‘Grand Opening’ celebration on Thursday October 6th  we will relay any additional information on the festivities as the time gets closer.

Univest Bank & Trust is based in Souderton Pennsylvania with most of their branches in the Philadelphia area and until now extending as far west as West Chester and as far north as Allentown.   The bank was founded in 1876 and is celebrating their 140th anniversary this year.

This full service retail branch at 90 Willow Valley Lakes Drive will be their first in Lancaster County.

Univest B&T will be offering personal banking solutions such as checking and savings accounts, money market accounts, certificate of deposit, and individual retirement accounts.  They also offer loan products including auto loans, student loans and residential mortgages as well as business checking accounts, payroll solutions, real estate loans and Small Business Administration (SBA) programs.

Please feel free to visit the branch and welcome them to the neighborhood – we wish them many successful years at Willow Valley Lakes Business & Medical Center.

Willow Valley’s 50th Anniversary Celebration!

On Sunday June 26th, Willow Valley held a party for Lancaster and the adjoining communities who have been such a great part of its success for the past 50 years.  Team members as well as local residents and business owners and their families were invited to the festivities that ran from 4pm – 9pm and culminated in a fantastic musical fireworks display.

Many team members, hotel guests and the local community attended and commented on what a great time they had enjoying the hay rides, petting zoo, bounce houses and water slides.  They really appreciated all of the efforts that were made so that everyone could have a great time and celebrate Willow Valley’s 50th.   There were also festival games, face painting, the Turkey Hill cow, fire truck tours, K-9 demonstrations, a beer garden and a variety of food trucks – something for everyone!


Also, please see below blog from Discover Lancaster on Willow Valley’s 50th Anniversary Celebration:

Marlin and Doris Thomas receive Medical Society’s Benjamin Rush Award

Marlin and Doris Thomas were recipients of the Benjamin Rush Award at the Pennsylvania Medical Society’s annual dinner and business meeting on June 14.  This award recognizes individual(s) who are not practicing healthcare professionals, yet who devote time, skills or resources to assisting others and contribute to the advancement of healthcare. This award recognizes the Thomas’s contribution to the Water Street Mission Makeover which took place in March 2016 at the Water Street Mission on Prince Street in Lancaster.

Willow Valley Business & Medical Center – News Release

Univest Bank & Trust Company of Pennsylvania announced it will be opening its first branch office in Lancaster County.    The Souderton-based holding company said they have signed a lease for a full-service retail branch in the Willow Valley Business & Medical Center at 90 Willow Valley Lakes Drive, Willow Street, in West Lampeter Township.

The announcement came on the heels of Univest filing an application to open a loan production office in East Lampeter Township, also in Lancaster County.   Jeff Schweitzer, CEO of Univest Corp., said the moves are a direct result of the market disruption in Lancaster County’s banking industry.

Some of the county’s major banking players have been acquired by out-of-market banks, and local community banks have moved in to target customers that may not feel like they fit in the new banks.  Mr. Schweitzer said expanding to Lancaster County was on the bank’s radar, but the market disruption sped up the schedule.

They intend to open the branch in the third quarter of 2016.

DoubleTree Team Member is Nationally Recognized by Hilton!

Emily Drennen is a marketing specialist and sales assistant at Lancaster DoubleTree Resort by Hilton. Recently, she was recognized nationally as a Hilton Socialite for her excellence in social media. As her reward, Emily will be flying to Dallas for an all-expense paid trip. This will be a three-day Social Media conference where Emily will get to present to over 100 Hilton team members, network with the other 25 Socialites, and share ideas with social savvy team members! Congratulations, Emily!

Connie Award Recognizes Hilton’s Best Hotels

Willow Valley’s Homewood Suites-Harrisburg East hotel has been presented with the prestigious Connie Award by Hilton.  As the highest hotel award across all Hilton Worldwide brands, the Connie is presented to properties that embody Conrad Hilton’s vision to “fill the earth with the light and warmth of hospitality”.

This award recognizes this Willow Valley property as one of the top 30 Homewood Suites in the nation. They are graded on overall service scores, overall cleanliness scores, the last Hilton inspection and total extended stay percentage.  There are 392 operating Homewood Suites in the US & Canada.  Homewood Suites-Harrisburg East ranks as #22! Congratulations to the Homewood Suites team for their hard work and dedication!  Once again, Willow Valley team members create great experiences!

Service Anniversaries

On January 1, Marlin Thomas, Chairman of the Board, celebrated his 50th year of service with Willow Valley.  We want to congratulate Mr. Thomas for his half-century of servant leadership to the Willow Valley family of companies!

Doris Thomas, Board Secretary / Treasurer, also celebrated 50 years of service with Willow Valley.  We congratulate and thank Mrs. Thomas for her many significant contributions to Willow Valley and related companies over these many years.

Joe Lucia, Chief Financial Officer, celebrated 5 years of service with Willow Valley.  Thank you and congratulations to Mr. Lucia for his expertise and leadership to our company.

New Development Update

The construction of an Advance Auto Parts Store on the final available lot at the Shopping Square has been completed.   The store opened on December 17, 2015 and has been enjoying a successful business ever since.

Willow Valley is in the midst of master planning 63acres of land zoned for development at the corner of Pa State Route 741 and 222/272 South. ‘Crossroads’ was chosen as the name because of the ideal location for businesses to establish. This site is adjacent to the Willow Valley owned and operated DoubleTree Hotel and across the street from the Willow Valley Shopping Square.

The first business to reserve a lot is Turkey Hill Minit Mart who is planning to construct a building that will be a first of its kind for Turkey Hill in Lancaster.   The  5,200 square foot building on the corner of Willow Street Pike and Long Lane will not only have 16 gas bays but will also have the made to order food items that are so popular to gas stations over the past few years.

Following the Turkey Hill will be the construction of a new CVS/Pharmacy on the corner of Willow Street Pike and Willow Valley Drive.  This building will also have a drive thru pharmacy for the convenience of the community.

We are pleased to announce that Fulton Bank has agreed to move from their Willow Valley Square location over to the new Crossroads.  This will allow Fulton Bank the opportunity to construct a larger building to accommodate additional services that they would like to offer to their customers.

Advance Auto Parts Addition

Advance Auto Parts has partnered with Willow Valley Associates to construct a new store in Lancaster PA. The chain’s newest Lancaster County store is located in West Lampeter Township at 2417 Willow Street Pike in the Willow Valley Shopping Square and opened its doors on Thursday, December 17, 2015 after a record breaking 9 week period to build it.

As an automobile parts provider, Advance Auto Parts is a great resource for both the professional and home mechanic. The store accepts used motor oil and batteries for recycling as well as provides free installation when a new battery or windshield wipers are purchased.