Clinefelter’s Flooring, a State College staple since 1945, has been put on the market.
The flooring service and installation company, located at 938 W. College Ave., currently leases the space and is including the remaining inventory as part of the sale. The company van, forklift, floor samples and carpet racks are also being offered.
Owner Jerry Maida bought the business from Jere and Tina Clinefelter in 1990, moving it to its current location in 2002.
“It’s a good business; I hate to close it,” Maida said. “But I’m ready to retire.”
Maida said that with the included inventory and equipment, the 5,566-square-foot space is a “turn-key, step-in business.” He decided to put it on the market about a year ago, he added, and is targeting to sell by December or sooner.
“We still maintain a good reputation,” he said, “but it’s just ready for me to do something else.”
‘Hidden little gem’ glitters green
Tucked in the rolling hills of Bald Eagle State Park lies a verdant hideaway.
Little goes to waste at The Nature Inn at Bald Eagle, an LEED Gold Certified hotel. It harvests rainwater via a 2,800-gallon system. Recycled wine barrels dotting the perimeter collect rain for watering plants. Two dozen geothermal heating and cooling wells power the green retreat, which overlooks the lake and the tree-laden valley below.
“We’re kind of a hidden little gem,” said Cody Wolfe, the assistant innkeeper.
Thanks to a recent competition, the secret may be harder to keep. Pennsylvania’s only state park hotel is in the running for USA Today’s Best Eco-Friendly Hotel. The competition, which is overseen by travel website 10Best, is voted on by readers. The Nature Inn currently sits in second place behind The Crash Pad in Chattanooga, Tenn.
Wolfe said the inn’s team received an email from USA Today last weekend, alerting them that the inn was named one of the top 20 Best Eco-Friendly Hotels in the country. It’s the first time the hotel, which opened in 2010, has been nominated.
“Definitely surprised,” Wolfe said. “I never thought we would qualify.”
The hotel makes use of several sustainable practices, including everything from composting catering leftovers to donating soap products to the Clean the World recycling program, which cleans used bars of hand soap and distributes them to developing nations. When visitors sit down inside, they’re resting on local white oak, crafted through a program with Rockview state prison.
Of the 243 reviews on TripAdvisor, which named The Nature Inn as a GreenLeader, 224 carry “Excellent” ratings. None are below “Very good.”
“I live right here on the lake with a beautiful view every morning,” Wolfe said. “But I can still go to football games and hang out with my friends in town and go out to dinner, and then come out here and be completely immersed in nature.”
Voters can cast their ballots online at 10best.com. The polls close at noon on Aug. 1.
Beknighted by Bacchus
Soon, a few local sommeliers will have another reason to smile.
Wine Spectator, a magazine specializing in the Epicurean milieu, recently honored five Centre County restaurants as part of its 2016 Restaurant Awards. The complete list of winners will be included in the August issue, which will be released on July 19.
State College’s The Tavern Restaurant, Zola Kitchen and Wine Bar, The Dining Room at the Nittany Lion Inn, Mario’s Italian Restaurant and Boalsburg’s Kelly’s Steak and Seafood each earned kudos based on several criteria. Wine Spectator vetted restaurants’ vino and menu for price, style and taste.
Zola and The Dining Room are first-time honorees, with the latter receiving the magazine’s “Best of Award of Excellence,” which highlights restaurants with a wider selection of wines. Kelly’s Steak and Seafood has been named to the list since 2007, while Mario’s Italian Restaurant and The Tavern Restaurant have earned the distinction since 2008.
Roger Van Scyoc: 814-231-4698, @rogervanscy