Bits of Business: Above the Valley Special Event Center sets opening date

The former Mount Nittany Inn in Potter Township will open as The Valley Special Event Center.
The former Mount Nittany Inn in Potter Township will open as The Valley Special Event Center. Centre Daily Times, file

Above The Valley Special Event Center, formerly known as Mount Nittany Inn, plans to open for business June 1, according to a news release.

Unlike its predecessor, the venue will serve as a celebration venue and meeting center, not a restaurant.

The center recently began taking inquiries for group events of 30 or more people. It can facilitate events for more than 400 in the entire building but can host events on individual levels and rooms.

The Elevation 1809 Room is at the building’s entry level, can seat about 200 people and provides space for dancing and buffets. It is also handicapped accessible. The Overlook Room is on the uppermost level and can host up to 100 people. The Hillside Room could have 75 guests and is one floor beneath the entry level. Each level has a bar and can be reserved separately.

The venue is still undergoing renovations, including new paint and flooring, removal and erecting of walls and new furnishing and decor.

“We hope to have it ready for viewing within the month,” the company said.

Owners of Harrison’s Wine Grill & Catering recently bought the building. They will continue to operate Harrison’s at the Hilton Garden Inn on College Avenue.

New bank opens

First National Bank will kick off a weeklong grand opening celebration at its new banking center.

The new bank at 366 E. College Ave. will start with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 11 a.m. Monday with FNB executives, local officials and community leaders taking part. It will be followed by an open house reception until 4 p.m.

The bank will also give people who visit through Saturday the chance to win prizes, including a $250 Blue-White game tailgating package and gift certificates to local business. Winners will be announced every half hour during 98.7 The Freq’s live broadcasts from the bank 2:30-4:30 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m.-noon Saturday.

The interactive banking center was designed in collaboration with Penn State students in the Management 496 class.

Startup to start up

IST Startup Week will celebrate five years at Penn State.

The weeklong event, hosted by the College of Information Sciences and Technology, will kick off Monday to highlight ingenuity and to showcase opportunities for students who want to be entrepreneurs.

Students will participate in workshops, think tanks, team challenges and competitions, attend innovation expos, connect with entrepreneurs at networking events and sit in on presentations.

Inc. U in the Startup Tank will have a three-hour face-to-face pitching session Monday night when investors can provide funding for enterprising startups. Inc. U will make $7,000 in funding available to students.

Local high school students will also participate Tuesday in the iTech Propose an App Challenge, in which 20 teams will present their problem-solving apps for a $5,000 cash prize.

The final day will feature the Student Entrepreneurship Summit, a two-hour gathering at Alumni Hall in the HUB-Robeson Center, to connect students to share lessons learned and best practices in the realm of student entrepreneurship. For more information on IST Startup Week, including the full week’s schedule, visit

Millions available

Business owners can learn how to compete for about $575 million, according to a release.

They just have to go to a workshop featuring the commonwealth’s Cooperative Purchasing Program, also known as COSTARS, on Tuesday in Bellefonte.

COSTARS provides opportunities for businesses to compete for government business based on their features and benefits, not just on the lowest price. The program eliminates the bidding process with COSTARS-approved suppliers so that qualified public entities can buy directly from businesses and keep money in the local economy.

“Product opportunities include office, school and library supplies, software, foods, voting systems, toiletries, emergency responder supplies, playground equipment, water and wastewater treatment equipment, traffic equipment, medical supplies, groundskeeping maintenance, theater furniture, heavy equipment rental and more,” the release said.

The workshop will be 10 a.m. to noon Tuesday at the Centre County Recycling and Refuse Authority, located at 253 Transfer Road. Admission is free, but registration is required. To register, visit

Shawn Annarelli: 814-235-3928, @Shawn_Annarelli