Autoport sale closes, new owner likely to renovate

The sale of The Autoport property at 1405 S. Atherton St., State College, became official Wednesday.
The sale of The Autoport property at 1405 S. Atherton St., State College, became official Wednesday. Centre Daily Times, file

The Autoport’s sale became official Wednesday.

The long-awaited buy — the former owners have been talking to investors since 2014 — puts the 1405 S. Atherton St. property in the hands of South Atherton Real Estate 1, which has the same Montoursville address as Gregory Welteroth Holdings. The company did not return requests for comment.

Former co-owner Greg Mussi, who ran the motel with his wife, Lynda, said he could not disclose the new owner’s identity. He did give insight into The Autoport’s apparent future.

“I can tell you it’s sold and closed and that the new owners are well-funded and excited for the next chapter,” Greg Mussi said. “From what they’ve told me they want to renovate, and I believe they’ll invest the time and money and redo all the rooms and get everything where it needs to be for it to be successful. I don’t know about the name. I don’t know if they’ll keep it or the restaurant, but I know they’ll invest a lot to be successful.”

The initial investment, according to the property deed, is $2.1 million.

County commissioners approved a fee agreement related to the sale in December. The county was brought into the transaction to preserve the taxing of the proceeds that would come out of the sale. About $130,000 in real estate taxes would be split among the municipality, the school district and the county.

Investor interest in the motel spiked after “Hotel Impossible” aired an episode on the business in October 2014. The Mussis have also been facing foreclosure since April 2014.

Lynda Mussi will continue to help run the family business, Learning Station, in Cato Park. Greg Mussi, though he said he won’t run a motel or restaurant again, has plans for food-related ventures. However, they said they don’t regret their decision to buy the motel in 2007.

“It goes without saying, we enjoyed every minute of it and we came here at the right time,” Greg Mussi said. “The options were limited, and we got in there to save it. But we also decided it was someone else’s time to buy it. We hope it will give them as much joy as it gave us and people from out of town who stayed here. We got to meet really, really great people. It was a privilege to be associated with it. It’s legendary, and we’re thankful to have been a part of it.”

Shawn Annarelli: 814-235-3928, @Shawn_Annarelli