Castelli’s Hotel | Inside Hersheypark

In 1940, Dionisio Castelli opened a restaurant on West Derry Road in Hershey and it would remain in operation for 24 years, being converted into a hotel in 1946. The property was sold to Hershey Estates in 1964, and eventually it became part of Hersheypark when the park began expanding north of West Derry Road in 1980.

This was located next to the West Derry Road entrance of Hersheypark, which at the time was not at Lobby One of the Hersheypark Arena, but was further east of the Arena at the intersection of West Derry Road and Park Lane.

1960 Park Lane
From this circa 1960 map, you can see Park Lane goes east from Park Boulevard, around Hershey Park Ball Field, and up north to an intersection with West Derry Road. Castelli’s Hotel is located across from Park Lane on West Derry Road.

1960 Castelli's Hotel.png

Castelli’s Restaurant

Castelli’s father had always wanted his family to go into business. With this idea in mind, Dionisio decided to build a soda fountain next to his home on 79 West Derry Road.

This was called Castelli’s Restaurant, better known as C’s. His younger sisters were interested in having a dance floor, so they convinced Dionisio to build a basement and open Jitterbug Place, a dance floor for young adults that had a jukebox and booths.

By 1944, the business was declining because of World War II. After the war ended in 1945, Castelli began considering his options to modernize the business.

Castelli’s Hotel

The most logical option was to apply for a liquor license. At the time, the easiest way to get approval for a liquor license was to have hotel rooms, so he decided to add 12 hotel rooms. He renamed C’s as Castelli’s Hotel.

1947-01-04 Harrisburg [PA] Telegraph (p5).jpg

1956 Castelli's Hotel
The white rectangular building on the far right is Castelli’s Hotel. This photo was from 1956 and taken inside Hersheypark at the Kiddie Turnpike. The area between West Derry Road and the Kiddie Turnpike are tennis courts. Photo courtesy of Ron Mann.

1948-04-16 The [Harrisburg, PA] Evening News (p14).jpg

The establishment operated until 1964 when Castelli decided to get out of the business. Castelli sold his house and the hotel property to Hershey Estates, on the condition that he would have a job with Hershey Estates or Hershey Chocolate Corporation.

Where is Castelli’s Hotel inside Hersheypark today?

Castelli’s Hotel is located approximately on the west end side of the Frontier Flyers ride area in Hersheypark. The Subway building next to Frontier Flyers that is part of Pioneer Frontier Food Court was a former home on West Derry Road (more information on that building can be found in the Pioneer Frontier Food Court article). The map below roughly shows where Castelli’s Hotel was located.

Consider supporting The Amusement Parkives by clicking here!

4 thoughts on “Castelli’s Hotel | Inside Hersheypark”

  1. I loved going to Hershey to visit my grandparents and cousins and aunts and uncles and we always went to the Hershey park . My grandfather, Serafino Castelli ,often walked with us to the park.
    This article was about my Godfather,Uncle Mini. Lots of love in this big family.

  2. Pingback: 2018 in Review – The Amusement Parkives

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: