A Cohnversation with Bob McGowan

It’s almost like comparing apples to oranges. Peddler’s Village (PV) has so much more to offer than any one hotel, or multiple hotels, that I’ve managed in the past. PV is its own destination - a shopping venue for some, a romantic getaway or family entertainment spot for others… on any given day, we are probably also hosting corporate meetings and/or private parties and weddings. Guests come to the Village for many reasons! They might want to stroll the Village with a cocktail, or just sit and people watch… We have something for visitors of all ages... The monthly festi- vals and other events add to what we already offer every day. Running the Village is more complicated, but also more rewarding, than running a couple of hotels!

What are some new enticements being offered to the visi- tor experience at Peddler’s Village?

General Manager Bob McGowan Peddler’s Village

Bob, we’ve known each other for quite a few years. How long have you been involved in the hospitality industry and what did you like the most about your last role as GM of the Crowne Plaza King of Prussia?

Jim, I’ve been in the hospitality business for 37 years, since graduating Penn State’s Hotel and Restaurant School in 1982 until now… my entire career. What I liked best about my position at the Crowne Plaza is the same thing I have liked best about each position I have held over the years: It’s always about the people. My relationships with my guests and with my team are the most important part of my work... I have had the pleasure of working with and for so many great people. I remain connected to many of them and am indebted to them for their positive impact on me and my career.

What enticed you to take on this big, new and unique opportunity as Chief Operating Officer of Peddler's Village?

Two major factors: Growing up in Bucks County and choos- ing a career in hospitality. These aspects of my life con- verged to bring me to what I’d consider the best possible career opportunity: a leadership role in Peddler’s Village. To have the opportunity to work with one of the best teams anywhere, on 42-acres of beautiful Bucks County countryside, promoting 60 retail shops, a hotel, 9 restau- rants and eateries, our very own children’s entertainment center, a candy store, ice cream parlor, popcorn shop, brewpub, distillery, wine tasting room… I’m literally a kid in a candy store every day!

A 'kid in a candy store' approach - I like it! What are some major differences in overseeing a hotel as compared to this variety of retailers, festivals and an attraction?

8­ 8 March z April­2019

To start, the Village shops are better than ever. We have so many retailers now selling familiar, popular brands along with the unique, one-of-a-kind items we have always been known for. Guests are now able to grab a glass of wine from our on-site winery, Chaddsford, a glass of beer from our brewpub, Free Will Brewing Company, or a craft bourbon from our distillery, Hewn Spirits, and stroll the village at their leisure. We have five new major events planned in 2019 that will complement our already extremely popular Strawberry, Bluegrass & Blueberries, Peach, Scarecrow and Apple Festivals. We constantly look at new entertainment ideas, such as comedy shows in Peddler’s Pub or reimagin- ing popular past favorites like King Henry’s Feast! Whether you’re 2 or 92 years old, we have something for everyone!

What’s your vision for the future of Peddler's Village?

Our vision for the Village is to be the region’s number-one entertainment destination. We love being seen as a shop- ping destination or a restaurant destination or a family fun destination, but what we really strive to do is to continue to generate ideas and execute events and activities to such a degree that our guests will keep coming back - not only to enjoy and experience the history of the Village, but also to be surprised and entertained by what we are offering today and in the future!

Groups and companies have the opportunity to 'take over the Village' for a retreat or multi-day meeting. What are a few selling points?

Not to belabor the point, but we really do have something for everyone. We have 7,000-square feet of conference space set on 42 landscaped acres of Bucks County country- side. There is no setting more peaceful for a corporate retreat or multi-day meeting. Why go to a traditional big- box hotel when you can get the beautiful, serene setting of Peddler’s Village along with all of the special luxuries? We have 66 unique and spacious hotel rooms; acres of walking paths; multiple restaurants and eateries; a bakery; wine and spirits tasting rooms; a brewpub; and more. We offer a myriad of team building opportunities, murder mystery dining options, cupcake-building competitions, and many more fun and exciting ways to enhance your corporate events and treat your attendees.

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