April 28, 2011 —
The former Mountain Laurel Music Center, now called the Mountain Laurel Pocono Mountains Performing Arts Center, will open for business—it is hoped permanently—with concerts beginning in July.
First in lineup will be the bombastic hard rock group KISS, appearing on July 13; followed by the popular comedian Larry The Cable Guy on Saturday, August 6; followed by blues boogie group ZZ Top on Saturday, August 20; and traditional romantic singer Frankie Valli and the famous Beach Boys on Thursday, August 25.
The state-of-the-art amphitheater seats 2,500 under cover and another 7,500 people on a pitched lawn area with full view of the stage.
Other acts will be added over the coming weeks, according to music center officials.
Opening in June 2003, the center began experiencing financial problems, due in part to starting the season too late. It closed, opened and then closed a second time with many of the same problems. The facility has been around for 10 years, but it’s been open for less than half that time.
The group behind the new beginnings is The Wolfington and O’Neil Property Group, who have been successful developers of high-end residential developments.
“The Pocono Mountains have long been known for its entertainment offerings,” said John Wolfington, CEO of the group. “However, there has been a music void for nearly four years, but with the reopening of Mountain Laurel, the music is truly back in the Pocono Mountains.”
Located minutes from the Delaware Water Gap on Bushkill Road, near Route 80 and only 75 minutes from New York City, the center draws concert-goers from the three surrounding states. “It offers world class artists as an affordable alternative in the backyard of the Pocono Mountains, free from the inconveniences of city and shore traffic,” Wolfington said.
To ensure success of the reopening the group has engaged the services of The Total Concert Team, well-known music promoters, to manage the facility. With longstanding roots, linked with nationally regarded booking and promotional expertise, the new management team boasts of nearly a century of venue and entertainment success, Wolfington said.
“Revitalization of the center offers greater tourism opportunities as a gathering space, not only for individuals and families on vacation, but also industry groups who pick the Poconos as a convention site,” said David Rodriguez of The Total Concert Team. “The financial impact to the region from visitors should be significant as many concert–goers will spend multiple days in the region.”