Traveler's Rest in Pittsburgh
Brian from Moundsville WV/ now Scottsdale, AZ on 02/08/2024 06:26 PM:
The Travelers Rest Hotel is still very much bicycle friendly. I stayed there during the Covid plandemic and found it to be very good for cyclists and affordable. It's called a hotel but is very similar to a hostel. They have good accommodations to keep bike and gear and the owner Paul and Mary Beth are very kind.
Rivnuts from Homestead, PA on 02/09/2024 08:57 PM:
Just for information the Travelers Rest hotel is not directly on the formal GAP trail in to/out of downtown Pittsburgh on the north side of the Monongahela River. It is, however, just a couple of blocks off an alternate route in to/out of town on the south side of the river. It’s not an issue as long as you locate it and plan your ride accordingly.
No hostel in Pittsburgh
Terry Katz from New York on 03/08/2022 06:05 PM:
Are you aware there is no hostel in Pittsburgh? For years, a volunteer organization raised money to open a hostel at the South Side Travelers Rest (SSTR) on South 6th Street. The SSTR opened, complete with bunk rooms, but management is using last year's Covid pandemic as an excuse not to let out individual beds in the dormrooms. So, a solo cyclist on the GAP must buy a full room with three beds. This is very pricey for someone traveling alone.
Of course, there is the Not-a-Hostel in Pittsburgh, but the arrangement there is informal and it is not located as conveniently to the GAP as the SSTR is.
The train arrives in Pittsburgh after dark so it would be nice to have somewhere not overpriced or ad hoc to stay for the night before beginning the GAP in the morning. Otherwise, I'll have to bypass siteseeing in Pittsburgh, travel in the dark, and trudge on to the first hiker/biker campsite. The volunteers who donated their time and money to SSTR saw the lack of a hostel in Pittsburgh as a problem. Unfortunately, after the work has been done, SSTR, no longer feels this is a problem.
As I noted, SSTR seems to have dorm bunk rooms and is aleady designed to be run as a hostel. They may be under the mistaken idea that they can make more money by forcing cyclists to rent an entire room that filling a dorm room with solo travelers. Having a forum on your site might be helful in convincing SSTR to offer its beds as a hostel for GAP riders for the upcoming season starting in May 2022.
Rivnuts from Homestead, PA on 03/08/2022 07:28 PM:
In March of 2018, the opening of the SSTR hostel in the Southside area of Pittsburgh was announced in the local paper. I sent an email to the proprietor offering some suggestions to improve its visibility and marketing to the cycling community. I ride by there frequently but haven't seen any obvious signs of success in its operation and, frankly, questioned whether it was still operating at all. I see that it now is being marketed as a 1-star hotel rather than a hostel.
If it is true that it no longer plans to operate as a hostel, and it appears that that is the case, then it is unfortunate for the reasons you note. I agree a hostel near the train station would be ideal given the time of departures from and arrivals in Pittsburgh. However, the train station is located at the edge of downtown Pittsburgh and the adjacent old produce terminal district which is undergoing a revitalization. Property values in that area are very expensive for the likes of a hostel.
WF from Bladenboro, NC on 03/16/2022 07:03 PM:
I stayed there about 3 or so years ago when it was a hostel. The room that I stayed in was all bunkbeds and I think the rate was about $35 a night. It was a nice place to stay but I guess they decided the hotel route was better for them.