Historic Setting Welcomes Future

Skal International Pittsburgh Chapter focused its sights onto the future Tuesday night at the historic Priory Hotel. The club welcomed 13 guests as part of New Member Month, a promotion initiated to connect with tourism professionals, especially those new to the Pittsburgh area. Industry leaders were invited at a reduced cost of $25 and membership initiation fees were waived for the month of June.

Club Highlights

Business Contacts

More than 22,000 tourism-related member companies to choose from.


Over 60 industry professionals representing tourism in Pittsburgh. Attend monthly meetings, social events, and a golf tournament benefiting tourism scholarships.

Monthly Meetings

Interact with industry colleagues at fine dining establishments in the area.


Develop friendships with professionals who want to aid in your success - not compete.

Skål Database

Your membership grants you access to 22,000 members worldwide.

International Travel

Opportunities to attend regional, national and international congresses with special travel arrangements.

Membership Advantages

As a Skålleague, membership in the Association is recognized with travel with discounts on hotel, rental car, etc.

Moving Forward

As the tourism community grows in Pittsburgh, the club looks forward to enhancing its mission and vision to be a trusted voice in tourism, maximizing networking opportunities and developing a responsible tourism industry through leadership, professionalism and (most importantly) friendship.

The Priory Hotel

Skal members and guests enjoyed Pittsburgh’s only historic boutique hotel Tuesday, June 20th. The 42-room hotel is located in North Side’s Deuschtown section with easy access to to downtown Pittsburgh, PNC Park, the Andy Warhol Museum, and Heinz Field.

Last month, The Priory Hotel earned its 7th Tripadvisor Certificate of Excellence in a row, and in 2015, the Priory Hotel was named to the Tripadvisor “Hall of Fame.”


The Priory, built in 1888 was formerly a Benedictine Monastery with 25-rooms. The hotel immerses guests in 19th century elegance with Edwardian era antiques and reproductions to accent the building’s remarkable architectural and interior design features. In 2011, a new wing was added blending 17 rooms, Monk’s Bar, a large front desk, Fitness/Business Center and meeting space into the existing architecture.

"Our 4.5 stars places us among the top 5% of all hotels nationally, and we consistently place in the top 7 properties in Pittsburgh expressed owner, John Graf."

Grand Hall

The Priory Hotel also boasts one of the region’s premier ballrooms, the Grand Hall at the Priory Hotel, which is set in the adjoining former church, hosting numerous business events, weddings and charity functions.

While the Priory’s physical characteristics create a memorable experience, it is the service and attention to detail which set them apart.

Priory Garden Party Special

The Priory and Grand Hall just revealed a new Summer themed event package, making use of their elegant courtyard. Called the Priory Garden Party, the event package offers a variety of special menu items celebrating summer, with an emphasis on light but flavor-filled cuisine.

For $35 per person plus service charge and tax, the package includes a signature cocktail, and open beer and wine bar, as well as a killer dessert display with an assortment of parfaits served in Mason jars.

Priory Hospitality Group & Its Future

Hotelier, John Graf announced to the club some of the future plans of Priory Hospitality Group.

Mansions on Fifth

On June 28, Priory Hospitality Group celebrated the Grand Reopening of its Mansions on Fifth Hotel, with more than 200 guests attending to see the remarkable changes the Priory has brought to the property since it assumed operational control of the hotel in September 2016.

Built in 1906, Mansions on Fifth is a glimpse into the past. It was a time where giants of the business world traversed Shadyside’s Fifth Avenue - “Millionaire’s Row” - on a daily basis. Names such as Carnegie, Mellon, Frick, Westinghouse and Heinz were among the leading citizens of the day.

The reopening was an invitation-only party with live music and food stations debuting Executive Chefs Pete Phillipy and Michael Henney's new "Cultural Celebrations" menu. The menu features unique food inspired by various nationalities - Pittsburgh, Mediterranean & Latin Cuisine. Many Skal members attended in support of John, fellow Skalleague, which aligns with the club's overall mission and vision.

Cultural Celebrations Menu

Tastes of Pittsburgh:

  • Pierogis (from St. George Church) with Sour Cream, Peppers, Onions, Chives, Bacon & Cheddar

  • Silver Star Hot Sausage with Peppers and Onions on Mini Rolls

  • Corned Beef & Cheese Steak Sliders with French Fries & Coleslaw

Mediterranean Flavors:

  • Grape Leaves with Tzatziki Sauce (from Modern Cafe on North Side)

  • Flavored Hummus with Pita Chips

  • Chicken, Beef & Vegetable Kabobs

  • Tabbouleh

Latin Dishes:

  • Citrus Jicama Salad

  • Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Chimichurri Sauce & Tropical Fruit Salsa on the side

  • Black Beans with Coconut Rice

  • Ensalada de Quinoa

  • Quinoa Salad with Pickled Onions


  • Small Tiered Cake

  • Mini Mason Jars Station from Priory Fine Pastries

  • Apple Crisp

  • Salted Caramel Brownie

  • Fruit Cheesecakes (Raspberry, Blueberry, etc.)

Boutique to Destination

Westinghouse Castle

John Graf and Priory Hospitality continue to seek capital investment for the $11 million transformation of the Westinghouse Castle into a destination resort hotel in Wilmerding, PA. The vision is to create an experience similar to Nemacolin Woodlands or Omni Bedford Springs.

A destination resort would create many job opportunities and have a positive impact on the Wilmerding economy. With that being said, the property has a very community-like feel. A portion of the castle will remain public and open as a "museum-like" space to tour as well as affordable conference areas for local community groups to use. Priory Hospitality Group looked to its community for support using a Kickstarter Campaign, which gave contributors the opportunity to obtain free hotel night stays to name recognition at the future hotel's restaurant.

Graf is looking forward to a Fall 2019 opening.

Golf Outing

Register to attend the Joe Kane Scholarship Fund Golf Outing Benefit; Monday, July 17th at Williams Country Club. Click here to find out more information. Can't make it, please consider sponsoring. Click here for more details.


Moments captured by Skålleague Dennis O'Keefe. Click here for more photos.


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