Hotel has been Presenting Sponsor of Lehigh University Wrestling for many years
Bethlehem, PA (December 1, 2023) – Historic Hotel Bethlehem Managing Partner Bruce Haines announced today that Lehigh University freshman wrestling sensation Ryan Crookham will serve as the hotel’s first “Community Ambassador.” This relationship capitalizes on building off the legacy of National Championships in Bethlehem as both the Hotel and Lehigh Wrestling share such a legacy. Hotel Bethlehem is the reigning three-time National Champion of USA Today’s Best Historic Hotel competition. Lehigh ranks 6th in the nation right behind Penn State in producing individual National Wrestling Champions at the annual NCAA championships.
As a Community Ambassador, Crookham will participate in community outreach and serve as a liaison between Lehigh University students and the hotel. The Hellertown native and Saucon Valley high school graduate will participate in special events at Historic Hotel Bethlehem and work with the hotel leadership team to create new energizing themes to connect with the Lehigh Valley community. “He’s currently working with the chef to develop some fun Crookham-themed menu offerings and we’re planning a community autograph signing, which we know the local kids will be excited about,” said Historic Hotel Bethlehem Managing Partner Bruce Haines – who is a Lehigh University graduate. He added, “Ryan is a perfect fit being an engineering major just as I was at Lehigh. More importantly, he is a dedicated student athlete that grew up here in the Lehigh Valley earning accolades at both Notre Dame High School and Saucon Valley High School where he helped them win a team State Championship title his senior year. He is a known and respected citizen of the community and a perfect fit for our ‘community hotel.’”
This is the first partnership Historic Hotel Bethlehem has embarked on with an athlete since the NCAA allowed college students to earn sponsorship income from their Names, Images, and Likenesses (NIL). “It’s a privilege to be able to partner with a local organization that has a 100-year-plus legacy as a community cornerstone. I’m not only looking forward to representing the hotel in public but I’m also looking forward to working with the hotel staff behind the scenes in ways that will complement my Financial Engineering studies,” said Crookham.
The three-time Pennsylvania AA State High School Champion started his Lehigh University career strong, posting an 8-1 record at 133 pound weight class during his redshirt 2022-23 season. This season he’s off to a great start and undefeated after the first two weekends of competition. He beat the #1 ranked returning 133 pound National Champion, tournament Outstanding Wrestler, and U.S. Open winner Vito Arujau of Cornell. Many commentators had previously considered Arujau “unstoppable.” This Sunday Crookham will wrestle #3 ranked Aaron Nagao in the annual rivalry dual at #1 team ranked Penn State. The Lehigh team is currently ranked #20 entering this dual. “We’re hoping that 2024 brings more championship titles for Ryan and for the hotel as we continue to build these Lehigh Valley legacies,” said Haines.
About Historic Hotel Bethlehem
Historic Hotel Bethlehem, located in the heart of Historic Moravian Bethlehem, is celebrating over 100 years as a community hotel. Guests enjoy the hotel’s original 1922 elegance in its 125 guest rooms and suites along with the grandeur of the lobby, restaurants and multiple ballrooms. The hotel also offers an Executive Conference Center, Ladies Boutique Shoppe, and Hotel B Ice Cream Parlor. The hotel is affiliated with Historic Hotels of America, a program of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. USA Today named Historic Hotel Bethlehem the ‘#1 Best Historic Hotel in the Nation” in 2021, 2022, and 2023. For more information visit hotelbethlehem.com.
Information provided to TVL by:
Historic Hotel Bethlehem