The City in Brief

Founded: 1786 (incorporated, 1866)
Head Official: Mayor Christopher A. Doherty (D) (since 2002)
City Population
1980: 88,117
1990: 81,805
2000: 76,415
2003 estimate: 74,320
Percent change, 1990-2000: – 6.7%
U.S. rank in 1980: 199th
U.S. rank in 1990: 261st (State rank: 5th)
U.S. rank in 2000: 394th (State rank: 7th)
Metropolitan Area Population
1980: 728,796
1990: 638,524
2000: 624,776
Percent change, 1990-2000: – 2.2%
U.S. rank in 1980: 49th
U.S. rank in 1990: 61st
U.S. rank in 2000: 67th
Area: 25.2 square miles (2000)
Elevation: 754 feet above sea level
Average Annual Temperature: 49° F
Average Annual Precipitation: 38.8 inches of rain; 48.7 inches of snow
Major Economic Sectors: Services, manufacturing, retail trade
Unemployment Rate: 5.3% (Metropolitan area; April 2005)
Per Capita Income: $16,174 (1999)
2004 ACCRA Average House Price: Not reported
2004 ACCRA Cost of Living Index: Not reported
2002 FBI Crime Index Total: 2,549
Major Colleges and Universities: University of Scranton, Mary wood University
Daily Newspapers: The Scranton Times-Tribune


Scranton, formerly known as the Anthracite Capital of the World, is one of the largest cities in Pennsylvania and site of the Steam town National Historic Site. In the early 1990s the city found itself in the peculiar position of simultaneously emerging from a 40-year decline while having to file what amounted to a bankruptcy petition with the state. The loss of its manufacturing base and nearly half its population without an accompanying reduction in city services forced The Pennsylvania Economy League in 1992 to develop a three-year plan to rescue Scranton from insolvency.
By the late 1990s, hundreds of millions of dollars were being spent on development projects and surveys rank the city highly as a desirable place to live and locate a business. Today, the professional services, health, education, retail, and tourism industries are the basis of the economy. Scranton is traditionally linked with Wilkes-Barre, the seat of neighboring Luzerne County, and is conveniently located near some of the Northeast’s finest ski slopes and the beautiful Poconos Mountains.

Geography and Climate

Scranton stands in a valley bordered by the ridges of the Allegheny Mountains; the Pocono Mountains are to the southeast. The mountains protect the city from high winds; they also influence the temperature and precipitation throughout the year. The climate is relatively cool in the summer with frequent showers; winter temperatures are not severe, but when snowstorms do occur they approach blizzard conditions.
Area: 25.2 square miles (2000)
Elevation: 754 feet above sea level
Average Temperatures: January, 25.5° F; August, 69.5° F; annual average, 49° F
Average Annual Precipitation: 38.8 inches of rain; 48.7 inches of snow


The first European settlers in Scranton were the Abbott brothers, who founded a gristmill there in 1786. In 1800 the Slocum brothers took the mill over, named the area Slocumville, and began a charcoal furnace for iron manufacturing. When the Scranton brothers arrived in 1840, they built the iron furnace that would later grow into the Lacka-wanna Iron and Steel Company. The community was named Harrison in honor of President William Henry Harrison in 1845; later the name was changed to Scrantonia then shortened to Scranton. The abundance of coal in the region attracted many other industries. In the 1880s the Scranton Steel Company was founded; it later merged with the Lacka-wanna Iron and Coal Company to become Lackawanna Iron and Steel Company. This company’s move to Buffalo in 1902 dealt a heavy blow to Scranton’s economy, but the growing importance of anthracite (hard) coal eventually earned the city the nickname ”Anthracite Capital of the World.” In the early 1900s, most of the hard coal mined in the country came from the Scranton area. The declining demand for coal after World War II forced Scranton, earlier than other industrial centers, to endeavor to find ways to diversify its economy. Its Scranton Plan, a revitalization plan devised in 1945, has been used as a model for other cities in decline. However, the plan had limitations.
By the end of 1991, after running a deficit for more than three years and projecting a 1992 deficit exceeding 23 percent of its $33 million budget, Scranton was designated a distressed municipality by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. A financial plan drawn up by the state and intended to prevent Scranton’s imminent insolvency called for state technical assistance and aid in return for Scranton allowing the state to reorganize municipal government, raise temporary taxes, and dictate terms of labor contracts while the plan was in effect. After implementing these measures, the situation brightened in the mid-1990s. Scranton had more projects, more revitalization, and more economic development than almost any other city its size in the country, and tourism was on the increase. Today, Scranton has recovered from its past troubles and is a thriving town with a diverse economy, involved community, and rich cultural attractions. Each year, more and more visitors discover this hidden gem at the foothills of the Poconos Mountains.
Historical Information: Lackawanna Historical Society, The Catlin House Library and Archives, 232 Monroe Ave., Scranton, PA 18510; telephone (570)344-3841

Population Profile

Metropolitan Area Residents
1980: 728,796
1990: 638,524
2000: 624,776
Percent change, 1990-2000: – 2.2%
U.S. rank in 1980: 49th
U.S. rank in 1990: 61st
U.S. rank in 2000: 67th
City Residents
1980: 88,117
1990: 81,805
2000: 76,415
2003 estimate: 74,320
Percent change, 1990-2000: -6.7%
U.S. rank in 1980: 199th
U.S. rank in 1990: 261st (State rank: 5th)
U.S. rank in 2000: 394th (State rank: 7th)
Density: 3,032.3 people per square mile (2000)
Racial and ethnic characteristics (2000)
White: 72,200
Black or African American: 2,744
American Indian and Alaska Native: 236
Asian: 961
Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander: 34
Hispanic or Latino (may be of any race): 1,999
Other: 1,125
Percent of residents born in state: 82.9% (2000)
Age characteristics (2000)
Population under 5 years old: 4,035
Population 5 to 9 years old: 4,422
Population 10 to 14 years old: 4,631
Population 15 to 19 years old: 6,007
Population 20 to 24 years old: 6,217
Population 25 to 34 years old: 9,011
Population 35 to 44 years old: 10,509
Population 45 to 54 years old: 9,574
Population 55 to 59 years old: 3,442
Population 60 to 64 years old: 3,204
Population 65 to 74 years old: 6,876
Population 75 to 84 years old: 6,231
Population 85 years and over: 2,256
Median age: 38.8 years
Births (2002, Lackawanna County)
Total number: 2,043
Deaths (2002, Lackawanna County)
Total number: 2,820 (of which, 13 were infants under the age of 1 year)
Money income (1999)
Per capita income: $16,174
Median household income: $28,805
Total households: 31,307
Number of households with income of. . .
less than $10,000: 4,592
$10,000 to $14,999: 3,514
$15,000 to $24,999: 5,610
$25,000 to $34,999: 4,571
$35,000 to $49,999: 5,004
$50,000 to $74,999: 4,749
$75,000 to $99,999: 1,971
$100,000 to $149,999: 895
$150,000 to $199,999: 194
$200,000 or more: 207
Percent of families below poverty level: 10.7% (56.4% of which were female householder families with related children under 5 years)
2002 FBI Crime Index Total: 2,549

Municipal Government

Scranton is the county seat of Lackawanna County. The mayor and five council members are elected to four-year terms.
Head Official: Mayor Christopher A. Doherty (since 2002; current term expires January 2006)
Total Number of City Employees: 550 (2005)
City Information: City of Scranton, Municipal Building, 340 N. Washington Ave., Scranton, PA 18503; telephone (570)348-4100


Major Industries and Commercial Activity

Once a one-industry town, Scranton is still dominated by manufacturing enterprises, primarily in the nondurable goods sector for companies such as Proctor & Gamble and Techneglas. However, between 1995 and 2000, major financial and professional services corporations such as AT&T, Fleet Financial Group, Cigna Health Care, and Alliance Fund Services opened large offices locally. Since that time, there has also been a marked increase in the number of people employed in the health, education, and social services industry—close to 25 percent of Scranton’s employed population. Defense contractors also play an important role in the region’s diversified economy, and construction, utilities, retail trade, and government make up a large part of the economic base. Tourism is also a growing industry.
Items and goods produced: apparel and related products, plastics, compressors, automotive components, heating and air conditioning equipment, candy, fabricated metal products, records and compact discs, caskets, topics, furniture, chemicals, electrical equipment, glass products, tank parts, ordnance supplies, and other products for the Armed Forces

Incentive Programs—New and Existing Companies

Many programs available in Lackawanna County can be combined to form a comprehensive funding package for an eligible project. The primary programs are administered through SLIBCO (Scranton Lackawanna Industrial Building Company), PEDFA (the Pennsylvania Economic Development Financing Authority), PIDA (the Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority), and SIDCo (the Scranton Industrial Development Company). Working together under the auspices of the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce, these organizations coordinate public and private sector resources to purchase industrial sites, construct shell buildings for lease to outside industry, develop raw land into industrial parks, and generally promote the region to corporate officials worldwide and assist expanding local businesses and industries.
Local programs—The University of Scranton McDade Technology Center serves as a resource for high technology businesses seeking to locate or expand in the Scranton area. Skills in Scranton, a business/education partnership run by the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce since 1989, has created a forum of communication between business and education to address the employment needs of Northeastern Pennsylvania’s employers. The organization helps businesses with job training and re-training, and helps new graduates with making the school-to-work transition.
State programs—Pennsylvania’s Department of Community and Economic Development is the main source of funding and other economic growth programs for state businesses. Funding programs offered by the state include bond financing, grants, loans and loan guarantees, tax credits and abatements, and technical assistance. The state’s tools include the Job Creation Tax Credit Program, which provides a $1,000-per-job tax credit for businesses that create new jobs; 25 percent of the tax credits allocated each year must go to businesses with less than 100 employees. The Opportunity Grant Program provides funds needed to create or preserve Pennsylvania jobs to businesses involved in manufacturing, exporting, agriculture, and research and development. The First Industries Fund is a grant and loan program aimed at strengthening Pennsylvania’s agriculture and tourism industries. Loans up to $200,000 can be used for land acquisition and construction, machinery purchase, and working capital. The state also runs a number of technology investment programs, which are designed to help create and bolster new and existing technology companies within the state. Program areas include funding, assistance programs, industry initiatives, and research and development.
Job training programs—There are a number of widely used state and federal programs to help employers reduce the costs of hiring and training workers. The Customized Job Training Program reimburses local employers for up to 75 percent of certain job training expenses, including instructional costs, supplies, contracted services, and travel costs. In return, companies must demonstrate an increase in employment opportunities, improved wages, and job retention. The Workforce Investment Act brings together area employers and unemployed or dislocated workers and trains those workers for employment with those companies at no expense to either party. Funds from this program can be used for job placement, skills assessment, labor market information, and training services.

Development Projects

A variety of projects are underway or have been completed in the Scranton area since the early 2000s. Almost $300 million has been invested in a variety of city improvement projects; recent construction projects include the $16 million Southern Union Headquarters, the $2.3 million Marquee Theaters, the $11.5 million Hilton Parking Garage, the $3.5 million police headquarters, and the $4 million Riverfront Sports complex. Infrastructure improvements include a number of road paving and improvement projects, the Meadow Avenue Flood Protection Project, the renovation of a number of area bridges, and the rehabilitation of the Merrifield Pumping Station.
Scranton’s Nay Aug Park recently underwent a major renovation, including work to the Harlon’s Grove Amphitheater, John Cleland Greenhouse, Rose Garden Fence, and Wildlife Center. The park’s electric service and heating were also upgraded, the Davis Trail was restored, and workers installed safety rails along various pathways and constructed observation decks. Other neighborhood parks that have undergone rehabilitation include Weston Park, Weston Field, Crowley Park, Robinson Park, Jackson Street Playground, and Dorothy Street Playground. Scranton’s downtown revitalization projects alone have totaled more than $26 million in improvements.
Economic Development Information: Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce, 222 Mulberry St., PO Box 431, Scranton, PA 18501; telephone (570)342-7711. Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, Room 1700, 7th and Forster Sts., Harrisburg, PA 17120; telephone (717)787-5279

Commercial Shipping

Scranton’s proximity to Northeast Corridor markets is enhanced by an excellent transportation network. Five major interstate highways are accessible within 30 miles of the city’s center, and both Manhattan and Philadelphia are two hours’s drive from Scranton. Rail customers have access to Norfolk Southern, the Canadian Pacific Railway, and several other short lines, including the Lackawanna County Railroad Authority. Dozens of major trucking terminals and package delivery companies also service the area. Wilkes-Barre/ Scranton International Airport, a full-service facility located nine miles south of Scranton in Avoca, maintains inland port-of-entry facilities and an adjacent foreign trade zone, enabling Scranton to accommodate a growing international market. The northeast Pennsylvania area has a number of general service airports, heliports, and private service airports.

Labor Force and Employment Outlook

In recent years the city has experienced an influx of financial and service companies lured there by low costs and easy access to New York and Philadelphia. Scranton has also seen a large increase in jobs available in the fields of education, health, and social services; a number of hospitals that serve the area are located in Scranton. The city also draws an increasing amount of tourism traffic from visitors of the nearby Pocono Mountains resort area and visitors to the Steamtown National Historic Site.
The following is a summary of data regarding the Scranton metropolitan area labor force, 2004 annual averages.
Size of nonagricultural labor force: 255,700
Number of workers employed in …
construction and mining: 10,300
manufacturing: 35,200
trade, transportation, and utilities: 57,500
information: 6,400 financial activities: 14,100
professional and business services: 20,800
educational and health services: 47,600
leisure and hospitality: 21,900
other services: 10,200
government: 31,700
Average hourly earnings of production workers employed in manufacturing: $13.87 (metropolitan area average)
Unemployment rate: 5.3% (metropolitan area; April 2005)
Largest employers (2003)                                                                           Number of employees
Tobyhanna Army Depot (electronics)                                                                    2,712
Proctor & Gamble (paper products)                                                                      2,500
Diocese of Scranton                                                                                              2,377
Allied Services (health care)                                                                                 2,196
WEA Manufacturing (CDs and
DVDs)                                                                                                                  1,800
Community Medical Center                                                                                  1,800
Lackawanna County                                                                                             1,438
Techneglas (glass TV screens)                                                                              1,300
Mercy Hospital                                                                                                     1,300
Moses Taylor Hospital                                                                                          1,200
Cost of Living
Lackawanna County is a family-oriented, non-transient community. Housing costs are relatively low, with one-bedroom, one-bath apartments typically renting for less than $800 a month, and houses for purchase range from $100,000 to $300,000.
The following is a summary of data regarding several key cost of living factors in the Scranton area.
2004 ACCRA Average House Price: Not reported
2004 ACCRA Cost of Living Index: Not reported
State income tax rate: 3.07%
State sales tax rate: 6%
State property tax rate: none
Local income tax rate: 3.4% (city of Scranton)
Local sales tax rate: none
Local property tax rate: 82.122 mills on land, 17.86 mills on improvements (city of Scranton), 29.7293 mills on real estate (Lackawanna County)
Economic Information: Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce, 222 Mulberry St., PO Box 431, Scranton, PA 18501; telephone (570)342-7711

Education and Research

Elementary and Secondary Schools

Elementary and secondary public education in Scranton is monitored by the Northeast Educational Intermediate Unit, one of many such agencies in Pennsylvania. The Scranton metropolitan educational system is considered to be among the best in the country. More than 60 percent of public high school graduates go on to higher education; the rate is even higher for private school graduates in the area. Average class sizes are small, with an average graduating class size of 187. More than 85 percent of high school seniors graduated in 2003, and that same year the attendance rate was over 93 percent.
The following is a summary of data regarding the Scranton public schools as of the 2004-2005 school year.
Total enrollment: 8,560
Number of facilities
elementary schools: 13
secondary schools: 3
high schools: 2
Student/teacher ratio: 15:1
Teacher salaries average: $54,315
Funding per pupil: $9,100 (2002-2003)
The Diocese of Scranton operates a parochial school system that spreads across multiple counties. Private schools include Yeshiva High School, Hebrew Day School, Baptist High School, and Scranton Preparatory School (Jesuit).
Public Schools Information: Scranton School District, 425 N. Washington Ave., Scranton, PA 18503; telephone (570)348-3402. Pennsylvania Department of Education, 333 Market St., Harrisburg, PA 17126; telephone (717)783-6788

Colleges and Universities

Scranton, known as the world’s center of education by mail, is home to Education Direct, one of the oldest and largest distance learning institutions in the world. Founded in 1890, the school has provided credit courses and personal enrichment studies to more than 13 million students in nearly every country in the world. The University of Scranton, a Jesuit institution, is noted for its outstanding academics and progressive campus and technology. The school was founded in 1888 and serves approximately 4,800 students. For eight years in a row, U.S. News & World Report has ranked the University of Scranton among the 10 finest master’s universities in the North. Marywood University, a Catholic co-ed institution established in 1915, offers 60 academic programs including the arts, sciences, fine arts, social work, nursing, and music. Its 115-acre campus in suburban Scranton is said to be one of the prettiest in the state.
Scranton is also home to a technical school and a junior college. Lackawanna College, in operation for more than 100 years, offers associate’s degrees in science, applied science, and arts, and also offers a variety of certificate programs for its 1,000 students. Johnson College offers twelve associate’s degree programs and specializes in technical skills and general education. It boasts small class sizes and an attractive 65-acre campus. A number of other higher education institutions are located near Scranton, including Baptist Bible College, King’s College, East Stroudsburg University, and Bloomsburg University.

Libraries and Research Centers

The library’s holdings include thousands of volumes as well as U.S. government documents, compact and laser discs, and videotapes. The library maintains a special collection on local history; special services include free computer classes, teen and children’s programs, and topics by Mail. The Lackawanna County Children’s Library is housed in the renovated Marion M. Isaacs Building next to the main library; there are six other branches county-wide and a bookmobile servicing outlying areas.
The Lackawanna Historical Society Library also offers a wide range of research materials, much of it related to genealogy and local history. The library holds more than 6,000 topics, more than 5,000 photographs, more than 1,200 maps, an extensive manuscript and scrapbook collection, and local newspapers.
The Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Memorial Library at the University of Scranton offers a collection of more than 450,000 topics in a technology-rich environment. Its special collections include rare topics and historical documents, and the library’s electronic resources include an online catalog, 110 internet databases, and access to more than 13,000 full-text journals. Marywood College’s library holds more than 200,000 volumes plus thousands of items on microform and various other media. It also offers a wide variety of computer training workshops.
Public Library Information: Albright Memorial Library, 500 Vine St., Scranton, PA, 18509; telephone (570)348-3000; fax (570)348-3020

Health Care

Five hospitals in Greater Scranton offer advanced treatment in rehabilitation therapy, oncology, and heart, kidney, and neonatal care. Moses Taylor Hospital founded in 1892, has 176 beds in addition to a fourteen-bed inpatient rehabilitation unit. It has a full-service emergency department as well as medical/ surgical and other acute care specialty services. Mercy Hospital, specializing in cardiovascular treatment, is part of Catholic Healthcare Partners, the seventh largest nonprofit healthcare system in the country. Community Medical Center, with 310 beds, is a full-service hospital with an accredited regional trauma center and family and specialty practices. These three hospitals, the largest in the area, are all located within minutes of each other in Scranton’s Hill Section. Other area hospitals include Marian Community Hospital in Carbondale and Mid Valley Hospital in Peckville.
Scranton’s Allied Services, one of the largest rehabilitation facilities in the country, treats people who have suffered strokes, head trauma, and spinal cord injuries, as well as those with communications disorders and Alzheimer’s disease. Affiliated with the University of Scranton, the Northeast Regional Cancer Institute is a network of six hospitals that run programs to benefit people living with and affected by cancer. Lourdesmont/Good Shepherd Youth and Family Services treats adolescents with mental health and substance abuse problems.



The historic Scranton Iron Furnaces, located in the heart of the city, are a potent reminder of the city’s industrial past. The four interconnected stone blast furnaces, once operated by the Lackawanna Iron & Steel Company, closed in 1902; they were rededicated in the 1980s and have been completely rehabilitated. The National Park Service runs the Steam town National Historic Site, located on 40 acres of the Scranton yard of the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad. This facility houses one of the nation’s largest collections of standard-gauge steam locomotives. The collection includes the 1.2 million-pound 1941 Union Pacific Big Boy, one of the largest steam locomotives ever built, and a tiny 1937 H.K. Porter industrial switcher. Steam town’s Technology Museum and History Museum are housed in existing portions of the Roundhouse, dating from as early as 1902. The History Museum displays a timeline of railroading as well as exhibits that detail life on early railroads. The Technology Museum features a sectioned steam locomotive, caboose, and boxcar for visitors to explore.
The Houdini Museum is the only museum in the world devoted entirely to the escape artist Harry Houdini, and features antiques, memorabilia, magic, and artifacts. Three miles outside the center city, McDade Park is the site of the Lackawanna County Coal Mine Tour, considered one of the area’s premier tourist attractions. The tour features an underground rail car trip 300 feet below the earth to the floor of the mine and exploration of three coal veins. The area also offers tours of interesting architectural sites and of the area’s first commercial winery.

Arts and Culture

The Greater Scranton area hosts a variety of artistic and cultural events throughout the year. The striking Masonic Temple and Scottish Rite Cathedral, located downtown, was designed by architect Raymond M. Hood following a Neo-Gothic and Romanesque design. The cathedral is home to the Community Concerts Association, the Broadway Theater League, and the Northeastern Pennsylvania Philharmonic. The Philharmonic, dance troupes, and other professional entertainers also appear at the F. M. Kirby Center for the Performing Arts in Wilkes-Barre. The Scranton Public Theatre performs comedies, drama, and original plays at the intimate Lucan Center for the Arts downtown from fall through spring. In summer, this professional repertory company sponsors the Pennsylvania Summer Theatre Festival at McDade Park, five minutes from the center city.
The history of the Scranton region is interpreted through exhibits at the Pennsylvania Anthracite Heritage Museum. Its collections highlight the lives and living conditions of the people who worked in the area’s anthracite mines and textile factories, including replications of a family kitchen, a local pub, and a church. Another destination of historical significance is the Catlin House, headquarters of the Lackawanna Historical Society. Inside this 1912 English Tudor-style manor, visitors can view an extensive collection of topics, photographs, clothing, and furnishings. A pictorial history U.S. Marine Corps from the American Revolution to the present can be traced at the U.S. Marine Corps League Museum. Founded in 1908, the Everhart Museum at Nay Aug Park features fine arts and natural history exhibits. The history of a local newspaper is presented in an outdoor display of artifacts and pictures known as the Scranton Times Newseum.

Festivals and Holidays

Scranton is a city that loves festivals and special events. The city starts out the year with First Night Scranton, a visual and performing festival that is punctuated by a fireworks display at midnight. In March, the town celebrates holds the nation’s fourth largest St. Patrick’s Day parade. Spring brings cherry blossom and wine tasting festivals, outdoor concerts, and music festivals. The Lackawanna Arts Council arranges festivals, exhibits, and special attractions, including the annual fall Arts Festival. Various ethnic and church festivals are scheduled during spring and summer, culminating in La Festa Italiana on Labor Day Weekend, which draws thousands of revelers to downtown’s Courthouse Square. And in June, the U.S. Navy performs at the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport’s Airshow.

Sports for the Spectator

Summer nights are perfect for taking in a game of professional baseball, so area residents head to Lackawanna County Stadium to watch the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Red Barons, an affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies. The team plays 72 home games each season. Auto racing fans are drawn to Pocono International Raceway, considered one of NASCAR’s most competitive speedways; it is located just 30 minutes from downtown Scranton and features a 2.5-mile tri-oval track. Horse racing fans are entertained at Pocono Downs in nearby Luzerne County, where harness racers compete on what is said to be the fastest five-eighths-mile track in the world. The Wilkes-Barr/Scranton Penguins, the American Hockey League affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins, delight hockey fans during their 40 home games at the First Union Arena at Casey Plaza. The Scranton Eagles play fifteen semi-pro football games each year in the Empire Football League, and the University of Scranton’s sports teams compete in the NCAA Division III.

Sports for the Participant

Scranton is at the center of one of the Northeast’s most popular skiing areas. Facilities for the expert and novice alike are available at Montage Mountain Ski Resort, just five miles from downtown Scranton; skiers can also choose from more than thirteen other ski areas within driving distance. Montage Mountain features a number of challenging ”black diamond slopes,” snowboarding facilities, scenic chairlift rides, an ice skating rink, tubing, and hiking and picnic areas for summer entertainment. Cross-country skiing and snowmobiling are a few of the other popular wintertime activities; in the summer, residents and visitors enjoy water sports in the many area lakes and streams. Golfing, biking, fishing, hunting, and hiking are also popular pastimes. In October, the Steamtown Marathon attracts 1,500 entrants to a race given 14 of a possible 15 stars on, with particular praise for the race’s organization and volunteers. The city maintains dozens of indoor/outdoor sports and leisure areas.

Shopping and Dining

Downtown Scranton recently underwent a burst of commercial growth, bringing a number of new national chains to the area. A variety of specialty stores, antiques shops, and independent boutiques are also located in downtown Scranton. The area has also developed a reputation as an outlet center. The Mall at Steamtown offers two levels of specialty shops and a food court, and Viewmont Mall, anchored by major department stores, features dozens of specialty stores. From mid-July to Thanksgiving, local produce and baked goods are sold at Scranton Co-op Farmers Night Market, minutes from downtown Scranton.
Scranton’s population is ethnically diverse and the city supports a number of ethnic restaurants, including Asian, French, German, Greek, Italian, Middle Eastern, and Mexican fare. Local ethnic favorites include pierogies, halluski, and halupkies. Diners can also enjoy a range of other restaurants, from fine dining establishments to classic dinners, steakhouses, cafes, and pubs.
Visitor Information: Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce, 222 Mulberry St., PO Box 431, Scranton, PA 18501; telephone (570)342-7711. Lackawanna County Convention & Visitors Bureau, 99 Glenmaura National Blvd., Scranton, PA 18507; telephone (570)963-6363; email

Convention Facilities

The new Hilton Scranton & Conference Center, located in downtown Scranton, features 19 meeting rooms—the largest of which is more than 7,000 square feet. Facilities also include a 75-seat amphitheater and a grand ballroom that accommodates up to 500 guests. The hotel portion contains 175 guest rooms with complimentary high speed internet access and free local calls. A business center is also available.
The Radisson Lackawanna Station, the result of a multi-million dollar renovation of the 1908 Erie-Lackawanna Terminus building, is Scranton’s other main downtown meeting facility. A stately structure built in the Neo-Classical style, the Radisson provides 146 guest rooms, two ballrooms, four executive boardrooms, three meeting rooms, and hospitality suites. Guests can also take advantage of the hotel’s complimentary high speed internet access, fitness center, and airport shuttle. Dozens of hotels and motels in the metropolitan area provide additional accommodations to the thousands of visitors Scranton attracts each year.
Convention Information: Lackawanna County Convention & Visitors Bureau, 99 Glennamura National Blvd., Scranton, PA 18507; telephone (570)963-6363; email info


Approaching the City

The Wilkes-Barre/Scranton International Airport, located nine miles south of Scranton, is served by United, Delta, Northwest, Continental, and U.S. Airways, and offers nonstop service to selected cities with connections nationally.
Scranton is connected to the Canadian border and Maryland by Interstate 81; Interstate 84 extends to the Massachusetts Turnpike; the northeast extension of the Pennsylvania Turnpike leads to Philadelphia. Interstate 380 provides a link to the Poconos and connects the area with Interstate 80, a principal east-west route from New York City to California. Scranton is just over a two-hour drive from both Manhattan and Philadelphia.
Passenger rail service between Scranton and the metropolitan New York/New Jersey area is scheduled to return in 2006. A multi-million dollar intermodal transportation center is being built downtown to service rail passengers.

Traveling in the City

Scranton is laid out in a grid pattern. Bus transportation is provided by the County of Lackawanna Transit System. Taxi service is available. Martz Trailways has a bus depot in downtown Scranton.


Newspapers and Magazines

The Scranton Times-Tribune is the city’s daily newspaper. The Sunday Times appears weekly. A number of religious and ethnically-oriented newspapers and magazines are also published in Scranton.

Television and Radio

Six television stations broadcast from Scranton; four AM and seven FM radio stations also service the area, playing a variety of formats. Cable service is available.
Media Information:The Scranton Times-Tribune, 149 Penn Ave., Scranton, PA 18503; telephone (570)348-9100

Scranton Online

City of Scranton. Available
Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce. Available www
Lackawanna County Convention & Visitor’s Bureau. Available
Lackawanna County Government. Available www
Pennsylvania Department of Education. Available www.pde
Scranton Public Library at Albright Memorial Building. Available
Scranton Times-Tribune. Available www.thetimes-tribune .com

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