Rich Howells

VIDEO: Scranton’s Tigers Jaw explores abandoned Poconos honeymoon resort for music video

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From the Scranton Lace Company to the Huber Breaker to Concrete City, Pennsylvania has its fair share of abandoned places that are run-down yet still beautiful in a way, symbolic of fading industries and times gone by.

Just days after their annual NEPA Holiday Show appearance, Scranton indie rock band Tigers Jaw uploaded a behind-the-scenes look at the making of their music video for “June,” which debuted back in June. The song tells the story of getting through a bad relationship, so what better way to represent that than by performing in a neglected, decaying honeymoon resort in the Pocono Mountains?

Vocalist/keyboardist Brianna Collins discovered Penn Hills Resort in Analomink, a lavish 500-acre lovers’ getaway that closed in 2009 and has since been ravaged by fires, floods, vandals, and thieves, while searching for locations online and realized it was the perfect place to tell the story of “June,” her best friend’s toxic relationship, as she explained earlier this year.

“There was a time in our friendship where she was in a relationship that was emotionally abusive, which was really hard to see her go through. While she was always a strong and independent person, she leaned on myself and our group of friends to help her get through it all. In the moments where she couldn’t see past everything that was happening, I would try to remind her that it wasn’t always going to feel so bad. I wanted to write a song that showed how friendship can make a difference in feeling strong enough to leave relationships that are damaging,” Collins said.

“’June’ was actually the first song that I’ve ever written, and I’ve found that I really enjoy collaborating – taking the bones of what I’m working on and seeing what someone could add to it. For ‘June,’ I knew that I wanted [my friend] Nikki to collaborate with me on lyrics. I wanted her voice and experience of the situation to be present and accurately represented, and she’s also an amazing writer and the person I always go to bounce ideas off. She’s my best friend, the one that knows exactly what I want to say without me even having to say it, so it was a meaningful experience to work on this song together.”

Despite the sad subject matter, the band and their crew were all smiles while shooting the video, which has some humorous moments as well. With ticks and a few unsafe locations, there were some challenges, but this production may be their best yet, though the cinematic “Escape Plan” video is also impressive and emotional. Both songs are from their latest album, “Spin,” that came out in May through Atlantic Records’ new label Black Cement.

Watch the finished music video below:

In September, just a few months after the filming of “June,” the resort’s main building burned to the ground, the third fire there in recent years. An old clubhouse was then demolished in early December to make way for a new Heritage Center by the Brodhead Watershed Association where environmental groups can meet.

Opening as a tavern in 1944, Penn Hills expanded in the 1960s as a romantic hideaway with over 100 rooms, heart-shaped bathtubs, a ski resort, a golf course, a tennis court, and a huge wedding bell-shaped swimming pool. The “paradise of Pocono pleasure” closed soon after the 2009 death of co-founder Frances Paolillo and was eventually taken over by Monroe County, which sold parts of the property up until 2016, when the rest was bought up by New York investors.

The next local Tigers Jaw concert will be Alt 92.1’s Snow Show with Dashboard Confessional at the F.M. Kirby Center in Wilkes-Barre on Sunday, Jan. 28. Read a review and see photos of them playing the NEPA Holiday Show at the Scranton Cultural Center on Dec. 16 here.