Longtime Champion of the Poconos Remembered
It is with great sadness the Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau (PMVB) joins in mourning the passing of one of the region’s strongest advocates and tourism leaders, Robert Uguccioni. Bob, as he was best known, served as the executive director of the PMVB from 1967 to 2007. Uguccioni was also known to many as “Mr. Pocono” for his substantial accomplishments over the years to promote the vitality of the destination to millions of visitors throughout the decades.
“Bob was more than a leader in our industry and the Pocono Mountains, he was a true friend, valued mentor, and confidante to many who relied on his wisdom to confront challenges and to fully appreciate our wonderful destination,” said Chris Barrett, President/CEO of the PMVB. “Promoting the Pocono Mountains was a lifelong commitment to which Bob devoted his full measure. Our deepest sympathies extend to the Uguccioni family, as we are forever indebted to ‘Mr. U’ for all he contributed to promote the Poconos.”
Uguccioni stayed involved in the PMVB long after his retirement and came to the organization from a hospitality background in the mid-1900s. His family owned White Beauty View on Lake Wallenpaupack when Uguccioni was young. He then served in the U.S. Air Force overseas before returning home to begin his career in tourism marketing.
"We had three employees, including myself, and a budget of $100,000 a year," Uguccioni said of his early days at the organization in a Morning Call article upon his retirement in 2007. Over time, the Pocono Mountains grew into a billion-dollar tourism economy with a budget in the millions of dollars spawning new development including Mount Airy Casino Resort and Great Wolf Lodge under his tenure.
“Mr. U dedicated his life to bettering the Poconos. He saw many ups and downs in the industry and worked tirelessly to promote the Pocono Mountains and the bureau’s many members,” said Mary Ravert who worked with Uguccioni at the PMVB for four decades. “He was a major force in many lives including visitors, hospitality employees and his own family. Bob will be missed.”
Uguccioni established an annual scholarship at East Stroudsburg University for an undergraduate student majoring in the Hotel, Restaurant & Tourism Management program. He sat down with Barrett in 2018 to discuss the Poconos’ history and share perspectives on his decades of leadership in the tourism space.
Robert Uguccioni was 87 years old and is survived by his three children as well as grandchildren and numerous friends. Funeral arrangements are being made and will be included in a forthcoming obituary.
Chris Barrett talks with Robert Uguccioni, former CEO of the Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau.
Pocono Mountains visitor information is available online at PoconoMountains.com or by phone at (570) 421-5791. Follow @PoconoTVNetwork on Twitter to stay current with up-to-date information. Established in 1934, the Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau is a private, non-profit membership organization. The PMVB is the official destination marketing organization for the four counties of Wayne, Pike, Monroe, and Carbon in Northeastern Pennsylvania.