The first of its kind in the Rocky Mountain West, the HLC will feature a 150-room SpringHill Suites by Marriott, a 28,000-square-foot Hospitality Learning Center and 5,000 square feet of meeting and conference space.
"We’ve always believed that interactive and collaborative instruction is the best way to educate hotel professionals," says Walter Isenberg, president and CEO of Sage Hospitality. "The partnership with Metro State furthers Sage Hospitality’s commitment to educating a generation of highly skilled hospitality personnel, as well as its dedication to Denver."
The combination of classroom instruction and interactive laboratories will provide an experiential curriculum for Metro State’s diverse undergraduate student population as well current professionals seeking continuing education.
The groundbreaking for the HLC will be held March 31, 2011, with an expected opening date in fall 2012.
"I’m very excited that our more than 500 declared Hospitality Tourism and Events majors will now have additional opportunities to implement academic theory from the classroom in a real-world hotel and learning laboratory," says Chad Gruhl, chair of the Hotel and Hospitality Learning Center and assistant professor of Hotel Administration in the Hospitality Tourism and Events Program.
Sage Hospitality is donating time and resources to this new center, assisting with fundraising and partnering with designers to help integrate the College’s Hospitality, Tourism and Events Program with the hotel.
Sage Hospitality is also supporting the development of a highly skilled and diverse workforce for the hotel and the hospitality program overall.
"This project will be the only educational facility of its type in Colorado and one of only 10 in the United States," says Metro State President Stephen Jordan. "Once completed this facility will take Metro State’s Hospitality Tourism and Events Department to a new level of recognition in the Rocky Mountain Region and nationally."