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Press Release

Metro State breaks ground for new campus Hotel and Hospitality Learning Center Thursday, March 31

Hotel and Hospitality Learning Center

Contact: Tim Carroll, Office 303-556-5136, Cell 303-870-7705

Posted: March 28, 2011

WHAT: Metropolitan State College of Denver officially breaks ground on its Hotel and Hospitality Learning Center (HLC), further establishing its Hospitality, Tourism and Events Department and joining a select group of less than a dozen similar experiential programs known nationally. The HLC will feature a 150-room SpringHill Suites® by Marriott, 28,000-square-feet of academic space within the HLC and 5,000 square feet of meeting and conference space. The nearly seamless melding of academic instruction, interactive laboratories and real-world experience within the hotel will allow the College to offer an experiential curriculum for its diverse undergraduate student population, as well as current professionals seeking continuing education.

This unique project, estimated at $45 million, is made possible through a private-public partnership—no taxpayer dollars will be used. A special purpose corporation (SPC) was formed for the HLC and provides for its financing, construction, operation and management. The operating proceeds will flow to the Metro State Foundation for scholarships and academic program support. Site preparation began in January 2011; the anticipated opening is planned for August 2012. For the latest information and visuals about the program visit

WHO: A number of partners have joined Metro State in establishing the HLC including:   
- Sage Hospitality – hotel manager
- SpringHill Suites® by Marriott – hotel flag
- Mortenson Construction  – developer and general contractor
- RNL Architecture
- JG Johnson Architects

WHEN: Thursday, March 31, 2011, 3:30 – 4:30 p.m.
                 Event Agenda:
                 Refreshments Served 3:30 p.m.
                 Program Ceremony Remarks 4 p.m.
                                    Colorado Tourism Office Director Al White
                                    Denver Mayor Guillermo “Bill” Vidal
                                    President Stephen Jordan
                                    Sage Hospitality President and CEO Walter Isenberg
                                    Metro State Board Trustee Dawn Bookhardt
WHERE: Event Location – soccer field west of parking lot R – (Corner of Auraria Pkwy./ Speer Blvd.)
Recommended parking in TAPS garage north of the Tivoli
Auraria Campus (900 Auraria Pkwy., Denver, CO 80204)
For parking and directions, visit

VISUALS: A three-dimensional architectural model of the HLC project will be unveiled, along with artist renderings of the project. Dignitaries and project partners will also participate in a traditional hard hat ground breaking with shovels.


About Metropolitan State College of Denver
With more than 24,000 students, Metro State is Colorado’s leader in educating undergraduate Coloradans. The College now offers master’s degrees in accounting and teacher education, and will offer a master’s in social work starting fall 2011. The College enrolls the highest number of students of color among four-year colleges in the state. It boasts 70,000 alumni, the bulk of whom remain in Colorado after graduation.