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HLC receives Downtown Denver Partnership Award

MSU Denver’s Hotel and Hospitality Learning Center is one of six winners of a 2012 Downtown Denver Partnership (DDP) Award.

June 3, 2013

The Hotel and Hospitality Learning Center won a 2012 Downtown Denver Partnership Award.
The Hotel and Hospitality Learning Center won a 2012 Downtown Denver Partnership Award.

By Donna Fowler

MSU Denver’s Hotel and Hospitality Learning Center is one of six winners of a 2012 Downtown Denver Partnership (DDP) Award.

The awards recognize businesses, organizations, events and projects that “have made significant contributions toward creating a unique, vibrant and diverse Downtown environment, and have made a lasting, positive impact on Downtown Denver,” according to the DDP website.

The HLC was selected “for leveraging an innovative public/private collaboration to create a dual-purpose educational facility that combines classrooms with interactive laboratories, a hotel and restaurant, providing students with hands-on learning and a dynamic curriculum.”

President Stephen Jordan accepted the award at the 52nd Annual Downtown Denver Awards Dinner on May 29 at the Sheraton Downtown Denver Hotel.

“It is a very proud moment for me and everyone who worked so hard to make the HLC a reality,” Jordan says. “And our Board of Trustees, with their foresight and support, shares equally in this accomplishment.

“Winning this award is another acknowledgement of MSU Denver’s vibrant role in the life and economy of the Denver community.”

Several MSU Denver staff members and faculty were instrumental in the HLC’s development and construction, including recently retired Vice President of Administration, Finance and Facilities Natalie Lutes, University Counsel Loretta Martinez, Director of Facilities Planning and Space Management Sean Nesbitt, Construction Project Manager Lisa Lorman, Hospitality, Tourism and Events Department Chair Chad Gruhl and School of Professional Studies Dean Sandra Haynes. Former HTE Chair John Dienhart, who is now retired, was the initial catalyst for the HLC.

The external team involved in the HLC’s construction includes:

  • Sage Hospitality
  • SpringHill Suites® by Marriott
  • MA Mortenson Construction & Development Company
  • RNL and JG Johnson Architects
  • Studio INSITE
  • Swerdling and Associates and Kutak Rock
  • Robert S. Benton & Associates, Inc.
  • HVS International

Gruhl says that the DDP award will increase the University’s and the HTE department’s profile. “The real winners are our students. The more we are recognized as a top-notch program and university, the better it is for their future careers to have graduated from MSU Denver,” Gruhl says.

The other five winners are the Boettcher Foundation, Denver Crime Laboratory, Denver Startup Week, Galvanize and University of Colorado Denver Business School.

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