MSU Denver’s SpringHill Suites Denver Downtown teaching hotel named “Property of the Year”
Contact: Tim Carroll, Office 303-556-5136, Cell 303-870-7705
Posted: June 9, 2015
DENVER – Metropolitan State University of Denver’s SpringHill Suites® Denver Downtown hotel, the crown jewel of the University’s Hospitality, Tourism and Events program, has been recognized by Sage Hospitality as the nation’s top-performing hotel for 2014.
Each year, Sage Hospitality assesses its 64 hotels across the country, and evaluates each property based on their individual financial performance, guest satisfaction, regulatory compliance, employee satisfaction and community involvement. SpringHill Suites Denver Downtown, the group’s only teaching hotel supported in part by students and faculty, took the top honors.
“We are thrilled the SpringHill Suites hotel is being recognized in this way because it means our students are getting experience working in one of the top-performing properties in the country,” said President Stephen Jordan. “The revenue generated by the hotel is earmarked to support the MSU Denver Foundation, which directly benefits students through scholarships and curriculum enhancements.”
The 150-suite hotel was developed by way of a unique public-private partnership involving no student-fee or state funding. Open since August 2012, the hotel is now four years ahead of performance expectations. The partnership has generated $1.9 million in net profit to date, and is forecasted to provide more than $25 million to the MSU Denver Foundation over the next 20 years.
“At SpringHill Suites, students are gaining real-world experience training alongside seasoned hoteliers,” said Carol Krugman, Hospitality, Tourism and Events assistant professor and department chair. “Not only do we have eight students and alumni working full-time in the hotel, three of the managers are affiliate faculty teaching in our program.”
Faculty members who are also hotel staff teach managerial accounting, housekeeping operations, facilities management, front office operations, human resources, marketing, sales and negotiations.
“There is a real sense of pride and accomplishment from both hotel employees and students,” said Scott Perry, SpringHill Suites Denver Downtown general manager and MSU Denver affiliate professor. “Students are gaining a deeper understanding of both the tangible and intangible factors that have driven our success. ”
While most university hotels rely primarily on campus activities to drive business, SpringHill Suites generates more than 85 percent of its revenue from leisure and business customers not affiliated with the campus. The property’s strategic location makes it the closest hotel to the Pepsi Center, with easy access to Larimer Square, Elitch Gardens, Sports Authority Field at Mile High and the Colorado Convention Center.
With 28,000 square feet of academic space and 5,000 square feet of meeting space, the facility is utilized for corporate hospitality and beverage training programs and events, as well as weddings and fundraising galas. The property became the first LEED® Gold certified hotel in Denver in May 2014.
About SpringHill Suites® Denver Downtown at MSU Denver
SpringHill Suites® Denver Downtown at MSU Denver is an all-suite hotel designed to appeal to business and leisure travelers who seek stylish, fun, spacious and functional accommodations at an affordable price. Located in the heart of Denver, the hotel features 150 spacious guest suites as well as 5,000 square feet of conference facilities. Managed by Denver’s Sage Hospitality, the hotel provides hands-on training opportunities for students in Metropolitan State University of Denver’s Hospitality, Tourism and Events department. Amenities include complimentary hot breakfast, free wireless high-speed Internet, a Market and a Fitness Center. www.marriott.com/densd
About Metropolitan State University of Denver
MSU Denver is a leader in educating Coloradans in university programs particularly relevant to the state’s economy and the demands of today’s employers. With the highest number of ethnically diverse students among the state’s four-year colleges, MSU Denver offers 58 majors plus master’s degrees in accounting, teaching and social work. More than 21,000 students are currently enrolled at MSU Denver, and 75 percent of the University’s nearly 80,000 graduates have remained in Colorado as valuable members of the state’s workforce.