CMU breaks ground on teaching hotel

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT)-- Early Wednesday morning was the groundbreaking for Colorado Mesa University's new teaching hotel.

CMU President Tim Foster says it'll give students hands-on experience, making them job ready when they graduate.

"It's just exciting to see it happen and watch the fruits of everyone's labor come together,” said Kayley Vogel, CMU Senior & President of the Hospitality Management club.

It’s been a work in progress.

"Well we are going to break ground on probably the longest planned hotel in the history of man,” said Tim Foster, CMU President.

Now, after more than three years of planning the first ground was moved for the new Maverick teaching hotel.

"The students will be very actively involved in all aspects of the hotel it's going to be a learning experience for our teachers, the faculty and the students,” said Betty Bechtel, Chair, CMU Board of Trustees.

The four-story building will be on campus, stretching from Kennedy to Elm behind Confluence Hall.

It's set to have 60 rooms, a restaurant and a bar.

“You know to get that hands-on experience really as they look and think they want to go into this profession it's just going to be just that experience that gets them the job and they just learn a ton,” said Foster.

The price tag, more than $15.7 million. They say all funded by the university.

"It's to try and create something that's kind of cozy that embraces the campus that's easily accessible,” said Foster.

CMU is partnering with Mars Hospitality, who owns several hotels including the Holiday Inn on Horizon Drive.

They will run the operations of the new hotel and will put hospitality and culinary students to work doing the rest.

"They will be involved in our sales and marketing program, how you manage people, everything about a management program they will be involved on that,” said Michael May, CEO of Mars Hospitality.

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