Tuesday April 10, 2007

New Hotel Looks to the Future

Community and business leaders celebrated the official grand opening April 10 of the new Courtyard by Marriott at the University of Dayton, the first new hotel development in Dayton in more than 20 years and UD's latest economic development initiative.

"The University of Dayton is committed to Dayton's future and its continued development. This beautiful new hotel is already serving sports teams, business travelers and University visitors, and complements this important gateway to the city and to the University," said Daniel J. Curran, UD president.

"The City of Dayton is proud to have the University of Dayton as a major economic development partner in our community," said Dayton Mayor Rhine McLin. "The ambitious projects UD has in store for property along Brown and Stewart Streets complement the development they are spearheading along the Edwin C. Moses corridor. The opening of the new Marriott Courtyard Hotel is just the latest enhancement to this part of the city."

Part of the UD Arena Sports Complex, the four-story, 101-room riverfront hotel on Edwin C. Moses Blvd. is co-owned by UD and Concord Hospitality Enterprises and first opened its doors February 14 in the midst of a major winter storm.

Since then, the hotel has been "extraordinarily successful," according to Mark G. Laport, president and CEO of Concord Hospitality Enterprises Inc.

"We opened with an unusually strong amount of reservations and have already seen three sold-out weekends, along with good weekday walk-in traffic," Laport said. "A large number of groups have booked the hotel during summer months, and we have strong support from our local corporate clients."

"Concord is pleased with the acceptance of the hotel by the local community and we look forward to a successful partnership with the University of Dayton serving travelers and contributing to the community," Laport said.

Guests at the grand opening toured meeting rooms and guest rooms, including suites equipped with whirlpool baths and public areas for social and business gatherings. Many guest rooms have views of the Great Miami River and Carillon Park.

"Coupled with the beautiful sports complex the University has helped create nearby, this area is one of the most appealing destination points along Dayton's section of Interstate 75," McLin added. "We applaud the University of Dayton's willingness to be active partners in our on-going community revitalization efforts."

The multimillion-dollar Arena Sports Complex includes five athletic venues used by UD teams, including basketball, baseball and softball. The arena has hosted national, regional and local events and tournaments. The new hotel is expected to increase the appeal of the complex for additional sporting events.

In a national ranking issued last fall, the University of Dayton ranked third in the "extraordinary efforts" it makes to the renewal and revitalization of its surrounding community. The "Saviors of Our Cities" list recognizes the top 25 universities and colleges that are "exemplary examples of community revitalization and cultural renewal, economic drivers of the local economy, advocates of community service and urban developers, both commercially as well as in housing."

UD, a private, Catholic university, owns the hotel in partnership with Concord Hospitality Enterprises Co., which constructed and manages the hotel. Concord, headquartered in Raleigh, N.C., develops and manages 46 hotels in the U.S. and Canada.

For more information on the hotel, go to www.courtyarddaytonuniversity.com or the Marriott reservation line at 800-321-2211. Contact Penny Riggs, general manager at 937-220-9060.