Hotel Online  Special Report

Newest Classroom at University of Delaware's Department of Hotel, 
Restaurant and Institutional Management Also a Hotel


January 2005 - --The Courtyard Newark-University of Delaware offers all the services and amenities of a fine, business-class hotel, while also enhancing the educational and research opportunities for faculty and staff in the University’s respected hotel, restaurant and institutional management program.

The four-story, 126-room Courtyard by Marriott hotel is on University of Delaware’s Laird Campus, off New London Road in Newark, next to the newly renovated John M. Clayton Hall Conference Center. The convenient location is ideal for serving visitors to the conference center or other University events, as well as the larger community.

The hotel is a partnership between University of Delaware and the Shaner Hotel Group, which also is managing the University’s Conference Services, providing key marketing and management support. Under the terms of the partnership, the University is the majority owner of the hotel.

The Courtyard Newark-University of Delaware is a great addition to the city, to the University and to the Department of Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management (HRIM), and University of Delaware students will benefit from excellent learning opportunities in a fine hotel.

State-of-the-art facilities

The University’s Department of Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management has a particular emphasis on industry-related technology, and the hotel reflects that focus. One of the guest rooms is being used to test new concepts, from enhanced Internet access to energy conservation. While the technology is state-of-the-art,
it also is centered on enhancing customer service. William Sullivan, the hotel’s managing director, is a certified hospitality technology professional.

The hotel will be a model for industry to bring new products and see how they work. The focus will be to apply technology to promote service, taking technology to the next level.

In addition to the 126 guest rooms, the Courtyard Newark-University of Delaware has a large meeting room and 2,000 square feet of conference space, as well as access to a 500-seat auditorium, 7,700 square feet of exhibition space and 22 conference and meeting rooms in the adjacent Clayton Hall.

Experiential learning for students

University of Delaware HRIM students will be involved in all aspects of the hotel, from the front office to accounts and engineering, sales and marketing, similar to the hands-on experience HRIM students gain in the student-run restaurant Vita Nova, which recently took honors as best lunch buffet.

Because the hotel is brand-new, it also offers students the rare, hands-on opportunity to participate in starting up and managing such a facility. Unlike programs at many other universities, the UD students are fully integrated into all facets of running the hotel.

Students will have total immersion in the hotel industry. Under the supervision of faculty, they will be able to apply their theory courses to managing the hotel and providing real solutions to problems they encounter.

The Courtyard Newark-University of Delaware has been called “a working laboratory” for UD students, giving them direct insights into all aspects of today’s hotel industry and providing a real-world site for them to learn critically important operating procedures.

Students assigned to the hotel for a semester will meet for weekly classes in a computerized learning center at the site. The center doubles as a conference room with online meeting capability.

The Marriott Center for Hospitality and Tourism

The Marriott Center for Hospitality and Tourism has been established through a generous grant from the J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation.

The Center includes the high-tech, flexible classrooms and the experimental guest room at the hotel, where new technology and products will be tested. A portion of the $600,000 grant also has been used to help refurbish the campus headquarters of the Department of Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management.
The Marriott Center for Hospitality and Tourism provides HRIM faculty and students with a state-of-the-art room for lodging-related classes that also can be used for delivering educational services to industry professionals. The Center features full video-conferencing and wireless technology capability, as well as Group Systems software.

In announcing the grant, the foundation praised the University’s highly respected hospitality program and said, “It’s important that students learn the software applications crucial to effective decision-making and develop the skills necessary to effectively solve the types of problems commonplace in the hospitality industry.”

Enhancing University of Delaware Conference Services

The Courtyard Newark-University of Delaware is in an ideal location to provide overnight accommodations for those attending conferences at the adjacent Clayton Hall. Such accommodations are particularly in demand during the academic year, when residence halls are not available to house conference participants seeking on-campus lodging.

In addition to the 40,000-square-foot Clayton Hall in Newark, UD Conference Services also operates Arsht Hall and the Goodstay Center in Wilmington and the Virden Retreat Center in Lewes, Delaware.

Shaner Hotel Group is one of the nation’s premier private lodging and management companies. Founded in 1983, the State College, Pa.-based company owns and/or operates 23 hotels in 15 states.


Neil Thomas
Senior Editorial Coordinator
Office of Public Relations
University of Delaware

Also See: In Partnership with Academia, Shaner Hotel Group Will Build a 120 room Hotel on the Campus of the University of Delaware / May 2001
The J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation Awards $600,000 to the University of Delaware Department of Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management / July 2002

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