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UD, Shaner break ground for new hotel
Celebrating the groundbreaking are Lance T. Shaner (left), chairman and chief executive officer of the Shaner Hotel Group, and David Hollowell, executive vice president at UD.
The strong link between the Clayton Hall conference center and the new Courtyard by Marriott was much in evidence at the hotel’s groundbreaking ceremony on Sunday, April 21, when rainy weather forced the outdoor event into the lobby of Clayton Hall, which will be the new hotel’s neighbor.

The hotel will complement Clayton Hall, providing overnight accommodations for those attending conferences and also offering parents and other visitors the amenities of on-campus lodging.

The four-story hotel, expected to open next spring, also will provide a learning laboratory for research facility for students and faculty in the Department of Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management (HRIM).

Some 100 students and faculty from HRIM, UD administrators and members of the HRIM advisory board attended the late afternoon ceremony.

UD President David P. Roselle opened the ceremony by noting that the new 126-room hotel will be a “great addition to the city, to the University and to the Department of Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management.”

“With Vita Nova, with the new facilities in Raub Hall and with the new hotel, we are in the enviable position of giving the Department of Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Management everything it needs to succeed,” he said.

For the $11.5 million project, the University and the Shaner Hotel Group have formed the Blue Hen Hotel LLC, Roselle said. UD owns 75 percent and Shaner owns 25 percent of the hotel.

“We are very pleased to be involved in this major project with the Shaner Hotel Group, recognized as an industry leader in hospitality,” he said.

Lance T. Shaner, chairman and chief executive officer of the Shaner Hotel Group, said the new hotel will be a working laboratory for the students in hotel, restaurant and institutional management, giving them direct insights into all aspects of today’s hotel industry and providing a site where they will be able to learn about critically important operating procedures–from marketing and making calls on clients to working with the latest technology in Internet-based booking.

He thanked the University for its warm welcome and for its confidence in the Shaner Hotel Group.

Trustee Sherman Townsend concluded the ceremony by officially breaking ground for the facility. “We look forward to the completion of this hotel and to witness its use by our students, faculty, parents and the UD community,” he said.

April 25, 2002