BY CATE STACKHOUSE
The University of Mary Washington Foundation is in the process of completing the new Hyatt Place Hotel, expected to open in January 2014. The hotel is an addition to the other properties owned by the UMW Foundation, including Eagle Village.
The UMW Foundation commemorated the beginning of construction of the hotel in September 2012.
“The interior finishes are being applied, and the place looks stunning,” said UMW Foundation President Jeff Rountree. “Once the furniture is placed in the building, it will really pop. It has a very modern, European feel and style.”
The interior finishes include carpeting, wall coverings and cabinetry.
The hotel is located in the second phase of the Eagle Village complex and will be a 66,500-square-foot facility.
“The layout is impressive and the outdoor court/lounge area will be a real asset to the hotel,” said UMW President Rick Hurley. “I am pleased with the way Eagle Village is being developed, and the hotel certainly adds to the improvements we are making on that end of campus.”
According to Hurley, the hotel offers many benefits for the university due to its close proximity to campus. The university will benefit from the financial return the Foundation will receive from their investment in the hotel, along with the prestige that the University will gain from having its name associated with a high quality hotel.
“I think it will be a really good addition to the school because visiting sports teams can stay at the hotel,” said freshman Anna Arkins.
Along with the benefiting visiting sports teams, having an on-site hotel will also benefit visiting families and faculty who will now have access to an on-campus, overnight facility for hosting professional meetings and conferences, according to Rountree.
“Our sales team has already started to work with various UMW departments on booking quite a few UMW-related needs, from sporting events to professional meetings,” said Rountree.
The UMW Foundation worked closely with the Hyatt Franchise in the past year to complete the hotel.
“Like any construction project, challenges abound but one always keeps the end product in sight…a high quality building that will serve the purpose for which it is intended,” said Rountree.
According to Rountree, Hyatt corporate is located in Chicago and is very involved in the project. Hyatt corporate inspectors and staff fly in from the Chicago and Atlanta offices on a weekly basis.
“Hyatt is a world-class operation, and they take the building of our Hyatt Place in Fredericksburg just as seriously as they take the building of a new Hyatt Regency in Shanghai, or London, or wherever,” said Rountree. “The Hyatt brand is an iconic symbol worldwide, and we as owners, and they as the ‘flag,’ take the Hyatt name and very guest experience, very seriously.”