Marriott International's J. Willard and Alice S. Marriott Foundation has pledged to give UNLV's hotel college $2.5 million to help build a new on-campus home.
Construction for Hospitality Hall — a 93,000-square-foot facility housing classroom, laboratory and meeting space in the heart of UNLV's Maryland Parkway campus — is scheduled to begin next March as the William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration continues raising donations to pay for the $59 million project. Marriott's gift, announced Thursday by UNLV administrators, brings the college $7.5 million away from reaching its $30 million fundraising goal. State lawmakers allocated money for the remaining costs, allowing construction to begin this year.
"We're really thrilled," hotel college Dean Stowe Shoemaker said. "A gift from Marriott shows the significance of our program worldwide."
Marriott joins donors that include Boyd Gaming Corp., Caesars Entertainment Corp., MGM Resorts International, Konami Holdings Corp., Station Casinos and Las Vegas Sands Corp. Administrators expect to open Hospitality Hall during the fall 2017 semester — it will replace the hotel college's home inside Beam Hall, which also houses UNLV's Lee Business School.
The foundation will name the building's kitchen, which will be used to teach food and beverage courses.
"The concept for the state-of-the-art executive kitchen perfectly aligns with the values of the Marriott Foundation," Marriott Foundation Executive Director Anne Gunsteens said in a statement prepared by UNLV. "We want to encourage true experiential learning for students in a way that will not only advance them as professionals, but will also teach them about providing service to the community."
The Review-Journal is owned by a limited liability company controlled by the Adelson family, majority owners of Las Vegas Sands Corp.