Local hotels may face competition from university hotel

Drew Parker

Competition may arise among local hotels as Kent State expands its influence throughout the city.

The Kent State University Hotel and Conference Center, which will be built on South Depeyster Street, is scheduled to open 2013 or sooner. Earlier this month, the Kent State University Foundation announced that the hotel and conference center would be independent of any brand name.

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Reg Thayer, general manager of the Holiday Inn Express in Kent, said that the addition of any new hotel, regardless of a university affiliation, would negatively affect the local hotel business.

“This area isn’t that big. Adding a new hotel is going to really hurt the rest of the hotels,” Thayer said. “(Local hotels) should be looking to increase or keep up their occupancy and revenue.”

Jen Collins, general manager of the Comfort Inn and Suites in Kent said that she didn’t believe the new hotel would have much of an impact on The Comfort Inn and Suites and that price will be a large determinant for any competition.

“I think we will have a different clientele than the university,” Collins said. “Rates will pretty much determine everything.”

Local hotels vary in price, most ranging from $50-$100 for a standard room. In a Sept. 6 interview, President Lestor Lefton said the hotel would house approximately 100 rooms for around $100 per night.

In January, Thomas Euclide, associate vice president for Facilities, Planning and Operations said that the new hotel would hopefully attract students to the area.

“It’s just been a great collaborative effort to make the downtown a great place and make Kent State a more vibrant place to go to school and live,” Euclide said. “What’s good for the city is good for the university, and what’s good for the university is good for the city. If we make the entire community a great place to go to school, learn and live, it benefits us all.”

Contact Drew Parker at [email protected].