Despite facing some delays on the $13 million project, Kutztown University is on track to open a 100-room hotel near its campus this year.
The Hampton Inn & Suites, a four-story hotel, is under construction on three acres in Maxatawny Township on Kutztown Road less than one mile from the university campus.
The hotel had been slated for a spring 2019 opening, but now should be completed in August, said Ed Richmond, associate executive director and chief financial officer for Kutztown University Foundation and Alumni Relations.
“In July, we had a number of challenges with our land development process … we are behind schedule because of the rain,” he said “Once we get the earth work completed, we hope to be under roof within two weeks.”
All the exterior walls are up, he added.
Once it is completed, the hotel will include an indoor pool, fitness room and two small conference rooms.
It is one of the first to use a new prototype of the Hilton-owned Hampton Inn brand and will offer a more contemporary, modern look than previous Hampton Inn brands, Richmond said.
The Kutztown University Foundation bought the property for the hotel in 2017 through its investment subsidiaries, Ursus Aureus and Golden Bear Ventures.
The nonprofit foundation has a $30 million endowment, mainly used for scholarships.
The profits from operating the hotel will be paid to the endowment in the form of dividends. The foundation does not intend to sell the hotel but rather to hold it for long-term investment.
“We set this up as a for-profit venture, an investment of the foundation,” Richmond said.
The foundation spent about two years researching the market and concluded the university needed a hotel of this size near campus, he said.
“We’ve been hearing for years that there’s no place really to stay,” Richmond said.
Richmond said many visitors would travel to Reading or the Allentown/Fogelsville area to find a hotel that suited their needs.
“After hearing that for years and years, there seems to be a need, we embarked on surveys. Those surveys pinpointed the size of the hotel,” Richmond said.
TKo Hospitality Management of Wilmington, Delaware will manage the hotel.
Wohlsen Construction Co. of Harrisburg is building the project.
KCBA Architects of Hatfield designed the project.