Purdue University has selected Merrillville-based White Lodging to operate the Union Club Hotel on its West Lafayette campus.
The Union Club Hotel was built in phases between 1929 and 1953 as an addition to the Purdue Memorial Union. It is currently undergoing a complete renovation.
“We are thrilled to work with White Lodging to bring the service and experience at our hotel to a level consistent with the grand plans we have for this renovation,” said Robert Wynkoop, senior director of auxiliary services at Purdue University. “White Lodging and Purdue will be ready to welcome our first guests in the Union Club’s next chapter in August 2020.”
A key part of White Lodging’s role will be to create a hands-on learning laboratory for students enrolled in Purdue’s hospitality and tourism management program. Purdue students will fill nearly all roles at the hotel, including the new restaurant and bar.
“We’re excited to support such an iconic part of Purdue University and build the next generation of hospitality professionals by supplementing the classroom experience with hands-on learning,” said Ken Barrett, White Lodging’s president and CEO, hospitality management. “Guests of the Union Club can expect the same world-class hospitality experience they receive at any of our nearly 100 premium-branded hotels and more than 40 restaurants and bars.”
White Lodging has a long history of hiring graduates of the Purdue system and supporting its academic programs, including the White Lodging School of Hospitality and Tourism Management and White Lodging Professional Sales Lab at Purdue University Northwest in Hammond. Bruce White, White Lodging’s founder and chairman, graduated from Purdue University and is a former trustee of the university.
The 182-room hotel closed in early July to undergo a complete renovation, which is expected to run through the 2019-2020 school year. The project will modernize the entire hotel, which has not been significantly renovated in more than four decades.
A yet-to-be announced full-service restaurant and new bar will be added to the property. The project also includes upgrades and cosmetic improvements to the existing ballrooms on the main floor of the Purdue Memorial Union.
White Lodging, established in 1985, is a hospitality development and management firm, which operates and manages more than 90 hotels and 30 restaurants across 20 states.
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