The official hub for news and stories from Colorado Mesa University
  • Exterior architecture rendering of Hotel Maverick

    Exterior architecture rendering of Hotel Maverick.

  • Interior architecture rendering of Hotel Maverick

    Interior architecture rendering of Hotel Maverick.

  • Hospitality management students at groundbreaking

    Hospitality management students at groundbreaking.

  • CMU trustees at groundbreaking.

    CMU trustees at groundbreaking..

Campus and community leaders anticipate benefits of campus teaching hotel

Western Colorado– A visitor exits an airplane, rides the new complementary shuttle service from the Grand Junction Airport to CMU, checks in at the Hotel Maverick, enjoys inside-outside fine dining and then commutes downtown on the shuttle to see student artwork at the CMU art gallery, 437CO. 

This could be the an experience of CMU parents and other visitors when the Hotel Maverick opens its doors next year. The Hotel Maverick will be an upscale experience located in the heart of CMU's growing campus. 

“The Hotel Maverick is a transformative project that has something for everyone,” said CMU President Tim Foster. “The teaching hotel will also function as the core of future, longer-term development plans that will create additional exciting student hands-on experiences around campus.” 

In addition to serving the community as the area’s only upscale hotel, the Hotel Maverick will serve the mission of the university as the only hospitality teaching facility in western Colorado. The hotel will allow students in multiple disciplines to receive hands-on experience in food service, hotel management, business development, marketing and event planning.

“As tourism remains a critical growth sector in western Colorado, it’s fitting CMU is creating a real-world hospitality training center to develop the very skills needed to expand the tourism and recreation economies of western Colorado,” said the Grand Junction Economic Partnership Executive Director Robin Brown. “Hospitality professionals trained at the Hotel Maverick stand to help enhance the experience of visitors from around the world and will help us grow our reputation as an outdoor destination.”

The Hotel Maverick will boast a contemporary theme that integrates an ethos of the modern west. CMU Executive Director of Marketing Michael Mansheim said he believes the hotel name reflects the hotel theme.

“After community focus groups there was a high degree of consensus around the name Hotel Maverick as the theme is reflected in the university’s mascot, the Maverick. The Maverick embodies the independence and self-reliance of the west which will likely be themed throughout the hotel,” said Mansheim. 

Officials gathered Oct. 3, 2018, to break ground for the unique project at Colorado Mesa University. The hotel is located east of th engineering building, Confluence Hall, and will have about 60 rooms. 

“Forward-looking projects like the Hotel Maverick continue to be delivered by CMU and these facilities serve students and families in innovative ways,” said CMU Board of Trustee Chair Betty Bechtel. “Located in the future center of campus, CMU’s latest project serves as one of the nation's premier teaching hotels while setting the stage for future growth, amenities and community partnerships on and around campus." 

The hotel is a result of years of partnership planning and innovative thinking. Managed in conjunction with Mars Hospitality, the teaching hotel further underscores CMU's commitment to partnerships. 

"Our company joined the hotel partnership project because we can invest in the future workforce of our business while contributing to the mission of higher education at the same time. The ability to create outcomes that benefit students, business and higher education is a trail CMU often blazes and a path we are excited to go down," said Rick Hill, owner and partner of Mars Hospitality. 

The teaching hotel is currently under construction by a local firm. Along with convenient lodging for visiting families, athletic teams, lecturers and regional tourist, additional four star amenities include cutting-edge architectural design, indoor-outdoor dining and restaurant services, meeting rooms, community spaces and parking.  

CMU Associate Professor of Business, Hospitality Management Britt Mathwich said he is optimistic about what the Hotel Maverick will mean for students in the future. 

“The hotel will allow students to learn in a hands-on environment while serving the community and training the future workforce in western hospitality. It’s one thing to learn about managing a hotel business from the confines of a classroom, it’s quite another to learn from a hotel that is a classroom. The Hotel Maverick will be a tremendous educational opportunity for students moving forward.”

The hotel is slated for completion in spring 2020.

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Written by David Ludlam