The reservation period for The Hotel at The University of Maryland — an anchoring feature in the Greater College Park initiative — will begin in April, said general manager Jeff Makhlouf.
The Hotel, as well as adjoining retail and restaurant spaces such as the Old Maryland Grill, a steakhouse, and Kapnos Taverna, a Mediterranean restaurant, are scheduled to open before the end of July, Makhlouf said. The $140 million project features 297 rooms with an additional 43,000 square feet of meeting space for various events including conferences, weddings and other gatherings.
Although The Hotel will not be open in time for the spring 2017 graduation ceremonies, Makhlouf said they've already received calls from people looking to make reservations.
"We've been getting a lot of calls from people interested in booking anything between a couple rooms to ten rooms," he said.
While management is not opening individual reservations until mid-April, Makhlouf said The Hotel's sales team has worked with larger groups for over a year to schedule future conference dates.
Makhlouf could not comment specifically on which groups have booked gatherings at The Hotel, but he said the property has an event scheduled toward the end of July.
Conferences are just one of the benefits The Hotel will provide once it's open, College Park Mayor Patrick Wojahn said.
"I'm thrilled about the people that are going to come to the conferences," Wojahn said. "The innovative and exciting work that will be happening with people gathering from all over our country."
In addition to the conference scheduled for July*, The Hotel spokeswoman Mindy Bianca said the property has also been booked for weddings, corporate events and other association gatherings. These events will range anywhere from 50 to 1,200 attendees, Bianca wrote in an email.
In November, The Hotel will also host the Maryland Tourism Summit, an event involving the Maryland Tourism Coalition — an organization advocating for the state's tourism industry, according to the MTC website.
Ken Ulman, chief economic strategist for the university's College Park Foundation, said he thinks The Hotel will be a focal point of College Park.
"I can't wait till people can finally go to The Hotel and finally eat at the restaurants," Ulman said. "It's such a high quality project, that it's going to open up people's eyes to the place we are and the high quality projects that are going to open up afterwards."