RMU conversion of hotel to dorm to cost 60 jobs
Robert Morris University's conversion of a hotel into a dormitory will leave about 60 workers without jobs next week, a university spokesman said.
It also has forced some couples who planned weddings at the Holiday Inn in Moon this year or in 2014 to choose other venues.
“We certainly regret any inconvenience our decision to close the hotel has caused,” university spokesman Jonathan Potts said.
RMU on Monday will close the Holiday Inn on University Boulevard, about a mile from its campus. The university owns the building, and plans to open it as a dormitory by August, he said.
Potts said the 60 hotel employees were told in May that their jobs would end in July. Prospera Hospitality, which manages the Holiday Inn, “has made every effort to find those workers positions at other hotels they manage,” he said. Green Tree-based Prospera did not return calls.
RMU bought the 11-story hotel at a sheriff's sale in November 2011. It began leasing rooms for students in 2010, Potts said.
The hotel's conversion is occurring three years earlier than planned because of enrollment growth, the university has said. Enrollment grew almost 8 percent to 5,181 students between 2008 and 2012.
Next school year, RMU plans to house about 500 students in 250 rooms. The building will be called Yorktown Hall, Potts said.
Prospera began notifying customers in April, he said. Prospera has worked with betrothed couples and others to make arrangements at other hotels, without extra expense, Potts said.
“In some cases, depending on how quickly the event was coming up … we gave them an additional cash gift,” he said. Potts declined to disclose RMU's cost.
Kerry Orchowski, 24, of Scott and Tim Sugrue, 25, of Philadelphia booked their Nov. 30 wedding at the Holiday Inn and were shocked when they later learned it would have to be moved, Orchowski said.
The Holiday Inn helped the couple move their wedding to the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel and Suites, Downtown, without any extra costs or a date change, she said. “I'm actually extremely pleased because I feel like I kind of got a better deal.”
The DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Pittsburgh–Green Tree will accommodate four weddings that were planned for the Holiday Inn in Moon, said Verdell Ekberg, vice president of sales for CAM Hospitality, which manages the Doubletree.
The hotel recently completed a $20 million renovation, he said. “Once the brides and grooms got here and saw the transformation with the renovation, we didn't have any issues whatsoever,” he said.
Tory N. Parrish is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-380-5662 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Identical twins born at West Penn Hospital a rare medical marvel
- City of Pittsburgh detective, 2 boys finalize adoption before judge
- Pitt professor, poet earns prestigious MacArthur ‘genius grant’
- Western Pa. colleges to emphasize curricula for energy, industrial fields
- State awards six Western Pennsylvania schools mentoring grants
- Embattled VFW mulls image among declining numbers
- Fees, interest mount over August Wilson site, Dollar claims
- Allegheny County Controller to audit take-home vehicle usage
- Unprepared law firms vulnerable to hackers
- Family becomes ‘forever’
- Kent State provocation with ‘blood’ sweatshirt denied