updated: 8/1/2013 7:20:14 AM

Major Renovations Wrapping up at Notre Dame Hotel

InsideINdianaBusiness.com Report

A more than $30 million renovation project at the University of Notre Dame is nearly complete. The school says the 1950s-era Morris Inn is set to reopen next month and will employ 60 more workers than when it temporarily closed last year. The hotel will be seeking a Four Diamond rating from AAA.

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July 31, 2013

News Release

NOTRE DAME, Ind. - Morris Inn at the University of Notre Dame, which is currently undergoing a more than $30 million renovation and expansion, has announced a new sales and leadership team.

Leading the Morris Inn staff is Director and General Manager Joe Kurth, who previously managed The Pfister Hotel, a historic AAA Four Diamond property in Milwaukee, Wis. With more than 20 years experience in hospitality management, Kurth has an award-winning record in the luxury hotel market and a history of delivering outstanding customer service.

"Opening a premier hotel with the history and tradition of Notre Dame is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," said Kurth. "I'm honored to be a part of it and to help support the academic mission of the university. We look forward to introducing the reimagined space to all our visitors - from those who've been staying at the Morris Inn for decades to our first-time guests. Our staff will work to preserve the spirit of the original hotel, while managing every detail to help create lifelong memories for every single person who walks through our doors."

Under Kurth's direction, a new sales team was established, consisting of Megan Akatu, director of sales & marketing, a Notre Dame graduate with nearly a decade of experience in sales, marketing and event planning; Lori Chaney, event sales specialist, a longtime Notre Dame employee at the Notre Dame Conference Center; and Heather Goralski, senior sales specialist, former general manager of nearby Ivy Court & Suites.

"Working with the university, we put together an experienced, dedicated sales and management team to help ensure the highest level of service for our guests," added Kurth.

"We look forward to welcoming our guests 'a thousand times over' while experiencing everything the University of Notre Dame has to offer."

Other key personnel include, Edward Atkinson, long-time business manager of the Morris Inn; Ted Grange, director of operations, who recently relocated from Baltimore and has several decades of luxury hotel experience; David Konkey, director of events and Notre Dame alum, who has worked at the Morris Inn for the past five years; and Lisa Yates, human resources consultant, who has been critical to the reopening of the Morris Inn.

In late August 2013, the Morris Inn will reopen with twice the number of employees it had when it temporarily closed for renovations last fall. In June, the university held two job fairs to hire 60 new people - about half the total staff. Most of the other half of the 120 positions at the inn will be filled by its former employees, all of whom were offered other positions at the university during renovations.

Morris Inn will reopen to the public with a grand reopening event on Thursday, September 5, 2013. Once opened, the Morris Inn will be seeking a Four Diamond rating from the AAA Diamond Rating Process, as well as LEED Silver certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

For more information on the new Morris Inn, visit www.MorrisInn.nd.edu or follow the hotel on Facebook (facebook.com/TheMorrisInn).

About Morris Inn at the University of Notre Dame

Owned and operated by the University of Notre Dame, the Morris Inn was built on the campus in 1952 as the first structure of the Notre Dame post-war building program. It was made possible through a generous donation from 1906 Notre Dame alumnus, Ernest M. Morris and his wife, Ella L. Morris. In 2012, their daughter, Ernestine Morris Carmichael Raclin, along with her family and the Carmichael Foundation, provided a gift to the university for the purpose of funding a major renovation and expansion of the Morris Inn. In October 2012, the inn was closed for the first time in 60 years and the project began. The extensively renovated and expanded Morris Inn will reopen in late August 2013.

Morris Inn is located at 130 Notre Dame Ave in Notre Dame, Ind. and offers "A Higher Degree of Hospitality." More information and updates on the hotel can be found online at MorrisInn.nd.edu or on Facebook at facebook.com/TheMorrisInn.

About University of Notre Dame

Founded in 1842, the University of Notre Dame is the nation's preeminent Catholic university and is rated among the top 25 of all U.S. institutions of higher learning. Notre Dame is organized into four undergraduate colleges - Arts and Letters, Science, Engineering, and the Mendoza College of Business - the School of Architecture, the Law School, the Graduate School, 10 major research institutes, more than 40 centers and special programs, and the University library system. Located adjacent to the city of South Bend, approximately 90 miles east of Chicago, it is highly residential, with 80 percent of students living on campus, and also is known for the quality of its physical plant and the beauty of its campus, including the Golden Dome of the Main Building, the world's most recognized university landmark.

Source: The University of Notre Dame

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