Kent State University Hotel and Conference Center Opens June 14

The Kent State University Hotel and Conference Center features a grand ballroom, 94 boutique-style guest rooms, an on-site restaurant and lounge, an indoor pool and workout facility, a 24-hour business center and a 10-seat executive boardroom.The Kent State University Hotel and Conference Center in downtown Kent will open June 14 with a launch event scheduled for Oct. 4. The hotel is part of the million-dollar redevelopment of downtown Kent, and is a partnership between the Kent State University Foundation and the Pizzuti Companies of Columbus, Ohio.

The new hotel offers 94 boutique-style guest rooms, an on-site restaurant and lounge, an indoor pool and workout facility, a 24-hour business center and 5,000 square feet of event space with a 10-seat executive boardroom.

“Our goal is to provide the kind of service that people don’t expect,” says Sage Culley, sales and catering manager for the hotel, Kent State alumna and long-time Kent resident. “We want them to walk away saying ‘wow.’”

Culley says the hotel and conference center is already receiving interest from local businesses and from Kent State. The hotel currently has 10 definite bookings and a little fewer than 100 leads, and already has potential customers for booking into 2014.

“The community is really embracing the hotel. So many people are excited for us to be here. They’re telling us they even want to stay here opening week – and they live in Kent,” Culley says. “People have been calling about hosting reunions and wedding receptions. They’re really excited about having friends and relatives come to town and having a wonderful place to stay.”

“The rates for 2013 start at $139,” says Mike Riccio, general manager of the hotel. “For group business, we will certainly offer discount opportunities. Being in the center of the city of Kent’s recently renovated and vibrant downtown has a lot of value.”

The hotel also is supporting local businesses by sourcing materials locally and providing a unique experience for customers with local food and beverage options.

“We have been working regularly to create local partnerships, sourcing furnishings and other goods from the area,” says Culley. “In addition, we are actively reaching out to the community for food and beverage options, including farmers’ markets for the restaurant.”

The hotel and conference center also has a strong presence in the corporate community, says Culley, noting its breakfast, lunch and dinner service, and the executive boardroom being a large draw.

The restaurant will provide many different services, such as microbrew samples, seasonal menus, happy hour and an exceptional wine list.

“We will deliver more than our customers expect,” Culley says. “We’re giving you an exquisite and elegant experience, but price-friendly for a family of four to enjoy.”

Riccio says he is excited about further embracing the community and wants to get feedback on what the community wants from the restaurant.

“Tell me what you want to see on our wine list or on our hors d'oeuvre menu,” Riccio says.

To serve the needs of the Kent State University community, Lawrence Carter was hired as asset manager and liaison between the hotel and the university. The hotel also is positioning itself to meet the needs of the university community with its programs.

Riccio says they want to partner with the university to reach a greater audience.

“We want to make sure we’re reaching recent graduates, alumni and a global audience,” he says. “Our goal is to really provide an exceptional experience for our customers. Just like our downtown Kent neighbors, we want to earn the respect of our customers – one experience at a time.”

To provide requests or recommendations for food and beverage selections, contact Riccio at

For sales and event inquiries, email

For more information about the Kent State University Hotel and Conference Center, visit

UPDATED: Saturday, April 20, 2024 07:58 PM
University Communications and Marketing