Ground Broken for New Hotel and Conference Center
Another big milestone in the $100-million redevelopment of downtown Kent, Ohio, was achieved with the groundbreaking of the Kent State University Hotel and Conference Center on Sept. 19. The project is a partnership between the Kent State University Foundation and the Pizzuti Companies of Columbus, Ohio. Kent State University President Lester A. Lefton joined members of the Kent State University Foundation Board of Directors, developer and Kent State alumnus Ron Pizzutti of the Pizzuti Companies and Kent Mayor Jerry Fiala to celebrate the special occasion with members of the Kent community, elected officials and university representatives.
“I can’t believe it -- we’re here,” Lefton said. “Today is a very special and remarkable day.”
Lefton said he heard that this conversation of having a hotel in Kent has been in the works for 40 years. He highlighted the public-private partnership that is now making it a reality and emphasized the downtown redevelopment has been a team effort involving many organizations and individuals who are committed to it.
Pizzuti, who grew up in Kent and received his bachelor’s from Kent State, reviewed some of the features of the new hotel and conference center. It will have 95 rooms, 5,400 square feet for meeting space, an indoor pool and an exercise room. The cost of the hotel and conference center, he said, is estimated in excess of $15 million. Though the hotel and conference center’s opening is listed as Spring 2013 on a sign on the site, Pizzuti said he hopes to speed the opening date up.