BLACKSBURG — Hundreds of Virginia Tech students will move into the on-campus hotel, the Inn at Virginia Tech, this fall.
The university will house about 325 students on the first three of four floors of the Inn at Virginia Tech during the 2019-20 academic year, school officials announced Monday. The move comes after university officials reached a deal “in principle” to lease out the Holiday Inn Express hotel in Blacksburg for the same time period. About 200 students will live there.
The two hotels, plus a number of other strategies, should give the school enough space for its impending housing crunch, Tech spokesman Mark Owczarski said.
“We now have the ability to house all of our students,” he said.
Tech and Blacksburg are bracing for a spike in enrollment next year. The university is expecting 1,000 more than the 6,600 freshmen it anticipated for its incoming class.
The fourth floor of the Inn at Virginia Tech will continue to house overnight guests. Tech spokeswoman Tracy Vosburgh said the Inn at Virginia Tech and university officials would work with people who made reservations to find alternate places to stay for visits to Blacksburg. The inn will no longer accept reservations after Aug. 10.
“We are reaching out to every single person with a reservation,” Vosburgh said.
The inn’s Skelton Conference Center will continue to honor the conferences and events it has for the upcoming school year, Vosburgh said. Those range from university symposiums to community events.
The university plans to “retain the inn’s workforce,” according to its announcement, “with a goal that no employee will lose a job.” The hotel is operated by Benchmark Resorts and Hotels and that company will continue to operate the fourth floor for guests, the conference center and Preston’s Restaurant, Owczarski said. University employees will manage residence life where students are living, he said.
Like at the Holiday Inn, Tech will have some student services and programming available at the hotel.
The school touted a number of other strategies it used to deal with the extra students. The school said 49 students took its unique offer to delay enrollment for cash incentives. Those incentives included a scholarship to take a gap year, paid community college and only attending the school in the spring or fall and taking summer courses.
The school also announced that 97 returning students have opted out of the housing contracts and 84 freshmen have elected to live off campus.
Tech’s costs for the hotels are yet to be determined, though the school is dedicated to finding good housing conditions for its students, Owczarski said.