$1.6M federal award supports academic space at Scarlet Hotel

Exterior view of The Scarlet Hotel, a Marriott Tribute hotel located at Nebraska Innovation Campus. The hotel opened in May and will be home to the university's Hospitality, Restaurant and Tourism Management program.

The University of Nebraska–Lincoln has received a $1.6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce to complete an academic facility offering real-world teaching within The Scarlet Hotel.

The funds will initiate the build-out of a 100-seat classroom and offices within the hotel, offering new opportunities for Huskers seeking hospitality, restaurant and tourism management degrees through the College of Education and Human Sciences.

“This significant investment from the U.S. Department of Commerce emphasizes that Nebraska’s HRTM program is an integral force in the future of the hospitality industry,” said Sherri Jones, dean of the College of Education and Human Sciences. “Once completed, the academic space at The Scarlet Hotel will serve as a hands-on learning laboratory for our students to build their career-ready skills.”

Located at the university’s Nebraska Innovation Campus, The Scarlet Hotel is a 154-room Marriott Tribute hotel. Opened in April, the facility has been planned to serve both as a hotel for visitors to the university and Lincoln community and as a hands-on teaching space for students seeking careers in the hospitality industry.

“It’s going to be a space where every day you will see our students, faculty and staff actively participating in, supporting and learning about the operations of a real-world, working hotel,” said Chancellor Ronnie Green. “It will be hands-on and an incredible experiential opportunity for our students.”

The grant is funded under the Department of Economic Development Administrations’ American Rescue Plan’s Travel, Tourism and Outdoor Recreation program. This federal support will fund a state-of-the-art classroom and learning areas where students and other learners will deepen their commitment and practice of the service excellence expected in the hospitality industry.

Additional fundraising will support a teaching and learning kitchen for students and hospitality professionals to enhance their skills in management of food and beverage services. The facility will help grow the work force in Nebraska and beyond for employment in the tourism, lodging, events and entertainment industries.

“The Economic Development Administration is committed to supporting community-led economic development strategies,” said Alejandra Y. Castillo, assistant secretary of commerce for economic development. “The new facility will provide classrooms, office and learning spaces to train professionals in the hospitality, travel and tourism industries, leading to good-paying jobs in the regional economy.”

The hospitality industry is the third-largest revenue generator in Nebraska and one of the largest industries in the world. In the United States, the industry represents more than $1.6 trillion in economic output and one of every 10 jobs.

Students in the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s hospitality management major have six emphasis areas to choose from: hotel management, club management, event management, food and beverage management, tourism and human resources.

Signature spaces within the full-service Scarlet Hotel will provide unique lessons for students. Those spaces include The Good Life Coffee Shop; the Well & Good, the hotel’s signature restaurant; and the Barred Owl, a rooftop bar with incredible views of Lincoln. The hotel’s restaurant, bar and coffee shop are open to the public and feature Nebraska-inspired cuisine and drinks.

Learn more about the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s Hospitality, Restaurant and Tourism Management program and how to support its future.

by Haley Apel | Education and Human Sciences | July 1, 2022