EAST LANSING, Mich. — At just a glance the Graduate Hotel might seem average.
“We are 194 guest rooms," said Director of Sales Emily Childers. "We’ve got about 6,000 square feet of event space.”
But when you look closer you find something new everywhere.
“Every corner we turn there’s something new and something exciting that we want to show our alumni,” said hotel manager Sarah Gregory.
All of it is related to Michigan State University and East Lansing.
“The carpet has all these little intricate nods to Michigan State woven throughout it," Gregory said.
Even the staff including Gregory and Childers have ties to the university.
“After all these years it just really felt like home to me so it was nice to come back and be part of the university,” said Gregory.
Jason Meyers graduated from Michigan State 30 years ago and he said he loves what the hotel has to offer so far.
“I’ve been here about 12 hours so I like this area for working,” Meyers said.
Meyers said there's one part he's looking forward to.
“The bar’s not open yet, but I think I’m going to like that part too,” said Meyers.
If you take the elevator up to floor ten, you'll find the Graduate Rock Bar.
“We have an outdoor patio with 360-degree views of downtown Lansing and Michigan State,” Gregory said.
And of course, there's a 300-pound rock.
“Really our crown jewel is our rooftop bar,” said Childers.
Basketball Coach Tom Izzo took a tour of the new hotel.
“They’ve done a great job of bringing the hotel into the community, into the university,” said Izzo.
His favorite room might come as a surprise.
“Not very many times would I say I say the bathroom is my favorite part of the building, but with the Flintstones in there and yabba dabba doo and all the things,” Izzo said.
One thing he's looking forward to is watching games in the bar.
“Now I know where I’m going to watch a football game," said Izzo. "I’m just going to come sit up there and tell, I’ll be yelling down to Mel ‘hey Mel run a pass play.’”
With the official opening on Monday, Gregory and Childers say they can't wait.
“We are just ready to open our doors ready to get people in here,” said Childers.
They hope to see students and alumni come out and enjoy the new hotel.
“Where else do you see Irving when you walk in the door you know?" Izzo said. "Can’t beat it.”
There are 30 Graduate Hotels across the United States, each uniquely designed for their university town.
More information on each location and how to book a stay can be found on their website.
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