In February, a $2.5 million gift from Konami Corp. officially launched the campaign to raise funds for the construction of Hospitality Hall, an academic building for the William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration. In April, Las Vegas Sands Corp. announced a $7 million donation for the building and to create an executive education program.
"Industry partnerships are essential to keep the Harrah Hotel College at the forefront of hospitality and gaming education, and to ensure we're preparing our graduates to compete and succeed globally," said President Donald Snyder, who served as dean of the Hotel College from 2010-13.
Hospitality Hall will feature sweeping views of the Las Vegas Strip and serve as a bridge to the hospitality and gaming industry. Early designs call for about 95,000 square feet of classroom, laboratory, and meeting space. The design will encourage interaction and a sense of community among students, faculty, and industry professionals. It will be located in the center of campus, west of Beam Hall, which the college currently shares with the Lee Business School.
The cost is estimated at $50 million, with a proposed $30 million in public funding and $20 million in private support. In 2010, the Caesars Foundation provided $2.5 million to drive the project's initial planning with the state providing additional funds during the last legislative session. UNLV expects to present a public funding request during the 2015 legislative session, which could lead to project completion in late 2017.
Harrah Hotel College has been at the heart of hospitality education for nearly 50 years, shaping the future of the hospitality industry in Las Vegas and around the globe. The Las Vegas Sands' gift also will create a proposed international executive education center.
"We are setting the global standard in hospitality and gaming education and development of the industry's future leaders and scholars," said Stowe Shoemaker, dean of the Hotel College. "These endeavors are vital for continuing UNLV's leadership and building an environment that enhances the learning styles of tomorrow's students, creating a truly global classroom."
The LVS gift is part of the corporation's new global citizenship program, Sands Cares. "LVS is committed to creating positive and tangible benefits in the areas we care most about -- our team members, our industry, the local communities we call home, and our planet," said Michael Leven, LVS president and chief operating officer.
Konami's long history of support for UNLV includes a $1 million gift to the Hotel College in 2010. "Konami is honored to make this financial commitment for the UNLV Hospitality Hall as a contribution to the development of both the gaming industry and its future leaders," said Takuya Kozuki, company president.