The University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) today announced a $2.5 million gift from the KONAMI CORPORATION to support construction of Hospitality Hall, a new academic building for the William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration.
"Our strong commitment to the education of future industry leaders compels our continual support of UNLV," said Thomas Jingoli, senior vice president/chief compliance officer for Konami Gaming, Inc. Jingoli is a Harrah Hotel College alumnus. "We are proud to make this gift for the Harrah Hotel College's new academic building and believe that it will help build a solid foundation for excellence in hospitality and gaming education. We look forward to continuing our strong relationship with the university and President Snyder."
The gift officially launches the campaign for construction funding for Hospitality Hall at the center of UNLV's campus. Preliminary plans for the facility include roughly 95,000 square feet of classroom, laboratory and meeting space that will be designed to encourage interaction and a sense of community between students, faculty, and industry professionals. Hospitality Hall will be located on the North Field behind Frank and Estella Beam Hall, which the Hotel College currently shares with the Lee Business School.
"The Harrah Hotel College has been at the heart of hospitality education for decades, shaping the future of the industry in Las Vegas and around the world," said UNLV President Donald Snyder, who served as dean of the Hotel College from 2010 to 2013. "The college must remain at the forefront of the industry, and this new building provides UNLV the opportunity to define excellence in hospitality education for future generations."
The total project cost is estimated at $50 million, with a proposed $30 million in public funding and $20 million in private support. Existing kitchen and laboratory spaces in Beam Hall will be renovated concurrent with the project.
"This generous gift is an example of the long-term relationship we have with KONAMI, and we are excited that they have committed to take this next step with us," said Stowe Shoemaker, dean of the Harrah Hotel College. "As we focus on the art, science, and business of hospitality and gaming education, this gift exemplifies these values by helping us create a state of the art space to educate tomorrow's hospitality and gaming leaders."
State legislators approved planning funds for the project during the 2013 Legislative Session, and the State Board of Examiners approved a contract for architectural services on Feb. 4, 2014. UNLV expects to present a public funding request during the 2015 Legislative Session, which if approved could lead to project completion by late 2017.
"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, president of KONAMI CORPORATION.
The gift continues a long history of support from KONAMI to UNLV and the Hotel College. In 2010, KONAMI donated $1 million to the Hotel College. In recognition of the company's support of gaming education, the gaming lab located in the UNLV Stan Fulton Building was formally named the KONAMI Gaming Laboratory.
"The UNLV Hotel College is the premier hospitality program in the world, and support for the college is critical to advance Nevada's reputation as the global intellectual capital of gaming," said Kevin Page, chair of the Nevada System of Higher Education Board of Regents. "This gift provides momentum for construction of a new home for the Hotel College and strengthens partnerships between UNLV and the gaming and tourism industries."
About Hospitality Hall
The William F. Harrah College of Hotel Administration 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. To remain at the forefront of essential knowledge and best practices, Hospitality Hall will help the college raise the bar for hospitality education. It will feature sweeping views of the Las Vegas Strip and serve as a bridge to the resort industry with public and private support from the state of Nevada and hospitality, gaming and tourism industries. In 2010, the Caesars Foundation provided $2.5 million to the Harrah Hotel College to drive the project's initial planning and design phase.
About Konami Gaming, Inc.
Konami Gaming, Inc. is a Las Vegas-based subsidiary of KONAMI CORPORATION (NYSE: KNM). The company is a leading provider of slot machines and casino management systems for the global gaming market. For more information about Konami Gaming, Inc., please visit www.konamigaming.com.