Skip Navigation
Oklahoma State University

HRAD Students Tour Construction at Downtown Tulsa Hampton Inn & Suites

HRAD Students Tour Construction at Downtown Tulsa Hampton Inn & Suites

tulsaOklahoma State University hospitality students stand on the roof Friday at the Hampton Inn & Suites construction site near Third Street and Cheyenne Avenue. 
CORY YOUNG/Tulsa World

 

Donning hard hats and safety glasses, a group of Oklahoma State University students studying the hospitality industry received a behind-the-scenes peek at their potential future.

They toured the nine-story, $17.5 million Hampton Inn & Suites that is going up across the street from the BOK Center.

“Our business is very hands-on,” said David W. Davis, clinical lodging instructor in OSU’s School of Hotel and Restaurant Administration, which is part of the College of Human Sciences.

“You can’t learn hospitality sitting in a classroom. So we try to get students, like we have today, engaged as much as possible with people like Mr. (Pete) Patel, who can show them the sides of the business that you can’t see in a classroom.”

Among those accompanying the nine students were Patel, president of project developer Promise Hotels, Davis, and Dar Yasseri, HRAD’s executive in residence. The field trip was arranged with the help of the OSU alumna Michelle Russell, opening general manager of the hotel.

“How often can you get students in a hotel that’s under construction?” Russell said.

“They get to get in a hotel from the ground up and really experience what we’re making decisions on, what we’re doing, the challenges, the successes, the obstacles.”

Ross Group, the hotel’s builder, showed the students photographs of the Hampton Inn’s construction. Later, they boarded a buck hoist to the hotel’s roof before making their way down, stopping on several floors to ask questions.

Maci Slater, a HRAD senior from Davis, was on the tour. She interned this past summer at the Ambassador Hotel in Tulsa.

“I was raised by parents who encouraged me to be involved and be part of a community,” she said. “When I came up to Oklahoma State, the HRAD program is a huge community. It’s a family.”

OSU’s HRAD program is ranked among the best in the country, Davis said.

“For the type of market we’re in and the history we have, it’s a unique program,” he said. “It’s a great program. It’s got the chance to really connect students to what most people don’t realize is the third-largest employer in the world — hospitality and tourism.

“Our students can do anything. We teach them transferable skills that can go into any type of business that involves people, which is all of them.”

The 125-room Hampton Inn is scheduled to open March 1, Patel said, just in time to accommodate two sporting events taking place at the neighboring BOK Center: the Big 12 Wrestling Tournament March 4-5 and first- and second-round games of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament March 17 and 19. A Miranda Lambert concert is scheduled at the arena March 11.

“We’re going to be opening at the right time,” Patel said.

By Rhett Morgan Tulsa World | Posted: Saturday, November 5, 2016 12:00 am