Elon trustees approve construction of on-campus hotel

An 80-room inn will open in fall 2019, meeting the long-standing need for on-campus lodging for the thousands of people who visit Elon annually.  

Artist rendering of the front of Elon's on-campus hotel.

Elon University’s board of trustees has approved plans for a new on-campus hotel, with several trustees making personal contributions to provide lead funding. Tentatively named the “Inn at Elon,” the three-story, 80-room facility will be located next to the Ernest A. Koury, Sr. Business Center on North O’Kelly Avenue. Construction is expected to start early this summer with completion projected for fall 2019.

The inn will be a high-quality hotel similar to others found at more than 80 private and public colleges and universities across the nation. It will meet Elon’s long-standing need for on-campus lodging and conference facilities.

“Elon alumni, parents and friends come back to campus frequently for Homecoming, Family Weekend, Commencement, Phoenix games, theater and concert performances, reunions, board meetings and many other events throughout the year,” President Connie Ledoux Book said. “Members of our community consistently tell us they would love to stay on campus in our unique and vibrant environment. This new inn will be a tremendous asset and further enhance the experience of visiting the Elon campus.” 

The inn will also provide lodging for people attending academic conferences, visiting scholars and speakers, prospective students, business recruiters meeting with Elon students, college sports fans and travelers who want a campus-centered stay on Elon’s botanical garden campus.

Rear view of the hotel featuring outdoor gathering spaces for special events.

The 80 rooms will include 10 suites along with 70 rooms with king-sized and queen/double beds. Amenities will include a restaurant and lounge, ballroom, conference rooms, fitness room and outdoor gathering spaces. A dedicated parking lot will be located next to the inn. All facilities will be open to the public and available for business meetings and retreats as well as family celebrations such as weddings, reunions and holiday parties.

Generous funding for the project from several members of the Elon board of trustees includes a lead gift of $2.5 million by trustee Mark Mahaffey and his wife, Marianne, who are parents of two Elon alumni. “This hotel has been in the planning stages for several years and I’m really excited about the start of construction,” Mark Mahaffey said. “It will be an important facility for alumni, parents and anyone who comes to the university. We are happy to participate in making this first-class inn a reality.”

Other trustees providing major gifts are Chris Martin ’78 P’13 and his wife, Nicolette P’13; Dave Porter P’11 and his wife, Jen P’11; Vicky Hunt and her husband, Sam; and Tom Chandler and his wife, Lynn. Elon Parents Council co-presidents John and Kristin Replogle P’18 also made a major gift, and several other donors from the Elon community are making commitments as fundraising for the project continues.

The hotel will be owned by the university and revenue beyond operating costs will be directed to fund student scholarships. This is a new and creative way to generate additional financial support for scholarships at Elon.

The inn will be managed by Charlestowne Hotels, a hospitality management company based in Charleston, S.C., that operates independent, lifestyle and franchise hotels in college towns, urban centers and resort locations across the nation.