Connect: A stay with purpose

Opened in January 2020, The Inn at Elon supports scholarships at Elon University and serves as a resource for businesses and organizations across the region.

Brian dudiak ’12 and ginny oberle ’14 were just two weeks away from their big day when COVID-19 disrupted their wedding plans. They decided to decrease the size of their ceremony and started planning again from scratch. The first place they turned was Elon, which holds a special place in their hearts as alumni and staff members. With The Inn at Elon now complete, it was the perfect place to host a reception and house out-of-town guests. 

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“When we decided to change our plans, our first call, besides to our families,” says Dudiak, “was to Rebecca [Foley],” who serves as the inn’s sales and catering manager. “Had it not been for their hospitality, kindness and professionalism, I do not think we would have the same fond memories we have of our day.”

Located on the grounds of the university’s nationally ranked botanical garden campus, The Inn at Elon opened in January 2020 under the management of Charlestowne Hotels. In addition to its 70 rooms and 10 suites, the four-star boutique hotel features a restaurant and lounge, fitness center, outdoor courtyard and fire pits, indoor and outdoor event spaces, on-site parking, gift shop and complimentary bicycle rentals.

The restaurant, The Mark at Elon, offers American cuisine with a Southern twist made from locally sourced ingredients. The conference and event facilities make the inn a valuable resource for not only the university but the entire community and region. All facilities are open to the public and available for business meetings and retreats, as well as celebrations such as weddings, reunions and holiday parties.

“The Inn at Elon fulfills a longstanding goal of having an on-campus hotel to host visitors to the university and the surrounding region,” says Carrie Ryan, assistant vice president for auxiliary services at Elon University.

A priority of the Elon LEADS Campaign, the inn was made possible by the generous philanthropy of Elon alumni, parents and friends, including a lead gift of $2.5 million by trustee Mark Mahaffey and his wife, Marianne, who are parents of two Elon alumni. Patrons also contribute to a worthy cause when they visit the inn. All revenues beyond operating costs go toward funding Elon student scholarships, a mission that inspired the inn’s tagline, “A Stay with Purpose.”

The inn is also an important economic asset to the Town of Elon and Alamance County, supporting new jobs and the local economy while producing tax revenues for local government. A recent study found the inn’s construction during 2018–19 generated an additional $55.7 million in total economic impact to the state of North Carolina and supported more than 320 temporary jobs. Today, Charlestowne Hotels employs 50 full-time staff at the inn and its operations support other local and regional companies that serve the hospitality industry.

Learn more about “Theme 3: Connect” of the Boldly Elon strategic plan.