New Rollins Hotel to Support Higher Education

By Georgiana Mihaila, Associate Editor The new Rollins Hotel, whose construction is scheduled to start this fall, will be much more than a hotel. Named after the patron family that donated the $12.5 million needed for its construction, the Alfond Inn [...]

The new Rollins Hotel, whose construction is scheduled to start this fall, will be much more than a hotel. Named after the patron family that donated the $12.5 million needed for its construction, the Alfond Inn at Rollins will be built one block away from the Rollins campus, at Interlachen and New England avenues, on the location of the former Langford Hotel.

The 110-room Rollins Hotel is slated to open in the summer of 2013, and, upon completion, will include 9,000 square feet of meeting space, a restaurant and a small lounge. The project will create 200 construction jobs and 100 permanent jobs. Baker Barrios was chosen as architect, while Hardin Construction is the designated contractor. The project, which will break ground this October, is being developed in a partnership between the Rollins College and Olympia Cos. of Maine.

But what makes the Rollins Hotel less ordinary is the redirection of its revenues; visitors, when checking into the hotel, will be helping Rollins College pay for student scholarships. While the college currently offers full scholarships to a small number of top students through the Cornell Scholars program, the funds are limited and will soon phase out. On top of the $38,000-per-year tuition, Rollins is also concerned about the room and board students have to pay. The project will therefore answer not only the problem of scholarships, but will also fill the need for more hotels in the area.

According to the $12.5 million endowment from the Harold Alfond Foundation, the Rollins Hotel will be redirecting its net operating income to the endowment fund for the next 25 years, or until the fund reaches $50 million.