Temple’s campus hotel may be celebrating its six-month anniversary a little late; the Conwell Inn, which opened in August 2001, is celebrating a seven-month anniversary this week.
“The Temple community has been so supportive and has supplied us with a large portion of our business. This is our way to say thanks and also combine it with a Grand Opening and six-month anniversary party we never had,” said general manager Lisa Prestileo.
The 22-room hotel is privately owned, but is something that Temple has wanted for the campus, due to the blooming trend of on-campus hotels.
“Temple has picked up on an emerging trend. Many schools are starting to build hotels on campus, such as the University of Pennsylvania and Westminster College, due to convenience,” said Prestillo. “Nowadays it is almost expected.”
The developers and owners include Kevin Duffy, Robert Hoe and Ahsan Nasratullah. The three business partners own the stretch of buildings from the Conwell Inn to the dorm 1940 Park Mall. Duffy, Nasratullah and Hoe own, manage and operate these buildings under a 50-year Ground Lease.
“When taking on The Conwell Inn, it was a very difficult project, but at the same time very fun. We’re looking to make the Conwell Inn the new face of Temple University,” said Nasratullah.
By inviting guests of Temple and the Philadelphia area to the hotel, the owners and managers are hoping to dispel the negative stigma attached to North Broad Street by displaying a nice establishment in a positive light.
The hotel lodges numerous guests from different walks of life. Some of the guests include: out of town patients who may have early appointments at Temple Hospital, future students who may be visiting Temple for the first time, out of town guests who may be frequenting events held at the Liacouras Center, and, in special cases, students who have been denied housing.
Hotel management said that the rooms sell out about five times a month.
“We’re from Massachusetts, in town visiting Temple and the surrounding schools of UPenn, Drexel and LaSalle. This is a great little hotel, the people are very nice, the rooms are clean and it’s so convenient. Quite impressive,” said Marilyn Axelrod, the mother of a visiting student, at a recent wine and cheese open house.
The American Automobile Association rated the Conwell Inn with their Diamond Rating Program shortly after opening in November of 2001. The Inn received three diamonds, which is the highest rating awarded to an establishment that does not serve food or beverages.
“It’s such a convenient location that many people come back to stay with us even when they just want to visit the city. Our staff is so friendly it automatically makes people comfortable; we have quite a few guests that visit frequently,” said Prestileo.
Jennifer West can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org