With the Courtyard Marriott at Central Michigan University nearing completion, alumna Heather Loomis is coming home.
Loomis recently joined the hotel's staff to assist in the project's construction and prepare the hotel to deliver hands-on learning experiences to CMU students as the property's new sales manager. She said she is excited to provide fellow CMU Chippewas with opportunities to learn what it takes to be successful in the hospitality industry.
"It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to have a project like this in the area where you are attending school and in the field you are pursuing. To have experience like this listed on your résumé is something to be proud of," Loomis said. "I say this quite often, but I truly wish this project would have been available when I was an undergraduate."
While attending CMU, Loomis worked part time as a front desk agent at Mount Pleasant's Hampton Inn, which is owned by Lodgco Hospitality LLC – the same company that owns the new Courtyard Marriott. While there, she learned of the company's plans to build a hotel on CMU's campus. After graduating from CMU in 2014 with a major in hospitality services administration and minor in professional sales, Loomis pursued employment opportunities elsewhere in the state. The idea of returning to Mount Pleasant to work at the new hotel, however, always lingered in her mind.
"I could never get the idea out of my head despite working for other companies after graduating," Loomis said. "I loved everything about working in Mount Pleasant, and there is no greater feeling than working in a role you're passionate about. Needless to say, returning full time to the Lodgco team was an opportunity I could not pass up."
As the hotel's July 1 opening date quickly approaches, Loomis looks forward to working with more students and the hotel's general manager, Rick Rautenan. First conceptualized nine years ago, the idea of building an on-campus hotel to provide students with hands-on learning opportunities will soon come to fruition, and Loomis is grateful to be part of it.
"I'm excited that in 20 years I'll be able to say my fingerprints were on this project," she said. "To have the opportunity to take part in the learning process of young minds and assist in the future success of CMU students is very rewarding."
Lodgco is now accepting applications for roles at the Courtyard Marriott at Central Michigan University. To apply, visit