Major Renovations Coming for UH Hilton

One of Houston's best kept "hotel" secrets will get a major facelift. The University of Houston will spend 12 million dollars upgrading the UH Hilton Hotel, and the Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management. Jim Bell reports.
Not many people outside the University of Houston know this, but the UH Hilton is a fully functioning hotel, restaurant and conference center that's open to the public. Funded by Conrad Hilton himself in 1969, the hotel is also a school where students do the work, and get on-the-job training and experience in everything involved in running a hotel and restaurant.

Hilton College Dean John Bowen says the 12 million dollar upgrade will include cosmetic changes to create a showcase for Hilton Hotels, and internal changes to update the hotel-restaurant management curriculum.

"We'll provide the students with the latest technology in revenue management and meeting management systems, as well as reservations systems, so they'll be better able to understand how to manage our capacity. So it'll be both in the actual design as well as some of the new technology that will be brought in."

Bowen says this upgrade is happening because hospitality is one of the fastest growing industries in the world, with a universe of opportunities for Hilton College graduates.

"Not only is it growing domestically, there's a huge explosion as you know internationally. In fact, our graduates, 96 percent of them, were employed upon graduation this spring, which is essentially full employment."

Money for the upgrade includes $6.5 million dollars from the Conrad Hilton Fund, an affiliate of the Conrad Hilton Foundation, $2.9 million from the University, and $2.6 million from the hotel's capital reserves. The work begins this fall and should be done by December of next year.

Jim Bell, KUHF, Houston Public Radio News.