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Morris Inn in South Bend is a Destination Hotel

Wednesday, May 18, 2016  
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Morris Inn in South Bend is a Destination Hotel

If the sprawling campus of the University of Notre Dame — with its rich history, premier academic facilities and research focus, together with its religious significance — wasnt enough of a draw, now the newly renovated Morris Inn hotel in the middle of campus is there to welcome visitors in its role as the “living room of the university.”

The hotel has served as a place for football fans, prospective students, faculty and academic conference attendees to stay while visiting Notre Dame.

But Joe Kurth, general manager of Morris Inn, said the facility had outgrown the universitys needs and had to be renovated and expanded. The hotel closed in November 2012 and in August 2013, after what Kurth called “two years of work completed in nine months,” it reopened in time for football season.

The hotel grew from 90,000 square feet to 140,000 square feet, and from 50 associates to 200. Kurth said the inn also increased its number of visitors and events by more than 40 percent.

“So it was an opportunity to both expand and upgrade the 90 existing guest rooms, but also to extend them to 150 guest rooms with a larger footprint and much more expansive offering,” Kurth said.

Rooms went from 260 square feet to an average of 365 square feet. The university also added 18 signature suites, the William and Mary Ann Smith dining and ballroom that accommodates 300, a 100-person private dining room and plenty of space for valet parking.

The new and greatly improved Morris Inn received the AAA Four Diamond ranking within a week of being open to guests,” said Heather Goralski, the senior sales specialist at the Morris Inn and Conference Center who recently received the Indiana Restaurant & Lodging Association's Star of the Industry Outstanding Lodging Manager of the Year Award.

 

“It has been important to all of our team to consistently serve and maintain the highest standards, keeping not only the hotels reputation impeccable, but to also stay in line of the universitys Higher Degree of Hospitality expectations as we serve its academic mission.”

 

Kurth also said the hotel and the adjoining 20,000-square-foot Notre Dame Conference Center have been tied together with a renovated, underground concourse featuring 100-foot murals of the changing seasons on campus, along with photo niches of the Notre Dame deans telling the story of their individual colleges on campus.

 

In addition, the hotel has upgraded its Sorins fine dining restaurant and has added the Wind Family Fireside Terrace to provide cozy, outdoor dining space with a signature fire pit in a park-like setting.

 

“Its outdoor dining in the middle of this gorgeous campus with students walking by,” Kurth said. “It just feels like youre connected to a little bit of a gorgeous, quiet park.”

Sorins also features a wine list that includes vintages from Sorins Wine Academy on campus and wines created by Notre Dame alums who return to campus to talk about their winemaking and what theyve done since graduating.

Attached to Sorins is Rohrs, a 100-seat tavern featuring traditional pub fare for lunch and dinner, or just a place to grab a beer before a sporting event, Kurth said.

“Notre Dame often becomes a destination resort experience,” Kurth said. “The Morris Inn is not designed to be the center of the story, but the best place to stay while youre experiencing your own!”

Book your room today!

Membership note: Morris Inn’s Heather Goralski was recognized as Outstanding Lodging Manager Employee of the Year (Full Service) at InRLA’s Stars of the Industry event in 2015.

 


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