Respect, Excellence and Discovery halls at Mizzou have turned into an overnight getaway for the general public. The Columbia campus is renting suites that include four twin beds for $120 a night. Don’t expect valet parking, mints left on the pillows, room service, or continental breakfast. Spokesman Christian Basi says the school is offering an experience different from a typical hotel stay.
“The amenities are very barebones,” says Basi. “This is not a hotel accommodation.”
Occupants will receive clean linens and towels. Each suite has a private bathroom. The rooms will not include a television, refrigerator and microwave.
Just like with many hotels and motels, occupants must sign a waiver to take responsibility for any damages to their suite during their stay. Guns are not allowed on campus and Mizzou officials are considering whether alcohol will continue to be prohibited in those halls. Campus police will conduct their usual patrols and the halls will be staffed at all times.
Last Thursday, the university announced it would open its suite doors for rental purposes. Basi says lower student demand and enrollment have prompted Mizzou to rent out the suites. The school is not opening seven dorms this fall to students.
“If we kept the residence halls idle and did not use them for anything this year, it would cost the university about $5 to $5.5 million,” says Basi. “We need to make sure we’re doing the fiscally responsible thing. This is a lot of money that’s tied up in these halls and to let them sit would not be responsible for us to do so. Additionally, by opening up these halls, we’re actually able to draw in more people to Columbia and to the area.”
Last Thursday’s announcement has prompted interest. The rooms are already sold out for this fall’s Homecoming and Family Weekend.
Basi says no additional hires are anticipated to help with maintenance and housekeeping of the suites.