The issue: Should Cal Poly proceed with plans for a hotel/conference center on campus?
A conservative's perspective:
Cal Poly’s motto Learn by Doing is reflected in its strong commitment to the success and well-being of its students. This focus has given countless Cal Poly students a unique experience of firsthand learning and thus the ability to go on and be successful in their post-college lives.
As a result, Cal Poly has earned a reputation as one of the top universities in California. Naturally, as Cal Poly moves into the top ranks of universities from across the country and its community of students grows, the administration now has the desire and the need to improve its learning environment even more. The recent proposal of a new university hotel and event center is a clear sign that Cal Poly is still focused on improving its student community and the San Luis Obispo community as a whole.
Cal Poly has done its homework. The hotel and conference center is a logical complement to the university that will also benefit our local economy. The project includes a 120-bed hotel, 22,000-square-foot conference center and a separate 166,000-square-foot event center that will generate $2 million in the first two years of operation and increase to $4.3 million by its third year.
The new facilities will attract conventions and thousands of visitors a year to San Luis Obispo — resulting in a positive, sustainable economic impact that will benefit local businesses, including the existing hospitality and hotel industry. The university is also in close discussion with the city of San Luis Obispo about the possibility of profit sharing with the city.
If approved, Cal Poly would not be the only university to construct and operate its own hotel and conference facilities. UC Davis has already opened its own hotel and conference centers, and had great success with them.
The educational opportunities Cal Poly students would receive from these new additions make them a great investment for the school, both monetarily and educationally. Tying these facilities to an expanded and upgraded Hospitality and Tourism Management program provides the real-life experience Cal Poly is known for.
Of course, Cal Poly’s desire to expand has also been met with some criticism. However, concerns of increased traffic, noise and activity from the expansion of Cal Poly facilities will be addressed in the school administration’s discussion with city officials.
Cal Poly wants to move to a new level in terms of the learning environment it provides to students. It also wants to live up to the national reputation for success it has built over the years. The addition of these new facilities will allow the university to do just that. We should all support the desire of Cal Poly to expand its horizons for the betterment of its students and our whole community.