The Emory Conference Center Hotel reopened on Nov. 10 following a $20 million renovation. The project began in December 2021 when the hotel was housing students with COVID-19, and was completed in October 2022.
The hotel updated over 300 guest rooms along with six executive suites. In addition to the guest rooms, the hotel completely renovated the meetings, conference, breakout and communal spaces, as well as the lobby and amphitheater.
“It elevates the guest and meeting experience by updating the style, design and technology from top to bottom,” Assistant Vice President of University Communications and Marketing Laura Diamond wrote in an email to the Wheel. “This will allow us to remain one of the top meeting and guest destinations in Atlanta.”
The funding for the renovation did not come from schools in the University or tuition.
“The renovation is 100% debt financed, with loan payments through hotel revenue,” Diamond wrote. “That means hotel revenue will cover the full cost of the renovation project.”
The hotel has a 28-year-long history, starting with the construction of the main building, or the north wing, in 1994. The south wing was completed in 2009, Diamond noted.
“The Emory Conference Center Hotel … is a celebrated asset at Emory and in Atlanta and has enjoyed a long and successful track record of operations,” Diamond wrote. “While various components have been replaced overtime, it has not had a full renovation since inception.”
Guido Brun, the director of sales and marketing for the hotel, said the project went smoothly and that the hotel expected a decrease in business because the conference center was shut down part of this year. The vision for the hotel has changed since the COVID-19 pandemic’s onset, especially with the renovation, according to Brun.
“Before COVID, we marketed ourselves as a retreat destination in Atlanta,” Brun said. “We had a lodge feel to it. We took this opportunity to do a complete renovation to a more modern conference center facility that was more technology driven.”
Brun added that the renovated hotel will continue to support Emory and the surrounding community.
“Emory is a big part of our client base, so we do meetings and events for the University,” Brun said. “There are special rates and availability for Emory events. We’ve been doing that for many years now.”
Diamond echoed Brun’s sentiments, noting that the hotel has “always been an extension of Emory University” and is going to become more integrated in the community with event spaces for Emory students, faculty and staff.
“The renovations brought significant enhancements to our technology offerings for both the in-person experience along with the increased demand for hybrid meetings,” Diamond wrote. “We will continue to host meetings and events that support the student body and faculty along with the local community.”