Roosevelt Island Graduate Hotel, Under Construction

Graduate Hotel at Cornell Tech Not Opening, This Spring

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The Graduate Hotel opening, expected this spring on the Cornell Tech campus, will not happen until summer, sources tell us.

By David Stone

Roosevelt Island Daily News

Roosevelt Island’s much awaited first hotel will not open this spring as hoped but will wait until summer. Although Graduate and its partner are now looking into hiring at the management level, conditions are not right for accepting the first visitors.

Circumstances delayed the Graduate Hotel opening and making it part of community life from the beginning.

While other parts of Phase One Cornell Tech development moved forward, planners were unable to find a hospitality partner as rapidly as hoped. But once a deal was in place, Graduate stepped out impressively. Citing a long list of campus partnerships across the country, officials committed to a local accent here.

When the campus opened in September, 2017, construction had barely begun.

Cornell Tech campus opening tour, 2017.
September 2017, Dean Dan Huttenlocher welcomed media for a pre-opening tour of the Cornell Tech campus. © David Stone/Roosevelt Island Daily

It moved quickly, though, and positive updates appeared regularly, until the coronavirus pandemic hit.

Like most everywhere else, construction halted for a while, before resuming to finish construction. But the coronavirus’s affect on Cornell Tech activities is still profound.

Up to 200 students and faculty live on campus now, but the expected flow of classes, seminars and conferences anticipated with the opening of the adjoining Verizon Center remains stalled.

In short, without significant demand, the Graduate Hotel opening, including staffing, does not make economic sense.

Not yet.

But with promising signs of reopening as vaccinations spread across the nation, Graduate and Cornell both believe 2021 will bring a much more promising summer.

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