Hanover Inn will have partial opening in June
By Manav Raj, The Dartmouth Staff
Published on Friday, May 25, 2012
Although construction on the Hanover Inn will continue throughout the summer, more than 94 guest rooms and a new 38-seat restaurant will be fully completed and ready for use by Commencement, Director of Media Relations for the College Justin Anderson said in an email to The Dartmouth.
The College undertook renovations to the historic Hanover Inn in an effort to increase the number of guest rooms and create well-equipped, modern meeting facilities to help the College and the Town of Hanover bring conferences to the area that might otherwise take place at other Ivy League schools and in other towns, according to Anderson.
“We don’t want a high-level meeting not to happen at Dartmouth just because there was a better meeting space in New Haven or Cambridge,” he said.
Anderson said that the new conference facilities will enrich the academic life of Dartmouth’s students and faculty.
“The renovation of the Inn is a key to supporting Dartmouth’s academic mission,” Anderson said. “The renovations will address a long-standing need for modern on-campus conference facilities that reflect our world-class educational and research institution.”
While it has been closed, other local hotels have accommodated guests that normally would have stayed at the Inn. In particular, Six South Street, the only other hotel located in downtown Hanover, has enjoyed the benefit of decreased competition, Six South manager Don Bruce said.
“Without question it’s helped our business because people who come to Dartmouth want to stay downtown, and being the only other place downtown has obviously been a benefit for us,” Bruce said.
Bruce said he is looking forward to the Inn’s reopening and considers the Inn a “companion,” not competition.
“I think honestly we’ve believed since we’ve opened that there’s plenty of business for both of us in downtown Hanover,” Bruce said. “Having them reopen is not really going to have a significant effect on us.”
Bruce said he believes the Hanover Inn and Six South Street will work together to help accommodate the larger crowds that conferences could bring to Hanover following the completion of the Inn’s renovations.
“The Hanover Inn and its staff over there are trying to attract educational conferences — that’s part of the whole expansion there,” Bruce said. “If they land some of these bigger conferences, even their hotel might not have enough room to satisfy the room demands for these conferences, so we would be a sister hotel in some regards and provide some rooms.”
Bruce said he is ready for the construction to be finished and for the Hanover Inn to reopen because he believes the Inn is an integral part of Hanover’s community.
“We’re eager to have them back in service,” he said. “It completes the community, and we all work together, and my hat’s going to be off to them when they open their doors.”
Anderson said that upon completion, the reopened Inn will continue to be one of Hanover’s trademark buildings.
“When the Inn reopens, its interior facilities will complement the beauty of our campus and the surrounding environment,” Anderson said. “We are confident that it will be a success”.
The project was originally projected to have a budget of $21.5 million, but the College announced in February that the total cost of the renovations had risen to $41 million. The budget has not risen further since the announcement, according to Anderson.
During the renovations, a worker passed away due to a construction accident. Dana Lowe, a 53-year-old resident of Morrisville, Vt., died from a fall that occurred when a crane ball knocked over the aerial lift he was standing on.
Hanover Inn manager Joseph Mellia did not respond to requests for comment by press time.