A teaching hotel is in the works at UTRGV


A new hotel that will have 138 rooms and serve as a teaching facility is being discussed with the City of Brownsville, developers and the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley.

The hotel, will feature dual-enrollment programs for local high school students, conference rooms and will also serve as another UTRGV teaching facility for its newly added programs in certificates and Bachelor’s of hospitality and tourism management.

The project is expected to cost $37.1 million, including land, construction, design and financing.

The hospitality and tourism management program started at UTRGV in the spring semester when A.J. Singh, founding director of the program, transitioned from Michigan State University to lead the program at UTRGV.

Students taking this program will have advanced courses such as hospitality law, international travel and tourism.

In previous interview with The Brownsville Herald, Singh said university officials have been discussing the possibility to have a building specifically dedicated to the hospitality school degrees and even a teaching hotel in the near future.

Special counsel for the project presented a proposal to Brownsville city commissioners in a special meeting to use Hotel Occupancy Tax funds for the marketing and managing of the project and to authorize a contract with Hernandez Foundation, a construction contractor company.

According to the special counsel for the project, the hotel expects to have at least 60 students in 2020 and 250 by 2023.

City commissioners will continue discussing the proposal, and the project is contingent upon execution of separate agreements between the developer, the foundation and UTRGV.

“Today is a very good day for the hospitality and tourism aspects of our community,” City Commissioner Jessica Tetreau said.