Hands-on hotel for Metro State students in downtown Denver already turns profit

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DENVER -- Right in the middle of Colorado's largest college campus sits the largest hands-on classroom for hospitality students -- a fully functioning hotel. Welcome to the Springhill Suites Denver Downtown.

Opened in 2012, it's called the ultimate real world experience for Metro State University students such as Sara Foley, who is a full-time student and a full-time employee at the hotel.

"I wasn't very familiar with everything the Marriott had to offer but I have soon realized this is the best opportunity for me," she said.

The unique hotel is one of only 11 nationwide.

"It's an extraordinary opportunity not only for the students but also for the faculty, it makes our teaching that much more challenging." said Carol Krugman, MSU Hospitality chair.

But it gets better. After only two years, the hotel is turning a nice profit of $1.9 million.

"That's our goal, to make this a profitable hotel because the more profitable we are the better we can support the program at Metro State," General Manager Scott Perry said.

MSU wasn't expecting the hotel to turn a profit until after seven years.