A sneak peek at the new Scarlet Hotel

Marriott hotel to offer truly Nebraska amenities.
Pure Nebraska
Published: Mar. 23, 2022 at 1:02 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 23, 2022 at 2:22 PM CDT
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Construction on the estimated $35 million Scarlet Hotel on Nebraska Innovation Campus is almost complete. People can start staying in the highly anticipated hotel by April 21.

The Scarlet Hotel is considered a “soft-branded” Marriott. It’s a Marriott operated boutique hotel. Trish Bauermeister is the director of sales and marketing for The Scarlet.

“We have all of the luxuries of a Marriott, but we also have the ability to create a character and what we decided to do is celebrate Nebraska,” Bauermeister said.

During a preview tour of the hotel, we discovered that from the guest rooms to the food, The Scarlet aims to provide a unique experience. On the walls, you’ll find art that reflects Nebraska. The hotel offers a large fitness center and the lobby itself is a place visitors will want to linger.

“Our coffee shop is called the Good Life Coffee Shop, and it is open to the public as all of our outlets are,” Bauermeister said. And they will serve a special blend of The Mill Coffee called The Scarlet.

There are also a number of other gathering spots people will enjoy.

“We have a rooftop bar, called the Barred Owl,” Bauermeister said. “We have an indoor section as well as the patio outside, so when it’s nice and beautiful outside, we can open up the wall.”

The rooftop bar is one of several spaces that people will be able to reserve for special events. The dining area at The Scarlet will offer foods that Nebraskans will appreciate like their take on the Reuben sandwich and a homemade Runza. They will have Dairy Store ice cream. And the 150+ rooms are all named after Nebraska towns.

“They’ll see a placard with the name of the town, custom art work from the town, as well as history of the town,” Bauermeister said.

While this is a privately owned hotel, UNL faculty members with the Hospitality, Restaurant and Tourism Management program are excited about the possibilities it will offer.

“We’ve had a great program, we’ve had great faculty, amazing students who go out and do amazing things, but we never had the home per se,” said Ajai Ammachathram, the UNL program director for Hospitality, Restaurant and Tourism Management.

The hotel will provide that home, eventually. UNL is working to raise around $5 million to complete the space to the south of the lobby.

Assistant professor for the UNL Hospitality, Restaurant and Tourism Management program Kristin Malek said, “They (students) will take their classes here, the faculty offices will be here, they can do internships here, they can work here as full time or part-time employees (for The Scarlet).

Professors say the hotel will also help with recruiting students to the hospitality program.

“This hotel can also be a basis for the University, where we bring in prospective students and faculty members, we can bring in staff members, we can bring in keynote speakers, world-renowned professionals that are coming for any program,” Malek said.

Hotel officials say this property will be open to the general public on April 14 when you can go inside for coffee and food and to enjoy the atmosphere. You can start staying in the hotel on April 21. The goal is for the classroom space to be ready next summer. Some graduates of the UNL Hospitality, Restaurant and Tourism Management program are already working for the hotel.

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