The new Alfond Inn is a stylish $30-million addition to downtown Winter Park, not far from fashionable Park Avenue and a short, tree-shaded walk to Rollins College a block away. But the inn is more than just a place for heads in beds.
The 112-room boutique hotel also is an investment in future students of the private school, founded in 1885.
Rollins partnered with the Harold Alfond Foundation to build the Mediterranean-style hotel, with the provision that profits go to the Alfond scholarship program for 25 years, or until the endowment reaches $50 million.
Owned by Rollins, the hotel on east New England Avenue was built with a $12.5-million grant from the Alfond Foundation and $17.5 million from the school’s cash reserves. Many hotel guests will be prospective students, parents, visiting scholars, dignitaries and educators. The hotel is stocked with more than 100 paintings, photos, sculptures and artwork valued at $3 million from the school’s Cornell Fine Arts Museum.
“I’m not aware of anything like it,” says Jeffrey Eisenbarth, vice president of business and finance at Rollins. General manager Deanne Gabel is a graduate of Rollins’ Crummer Graduate School of Business and a hotel veteran manager.