Marriott Hotel to assume day-to-day management of Eagle Crest Corporate Education Center under new agreement with EMU

Deal extends longtime partnership, allows for greater efficiency of operation; Eastern still to operate Eagle Crest Golf Course

by Geoff Larcom, Published April 17, 2012

An agreement that will enhance the current relationship between Eastern Michigan University and the owners of the Ann Arbor Marriott Ypsilanti Hotel was approved today (April 17) by the EMU Board of Regents.

Under the new agreement, the leadership of the Marriott Hotel will assume day-to-day management of the adjoining Eagle Crest Corporate Education Center and Banquet Facility as well as sales and marketing responsibility for the entire resort, while the University will focus its attention on the operation and administration of Eagle Crest Golf Course.

The new agreement allows for greater efficiency and simplicity of operation, yet extends the longstanding partnership between the Marriott Hotel, its owner, MFS Ypsilanti Holdings LLC, and Eastern Michigan University.

The Marriott is located at 1275 South Huron Street in Ypsilanti Township, immediately off I-94. The hotel sits in a park-like setting overlooking the fairways of Eagle Crest Golf Course and Ford Lake. The 160-acre resort is located a 15- to 20-minute drive from the Detroit Metropolitan Airport and 10 minutes from Ann Arbor.  The resort is a popular venue for educational, corporate and leisure/golf outings.

"We are gratified to enter into this agreement, which extends our partnership with MFS Ypsilanti Holdings and the Marriott at Eagle Crest," said Roy Wilbanks, chair of the EMU Board of Regents. "The Eagle Crest Corporate Education Center is a first-class facility - highly functional and easily accessible. It is the jewel among Washtenaw County's conference and event sites. I am very pleased that Ypsilanti Township will continue its strong commitment to this world-class resort and conference destination."

Eastern Michigan will maintain ownership of the corporate education center and banquet facility, which under a joint operating agreement previously had been operated by Eagle Administrative Services, a subsidiary of the University.  The new agreement is set to take effect on July 1, 2012.

"We could not be more excited by the potential we see in our operating the conference center and banquet space adjoining the Marriott, and finally selling and marketing the entire resort as one entity," said Jeff Long, general partner for the ownership of the Ann Arbor Marriott Ypsilanti. "Harnessing the synergies between these facilities should enable us to remain the top hotel, conference, banquet and golf facility in the region."

 Said Ypsilanti Township Supervisor Brenda Stumbo, who worked at the hotel in 1988: "This collaborative adventure has been a great community investment from the beginning.  We are thankful that the EMU Board of Regents and the Marriott Hotel are partners for success, and continue to have a vision for the future of our community. "

EMU will continue to operate and maintain the adjoining 18-hole Eagle Crest Golf Course and its accompanying clubhouse, pro shop, golf range and restaurant, meaning there is no change in that existing relationship. For marketing purposes, however, the entire hotel, conference center and golf complex will be referred to as the Eagle Crest Resort.

The golf course land is owned by Ypsilanti Township and is leased to EMU under a 99-year agreement executed in 1986.

Other details of the new agreement include:

  • During the first year of the agreement, 2012, EMU will receive 1 percent of the combined gross revenues from the hotel, the corporate education center and the banquet facility.
  • During the second year and third years, 2013-2014, EMU will receive 3 percent of the combined gross revenues from the hotel, the center and the banquet facility.
  • After 2014, EMU will receive 2 percent of the first $13.5 million in gross revenues, and 5 percent of anything in excess of that. EMU is to be paid monthly, with an overall reconciliation and adjustment to occur at year's end.
  • EMU will pay for capital expenses at the center and banquet facility, such as needed renovations, while Marriott will assume all day-to-day expenses, including personnel, food and maintenance.
  • Marriott will seek to have the Eagle Crest Resort complex listed on the website as one of Marriott's signature golf properties that offer exceptional golf facilities and accommodations to visitors.

The hotel will offer employment to most regular Eagle Crest Corporate Education Center and Banquet Facility employees. Employment details will be finalized by the July 1 start date of the agreement.

A full description of the new arrangement can be found in the management agreement







Geoff Larcom


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