Students Compete in Redesign Plans for Historic Hotel

OGDEN, Utah – In one 48-hour period, teams of Weber State University students will create, present and be judged on plans to redesign the lobby and restaurant of the Ben Lomond Suites Historic Hotel (2510 Washington Blvd., Ogden, Utah).

Approximately 50 students from WSU’s interior design and design engineering technology programs will meet for instruction in the hotel’s Sunlit Room Jan. 24 at 4 p.m.  By the same time Jan 26, they will have selected materials and finishes and have made plans to restore both spaces in keeping with the original style and architectural features. 

The team-building, design exercise, or “charette,” as it is known in the industry, will require students to design using a historic perspective. Kristen Arnold, program coordinator, interior design technology, said the competition will also foster creative/analytical thinking, increased speed in design, and enhanced communication and presentation ability.

“The charette is a real-life simulation, very much like the experiences they’ll have in the field,” Arnold said. “Working with other disciplines under a time crunch is a challenge. The charette prepares them in a way that a classroom exercise could not.”

Michael Fenton, director of sales and marketing at Ben Lomond Suites, said the contest will also help give the hotel ideas about how to restore the space to its original grandeur, which has been somewhat diminished by renovations over the years.

“The management of the Ben Lomond Suites is flattered at this opportunity to have students offer renovation recommendations to this beautiful and historic hotel,” Fenton said. “The ownership, at this time, does not have actual plans for renovation to the proposed areas; however, constant improvements are currently being made, and we relish this potential information for future renovations.”

After the intense, 48-hour design period, student teams will present to judges a three-minute video and two design boards that explain their research and plans.  

An awards ceremony will be held in the Sunlit Room, Jan. 26 beginning at 7:30 p.m.  Members of the public are invited to watch the awards presentation.

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Kristen Arnold, program coordinator, interior design technology
801-690-0809 •

Michael Fenton, director of sales and marketing, Ben Lomond Suites
Allison Barlow Hess, director of Public Relations
801-626-7948 •