"It is difficult," said Tom Cappucci, University Place & Conference Center General Manager. "Property has been here for 25 years and it has gone through a lot of exciting times. The hospitality industry is cyclical."
Cappucci said business at the hotel has been bad in recent years, though. According to the school, it operated at a loss for six out of the past seven years. All that time in the red built up to almost a $2 million deficit.
"It is a tough time right now, but as we look forward, as we look at the campus in five years, it will be a great expansion for them," said Cappucci.
A total of 278 hotel rooms will soon house 560 IUPUI students. A student dining hall and classroom space are also in the works.
"It is a great urban campus, this just helps the university expand the student life environment," said Cappucci.
The school said there is a 200-plus student waiting list for on-campus housing, something freshman Lauren Moore knows first-hand.
"I think it would be great," said Moore. "I know there is not as much housing as other universities, so I think some extra housing would be great."
Moore said the soon-to-be converted hotel would be the perfect spot for a dorm. It is right across the street from an open field and, it is right in the middle of campus.
"It is easy to get to classes from there so I think it would be a great place to have campus housing at University Place," said Moore.
The conversion for the conference center begins in December of 2012. Students are set to move in in the fall of 2013.