Starting early next month, the Cumberland Inn will be no more at least in terms of operating as a hotel for the first time in the 27-year history of the building.
The University of the Cumberlands, which owns the facility, announced Tuesday that starting on Aug. 5, the facility will be transitioned to all student housing. The move comes as the University anticipates record enrollment this fall.
In the fall of 2018, UC announced “The Cumberlands Commitment,” a pledge to cut tuition for traditional, on campus undergraduate students by 57 percent. In response, the University has experienced increasing undergraduate enrollment numbers.
“Cumberlands’ mission has always been to provide quality, affordable education to our region,” said Dr. Jerry Jackson, Vice President for Enrollment and Communications at UC. “As a result of our Cumberlands Commitment, we expect the largest enrollment in the school’s history – both on campus and overall.”
In late March, UC announced that starting July 1, the 33 hotel rooms in the Templeton Wing at Cumberland Inn would be converted for student housing.
As enrollment numbers have continued to rise over the summer and demand for student housing has increased, the University is now converting the remaining 17 rooms at the inn for student use. The facility will continue to be operated and staffed by Aramark.
“We are truly excited about the expected enrollment for the fall and the growing need for student housing,” said Quentin Young, Chief Financial Officer at UC. “Financially speaking, it only made sense to utilize an existing facility and transition it to student housing. While we may no longer operate as a hotel, we see this as an opportunity for our loyal guests to support other hospitality businesses in the City of Williamsburg.”
UC spokesperson Andrew Powell said that all wings of the building are named and the main wing of the hotel is known as the Alison Temple Adams Center. Most likely the new name for the facility will be a variation on that name.
The Templeton Wing of the hotel, which previously had 33 hotel rooms, is being called Templeton Hall, Powell noted.
Because of the changes, the Cumberland Inn facility will no longer be available for catering, conferences or weddings.
The main lodge and restaurant at the Cumberland Inn opened for business in in 1992 with 18 hotel rooms open. In 1994, the Templeton Wing opened with an additional 33 rooms.
The Cumberland Inn has undergone a number of changes in recent years.
For the first 18 years of the Cumberland Inn’s existence, the restaurant operated as the Athenaeum Restaurant, a fine dining facility that closed in December 2011.
The restaurant re-opened in February 2012 as the Patriot Steakhouse, and featured a more casual dining experience. It was also included as a dining option under the student meal plan.
Five years later on June 4, 2017, the Patriot Steakhouse closed for business, and no restaurant has reopened in its space.
In 2017, the university closed the museum portion of the Cumberland Inn, and repurposed that space for administrative functions.