The Dow Hotel and Conference Center will open a market store in its lobby by the end of February. The market store is replacing the old welcome center and will feature some of the same items found in the bookstore. The new store will allow guests to purchase Hillsdale souvenirs during hours when the bookstore is closed.
The book store closes at 4:30 p.m. during the week, and Manager of the Dow Center Aaron Tracey said many of his guests arrive at 5:00 p.m. Tracey said guests will be able to shop 24/7 in the new market store and charge items directly to their room.
“It was a wonderful idea when they decided to open that up,” Bookstore Director Cindy Willing said. “It just seemed like a good fit because the Dow Center is open in the summertime and the evenings.”
Willing said the new market store will feature most of the bookstore’s most popular items, and will stock everything from key chains to books by Hillsdale professors. They will also be selling Gilbert’s chocolate and Charger trax coffee.
The new market store will feature some items that make staying at the Dow Center more convenient, according to Kris Healy, manager of group sales for the Dow Center. Since breakfast is not offered in the Dow Center, the new market store will also offer some fresh food items, Healy said.
“Our hope is to have a few more items that might be just practical items so when our guests come on campus, as a College can provide service even in those small areas,” Healy said.
The new market store is one of several substantial renovations to the Dow Center in the past few years. Last winter, the project of updating and modernizing all 36 guest rooms in the Dow Center was finished.
The market store will replace the old welcome center, which didn’t see much traffic, Tracey said. The welcome center was dominated by a model of Hillsdale College, and Tracey said that model had not been updated since 2002. Tracey said he hopes that the new store will give guests something else to do during their stay.
“We are just like any other hotel, and we are aspiring improve our services and amenities, and this is something we want to offer to guests,” Tracey said.