"You're learning and then you come over here and you're doing," Walker said. "You're seeing what you learn in the classroom - real life experiences here."
Walker has to deal with actual clients making actual transactions.
"Real clients, real people calling in, I mean real scenarios," Walker said. "No real margin for error. This is real life and this is real experience."
Dr. Chad Gruhl designed it that way. He's the chairman of the Hospitality, Tourism, and Events Department. He says only two other universities nationwide have a similar program.
"This is really putting us on the national map as well as the international map," said Gruhl.
The $45 million hotel sits along Auraria Parkway near Speer Boulevard. Attached to it is the new Hospitality Learning Center, a facility of state-of-the-art classrooms, kitchens, laboratories, and a research wine cellar.
Gruhl says, for example, students taking classes on front desk operations will be required to work different shifts at the front desk of the Spring Hill Suites.
"Eventually, around 80 percent of the full-time staff here will be in fact our students," Gruhl.
Gruhl says even though his students are studying how to run a hotel, they need to learn everything about operations, first-hand.
"I want our students learning how to make beds and working with housekeepers," Gruhl said. "What is it like to be a housekeeper? What does it take to be a housekeeper? So, they treat those individuals with intense respect."
Located across the street from the Pepsi Center and within close proximity to the Colorado Convention Center and other downtown attractions, the business at the hotel has been booming and it's only been open for about two weeks.
"This is a real deal hotel and we're priced according to the downtown market," Walker said.
Walker says nightly rates can range from around $150 to $220. And, Gruhl says the plan is to make money.
"All of the profits float back into the institution and are used for other initiatives," said Gruhl.
Gruhl says this project is not only good for the students' education. But, MSU Denver needs to look at other revenue generating projects after years of slashed public funds.
"We have to be really creative in where our future money is coming from," said Gruhl. "So, a public-private partnership like this is very important."
Walker says an education with a real life twist is important too.
"It's in the heart of downtown, I mean, there's gorgeous views around," said Walker. "We're competing with other hotels. This is a real life business scenario."
(KUSA-TV © 2012 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)