According to a media release from The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey, the college has signed a purchase-and-sale agreement for the acquisition of the historic Seaview Resort in Galloway Township. Since negotiations are still in the works, the purchase price of the property will not be disclosed by either party at this time.
“Stockton has long partnered with Seaview in a variety of ways, ever since the college began teaching in the township nearly 40 years ago,” says Stockton president Herman J. Saatkamp, Jr., in the release. “This acquisition allows Stockton to advance our educational mission, enhance the college experience and preserve a treasured icon of local history.
“The planned expansion of our Hospitality and Tourism Management Studies [HTMS] degree program will provide the region with a trained workforce that fits with Gov. [Chris] Christie’s plan for Atlantic City to become a destination resort.”
Saatkamp explained that Stockton’s Strategic Plan calls for increased academic programs and space, as well as the expansion of its HTMS degree program. The college’s Strategic Plan also included the construction or purchase of a hotel-conference center facility as part of the academic program. The proposed purchase of Seaview enables Stockton to accomplish both elements of the plan well ahead of schedule, and at a greatly reduced cost of building on-campus facilities. Additionally, the Seaview property gives the college much needed space for programs, offices and student housing.
The funding for the purchase, according to the release, would come from the college’s Capital Investment Fund. The college plans to continue to operate both the hotel and the two world-class golf courses using professional management companies. Dolce will continue to operate Seaview’s hotel services, and the golf operation will continue to be run by Troon Golf.
Some key points of the pending sale, provided by Stockton College, are listed below:
The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey has signed and agreement of purchase and sale of the historic Seaview Resort, which includes a hotel and two world-renowned golf courses, located on nearly 300 acres in Galloway Township. Stockton is currently in the due diligence phase of the transaction with the seller, LaSalle Hotels, LLC. As a result, both parties have declined to discuss the purchase price at this time.
How will the purchase of Seaview affect Stockton’s tuition and how will students benefit?
• There is no affect on tuition rates because no operating funds were used in this purchase.
• Seaview provides the ability for Stockton to offer four years of housing to incoming freshmen. Stockton was previously one of the few colleges and universities in the state unable to do so.
• The college’s acquisition advances the Strategic Plan and Educational Mission of the institution. The college had planned to provide additional student housing and to build or operate a hotel/conference center as part of the School of Business’s Hospitality and Tourism Management Studies (HTMS) degree program.
• Purchasing Seaview enables the college to accomplish both goals ahead of schedule and to add needed student housing at a significantly lower cost than building housing on campus.
• The cost of building a commensurate number of beds on campus would be far more expensive than the cost of acquiring Seaview. Thus Stockton adds housing at well under half the cost of building on campus in addition to acquiring two golf courses and all of Seaview’s amenities.
How will Seaview’s operations be affected?
• Stockton will honor existing contracts of the facility, retain Dolce to operate the hotel and Troon Golf will continue running the golfing operation.
• Because the hotel and golf facilities will operate initially as sub-businesses, they will continue to operate on a level playing field with other area businesses with regard to the current state, county and local tax rates.
• The Bay course dates to 1915 and has hosted the PGA men’s championship in addition to LPGA events. The links-style course, designed by the legendary Donald Ross, provides breathtaking views of the bays, marshes and Atlantic City skyline. Stockton plans to preserve the history and architecture of this unique golf course and has no plans to develop the land.
How will the surrounding region benefit?
• The college, township, county and region will benefit. Stockton’s expanded Hospitality and Tourism Management Studies program will provide a trained workforce for the region and for hotels and resorts worldwide. The governor’s plan for Atlantic City calls for integrated marketing as a full destination resort. Local golf resorts play a role in this plan as well as hotels and resorts in the region.
Is the purchase consistent with State budget cuts?
• The purchase is a model for recent State legislation encouraging public/private partnerships and entrepreneurial solutions to reduced public funding.
• The property adds an alternative source of revenue to help compensate for ongoing reductions in state funding assistance.
Describe Stockton’s longstanding relationship with Seaview.
• Stockton has held events at Seaview throughout the college’s 40-year history in the Township. These have included business retreats, and lodging for visiting dignitaries and sports teams to our campus.
Will the ShopRite LPGA Classic golf tournament stay at Seaview in the future?
• The ShopRite LPGA Classic, which returned to Seaview in 2010 after a three-year absence, has announced plans to remain in southern New Jersey. ShopRite recently signed a five-year contract to remain on the LPGA calendar of tour events. Stockton hopes to host the LPGA ShopRite Classic at Seaview in the future. Seaview remains in the running and Stockton will support its bid to keep the tournament. For years, Stockton administration, faculty, staff and students have volunteered at the event, which has donated thousands in scholarship funds to the college. Stockton wishes to keep this premier national sports event at Seaview.
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