A new Hilton Garden Inn has opened for business on the Stony Brook University campus.
The 135-room hotel, located on Circle Road in front of the university's administrative building, officially opened last Wednesday. The hotel, operated by a franchisee, stands on 3.5 acres of land leased from the university.
Currently, the Inn employs about 35 people. But as the hotel amasses more temporary residents and becomes busier, about 15 more employees are expected to be brought on for a staff of 50, said general manager William Gomez.
Gomez said about ten rooms were occupied Tuesday, and there are already more than 200 reservations for the month of March.
The building of the Hilton Garden Inn -- the fifth such hotel on Long Island -- was announced in 2009.
The project was initially met with opposition, as the Stony Brook Environmental Conservancy filed a lawsuit against the State University of New York to void the lease, claiming the building of the hotel would harm the local ecosystem and destroy a salamander habitat. The lawsuit was dismissed by a Suffolk County judge.