New Clemson hotel to employ students and alumni of ClemsonLIFE program

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Good Shepherd Pavilion LLC is introducing a new hotel concept to Clemson with plans to open in summer 2020 at 389 College Ave.

The currently unnamed hotel will be Clemson’s first downtown hospitality option, and its guest experience will be provided by students and alumni of the ClemsonLIFE program, the Clemson University program designed for students with intellectual disabilities who desire a postsecondary experience on a college campus. These real-world jobs will help young adults with intellectual disabilities learn applicable skills, build resumes, and prepare for their futures.

“Clemson is the ideal community to open an upscale, downtown hotel staffed with special-needs individuals,” said Rick Hayduk, principal of Good Shepherd Hospitality, the hotel’s operating company. “The city, the university, and the ClemsonLIFE program have an extraordinary culture of caring, which will assist our workforce to thrive in all of their life endeavors.”

The six-story, 56,000-square-foot hotel will include a private third-floor terrace bar overlooking College Avenue, 72 rooms and suites, and a restaurant on the lobby level. Charleston-based Goff D’Antonio architects are designing the “3.5-star” upscale hotel. The hotel, which is a short walk away from Clemson University, will be easily accessible from all major campus, leisure, and business locations.

Hayduk, who has a daughter with Down syndrome, will lead the team drawing upon his successful hospitality career and unique leadership experience engaging with special-needs employees in prior roles. Hayduk owns a home in Greenville and has another daughter who graduated from Clemson in 2013.

Led by Hayduk, multigenerational Clemson families are partnering to own the hotel long-term with plans to build a sustainable for-profit platform that will support the ClemsonLIFE program and its students.

Good Shepherd Hospitality has been formed to oversee 389 College Ave.’s operations while facilitating the ClemsonLIFE partnership. Hayduk, whose experience in hospitality and property management is the foundation of the company’s operations and culture of servant leadership, has more than 30 years of luxury hotel management experience, having previously managed the hospitality operations of the Cliffs Communities and The Breakers, Palm Beach. He has employed staff with special needs from Goodwill Industries while serving as president of the Boca Raton Resort & Club and regional managing director of South Seas Island Resort and The Inns of Sanibel in Florida.

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