GCU Hotel’s new restaurant opening soon
By Jeannette Cruz
GCU News Bureau
A new eatery at the Grand Canyon University Hotel soon will expand the hospitality landscape of the new resort at Interstate 17 and Camelback Road.
The restaurant is called Canyon 49 Grill and is scheduled to be open to the public Aug. 15, just in time for Welcome Week. Although the 155-room hotel is booked for that week, there is good news — seats at the new restaurant await.
Canyon 49 will be open for breakfast, lunch and dinner in addition to coffee bar service. After dinner, guests also can enjoy live music.
Hotel manager Brett Cortright, who has devised the menu, said the idea is to have “a kind of coffee bar theme” with a menu that’s “so diverse and broad that people would enjoy our food three to four times a week.”
Cortright noted his favorite items on the menu include the hot Italian and pastrami and Swiss sandwiches.
“I don’t claim to be a chef, but I certainly can write menus,” he said. “The overall feel of the menu is a melting pot with Arizona cuisine, which is basically a Southwest influence on American food.”
Prices range from $6 to $12, and employees and students get 10 percent discounts. A happy hour will be available from 4 to 6 p.m. weekdays.
Canyon 49 will seat 306 and is outfitted with a casual lounge, an outside gaming area and a private dining room for private functions. Restaurant hours will be 6:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Cortright, a veteran of the hospitality industry who spent nearly a decade in luxury hotels such as the Ritz-Carlton and the Four Seasons, arrived at GCU in 2014 with intense eagerness to achieve top performance at the new hotel.
“This is not the Ritz-Carlton or the Four Seasons, but I approach it in the same manner,” Cortright said. “If it doesn’t impact the guest or if it doesn’t benefit the guest, then I don’t really care about it. My job is to take care of the guests as much as the employees.”
The hotel earned praise during one guest’s recent stay. Jody Finnegan, a doctoral resident from Las Vegas, arrived at the resort and was amazed to find how the hotel exceeded her expectations — so much so that she emailed Cortright to share her experience.
“I wanted you to know what an awesome group of people work at the GCU Hotel,” she wrote. “Everyone has been amazing.” Later, she told GCU Today that even the fitness center was “secure, upbeat and spacious.”
That’s exactly the type of comment that is the aim of Cortright, who feels inspired by the ongoing expansion of GCU.
“There is no better advocate for the West Valley than (GCU President) Brian Mueller and this university,” Cortright said. “That means something — we’re part of something really special.”
Contact Jeannette Cruz at (602) 639-6631 or [email protected]