By LACEY PALMER
FOR THE DAILY MAIL
MORGANTOWN - When the Waterfront Place Hotel opened its doors in 2003, it created a new elegant hub for residents and out-of-town guests to enjoy.
Now the hotel is celebrating its 10th anniversary by inviting clients, vendors and special guests to revisit the past as they also welcome the future.
The hotel has played host to many dignitaries and special guests over the years, providing them luxurious amenities including a 10,000-square-foot conference center, 205 guest rooms, six floors of luxury condominiums, a spa, a full-service fitness center, an indoor pool, the Regatta Bar & Grille and the Rat Pack Lounge.
The Waterfront opened as a brand hotel with Interstate Hotels Management Co. but was eventually sold to the Milan Puskar Revocable Trust through Real Hospitality group, which turned it into to an independent, boutique-style hotel.
This allowed the owners to be able to make decisions about renovations and accommodations based on guests' needs and desires, said Jennifer Millstone, director of sales and marketing.
"The difference of not being with a brand or a large company is that we can special cater and set things up with certain groups' budgets," Millstone said.
Deborah Matthews, director of catering, believes the hotel has been an incredible addition to the City of Morgantown.
"I think we have been a facility that was long needed in this area," Matthews said. "For years, we took care of Department of Education in Charleston, and since growing, we now take care of much larger groups that require much more technology, and we can actually accommodate them.
"Ten years ago there was not a facility in the northern part of the state that could take care of these groups with the technology needs they have."
The hotel provides a spacious meeting center, a facility for special events and parties and also brings in a great deal of jobs.
The Waterfront employs more than 200 people. The hotel's team is comprised of employees from Monongalia, Preston and Marion counties, and even parts of Pennsylvania.
"We're very community oriented," Millstone said. "We're all on committees in the city, and we also serve as a venue for large parties, galas and fundraisers. We don't have the place to do that anywhere else in Morgantown, so we offer a nice venue for those things.
"We can do more events that are sometimes held in Charleston here now, because we have a facility that is able to accommodate 1,000 people for a gala."
A major goal of the late Milan Puskar - one of the previous owners of the hotel - was to assist the local community.