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Taylor Swift’s surprise concert shows off Auburn University’s upgraded auditorium

Photo courtesy Hotel at Auburn University

AUBURN, Ala. — The 236-room Hotel at Auburn University should win a prize for the creative ways it has shown off the technology that was recently added to its 356-seat auditorium.
After the work was done last year, the hotel sponsored an Auburn Idol program, four-round competitions that allowed locals to not just tour the facility but put it to use.

With partner Mix 96.7, the university awarded the Idol winner a grand prize of $10,000 and recording of the winning song. More than 100 people from the Southeast attended the auditions, and by the end of the competition, nearly 2,000 people who attended the competitions had experienced the auditorium’s new technological equipment firsthand.

“We thought that hosting Auburn Idol in the newly renovated auditorium would be a fun way for the residents of Auburn to experience the state-of-the-art audio and video technology we now offer,” said Rick Reed, director of sales and marketing at the Hotel at Auburn University. “Seeing and hearing the new systems in action is much more engaging than just taking a short tour of the facility,”

More recently, the auditorium landed in the spotlight again when pop and country music star Taylor Swift stopped by Auburn to give a surprise concert to the 350 fans who fit into the venue.
The concert was a result of Auburn University students Michael Wekall and Ryan Leander’s plan to hug the country music star.

After months of Facebook posts, Tweets and good deeds, the concert came together when the pair followed Swift’s instructions to gather as many people as they could for a karaoke sing-along. Swift made a surprise appearance at the sing-along and gave the two students a hug and a kiss for their efforts.

In addition to the auditorium, the hotel has 22,000 square feet of recently renovated meeting space, including two ballrooms and a boardroom.

Its newest event space, which opened this month, is the Terrace Room, downtown Auburn’s only indoor/outdoor venue for special gatherings. Three existing meeting rooms were remodeled and reconfigured to create a poolside terrace adjacent to a Junior Ballroom. The Terrace Room will accommodate up to 300 people.

“The design of the Terrace Room was selected from entries submitted into a competition by the students and faculty of the College of Human Sciences Interior Design Program at Auburn University,” said Hans van der Reijden, hotel managing director. “The winning team’s ideas and drawings have allowed us to create a one-of-a-kind upscale space that exudes sophistication.”

A series of french doors lead from the Terrace Room to a stone terrace overlooking the Auburn University campus. The patio is surrounded by greenery and an organic herb garden with a fountain and fire pits.