The night after I graduated from Northwestern, I stayed with my parents in a Fairfield Inn in Gurnee, 32 miles north of campus.
It was the closest room my family could find and afford. More than a decade later, downtown Evanston boasts all of five "hotels," a tight enough market to choke wallets on peak weekends.
Chicago hotel developer Ben Weprin, 36, thinks college towns remain underserved and is launching a hotel chain targeting them. That means Madison, Wis.; Bloomington, Ind.; Oxford, Miss.; Tempe, Ariz.; Charlottesville, Va.; and Athens, Ga., are in line for a new Graduate Hotel.
Weprin's goal is 15 to 20 hotels in five years....