It’s a traveler’s dream. A place to stay with spacious, fresh, hotel rooms, modern amenities, technology and friendly staff.
It’s a local’s dream, too. A renovated city landmark that’s set to ignite a new era in downtown hospitality and entertainment.
All of this is happening to one of Rochester’s most iconic buildings - The Kahler Grand Hotel.
The Kahler, located in the heart of the city, has been a part of the landscape for almost 100 years. Built during the Roaring ’20s in 1921, The Kahler Grand currently has 660 rooms, but that number will be reduced to 596 after rooms are reconfigured and upgraded to suit the expectations of the modern hotel guest. Total cost of the project is $30 million.
“There are so many people who remember when the Kahler Grand was amazing and the place to be. I think there is quite a bit of buzz and excitement for our renovation project,” said Matt Elliott, marketing manager for Kahler Hospitality Group. “We have a deep-seeded relationship with the community and helping families and patients with lodging during their stay.”
Benefits of the remodel include updated rooms with modern amenities, as well as new windows, doors and plumbing. In addition, The Kahler Hospitality Group is a collaborative partner with community initiatives and leaders that will hopefully spur neighboring businesses to update their properties as well.
As the Destination Medical Center initiative progresses, Mayo, the state of Minnesota, Rochester and private investors continue to pour resources into the revitalization of downtown Rochester.
Exceeding today’s expectations
Historically, the Kahler Grand was a hospital and hotel that catered to the needs of Mayo Clinic, one of the nation’s most reputable medical and research organizations. Later, the property transitioned into a hotel only as Mayo continued to establish itself in the medical landscape. Today, The Kahler Grand stands tall as part of the city skyline. Renovations are set to carry the hotel’s success well into the future.
Read more about The Kahler Grand’s history.
Phase one in full swing
The $30 million renovation is set to be done in phases, with a main focus primarily on guest rooms. Phase one work started in January 2019 and includes work on many structural components of the century-old building.
New windows and doors
Sections of The Kahler Grand still have the original windows, installed during the hotel’s construction in 1921. New windows will make the property more eco-friendly with better energy efficiency.
“We’re really excited about the new windows for a lot of reasons,” Matt said. “They’ll still have a similar look and feel as the originals because we wanted to protect the historical integrity of the building. And they’ll be far more energy-efficient.”
In order to accommodate the expansion of rooms, planners are also working on moving entryways and doors.
All plumbing is being stripped and replaced with new materials. According to Matt from The Kahler Hospitality Group, completely rebuilding and reconfiguring the inside of the hotel rooms makes it a lot easier to extract the old materials and replace them.
Although the Kahler Grand is already wif-fi friendly, stripping down the walls and replacing the windows gives planners a chance to update tech, too.
“This level of a reconstruction gives us the opportunity to update things like our wi-fi connections so we can replace them to be sure our infrastructure is updated enough that it will exceed the expectations of our guests and customers,” Matt said.
Fresh interior design
Guests can soon expect light, airy, cheerful rooms with plenty of natural light and privacy. Early renderings show a neutral design with relaxed lighting and night-to-day window dressings.
“We’re really excited to see the interiors come together,” Matt said. “The combination of historic with a little classic element we hope will be just what our guests are looking for after a long day exploring Rochester or after spending time at Mayo.”
In all, Matt said The Kahler Hospitality Group is more than excited to provide visitors and the community with a revitalized hotel and event experience.
“As Rochester is modernizing and trying to put the community in the best possible position moving forward, Our focus is on our guests and people who are living and moving to the area,” he said. “The public and our guests are our priority and we want to make them feel comfortable and happy with their stay.”
Stay updated on The Kahler Grand Hotel renovations
The Kahler Grand Hotel has plans to keep people updated on the project’s progress at its website and on social media networks, including Facebook and Instagram. Follow them to receive more information about upcoming plans for the historic building as well as upcoming events.