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Morrissey Hospitality Prepares The Hotel Minneapolis - a Doubletree
for Opening
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Innovative Outreach Provides Locals a Preview Taste

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Minneapolis, Minn.  (July 2008) – On Friday, August 1, The Hotel Minneapolis will open for business in the stylishly-restored 1906 Midland Building at the corner of 4th Street South and 2nd Avenue South in the heart of downtown Minneapolis. Construction on the chic, contemporary new member of the Doubletree family of hotels required considerable creativity, as talented architects and crews found ways to combine the historic building’s classic, marble-columned elegance with the new hotel’s sophisticated comforts and state-of-the-art technology.

Yet while the creativity involved in constructing the 222-room hotel’s interior has been considerable, it almost pales in comparison to the innovation involved in building awareness for the new hotel brand across the Minneapolis and Saint Paul community.

“We’re thrilled to be the new hotel in the heart of the city, and we’ve been taking every opportunity to introduce ourselves to our downtown neighbors and let the community know how excited we are to share our great new property with them,” explains Brian Schmechel, General Manager for The Hotel Minneapolis. “Right now, there’s no other hotel in the downtown area with our combination of affordable style, to-the-moment technology, top-notch service, and casual, sophisticated comfort. Everywhere we go, people have been very enthusiastic about our new niche.”

The Hotel Minneapolis began its community outreach efforts last spring, as sales reps climbed aboard the Twin Cities’ light rail transit system to meet local business people and commuters and hand out information about the new hotel, which is conveniently located within a short walk of one of the transit system stops. As the weather warmed, The Hotel Minneapolis helped downtown residents and workers celebrate Arbor Day by passing out 2,000 free tree seedlings to passers-by in Minneapolis’ famous skyway system, an extensive web of enclosed walkways connecting hundreds of downtown buildings, including the new hotel. 

On May 15, The Hotel Minneapolis returned to the skyway to celebrate National Chocolate Chip Day. In keeping with its affiliation with the Doubletree family of hotels, Hotel Minneapolis staff gave away 2,000 of Doubletree’s trademark chocolate chip cookies—the same cookies that The Hotel Minneapolis’ guests will receive upon arrival. 

Throughout the spring and summer, The Hotel Minneapolis has taken a traveling version of its “Living Room” lobby to numerous Minneapolis concerts, outdoor film festivals, and events. For practical purposes, the traveling lobby did not include marble columns or wi-fi, but its stylish, comfortable seating, free bottled water, and friendly staff members proved to be a huge hit with Minneapolis-area residents. Nearly 80,000 people visited the traveling lobby in its 20-event tour, which received coverage in Twin Cities’ newspapers and garnered invitations to make special publicity stops at two local television stations. 

To join the fun at Minneapolis’ annual Aquatennial festival, The Hotel Minneapolis hired a team of local, award-winning sand sculptors to create a 10 foot-long by 8 foot-wide sand sculpture embodying the hotel’s brand. This creative entry became part of the regional sand sculpture competition, seen by an estimated 1,000 festival-goers.

The creation of a local advisory board and a planned breakfast for Minneapolis taxi drivers further illustrate the hotel’s unconventional—and very successful—efforts to turn its location in the heart of downtown into a place in the hearts of its downtown and metro-area neighbors.

“When The Hotel Minneapolis opens in August 2008, we’ll have so much to offer, not only business travelers and on-the-go tourists, but also our neighbors here in the local community,” Schmechel adds. “Every effort we make to introduce ourselves to our community is another way we can demonstrate that our brand of hospitality welcomes everyone to relax and enjoy.”
 

History- The Hotel Minneapolis
The Hotel Minneapolis, located at 4th Street South and Second Avenue in downtown Minneapolis, occupies one of downtown Minneapolis’ most historic structures, a ten-story Richardsonian Romanesque building which opened in July 1906 to house the Security National Bank. In June 1915, the building changed owners and became home to the Scandinavian-American National Bank, which changed its name to the Midland National Bank in 1917. Although the elegant structure has housed more than 100 tenants in addition to the bank during its century-plus history, the building has been consistently referred to as the Midland Bank building since the 1920s. In recent decades, the Midland Bank building’s identity has endured, even after Midland Bank was absorbed by Norwest and later, Wells Fargo, through a series of banking industry mergers. In recent years, the building has become known as simply the Midland Building.

The building received a series of renovations during the late 1930s and 1940s, a significant expansion in the 1950s, and another major renovation in the 1970s. With each renovation and expansion project, considerable efforts were made to preserve the structure’s original design and charm. Today, the original Carrera marble is preserved in the elevator lobbies of each guest floor and throughout the lobby area including the 17’ high columns. The decorative, plastered, coffered ceilings, the original staircase and rails, and the vault door in the lobby area and meeting room spaces maintain the history of the Midland Building.

In 2006, Hempel Properties purchased the Midland Building with the intent of creating a hotel on the site. Hempel Properties sought an experienced and successful partner and forged a partnership with Saint Paul-based Morrissey Hospitality Companies to develop and manage the new hotel, to be called The Hotel Minneapolis –a Doubletree Hotel. Renovations to preserve the building’s architectural charm while converting the space into a state-of-the-art 222-room hotel began in 2007.

Architecture
The building’s original architects were Franklin and Louis Long. Franklin Long designed many of Minneapolis’ best-known buildings of that era, including the Hennepin County Courthouse and City Hall at 350 South Fourth Street, the Lumber Exchange at 425 Hennepin Avenue, the Flour Exchange at 310 Fourth Avenue South, the Masonic Temple (now the Hennepin Center for the Arts at 528 Hennepin Avenue), all in the Richardsonian Romanesque style. Tushie Montgomery

The Hotel Minneapolis will have 222 guest rooms and suites, all equipped with wireless or wired high-speed Internet service, flat screen TVs, MP3 player docking stations, and remote printing capabilities. All rooms will include Doubletree’s luxurious Sweet Dreams beds and signature luxury linens, and rainfall showers. Guests at The Hotel Minneapolis will also enjoy full use of many amenities such as a 24-hour Fitness Center, a business center, in-room dining, and wireless HSIA in all public areas.  

The hotel also includes a fabulous, 23,000-square-foot “Living Room” style lobby, featuring century-old, 18-foot-high, white marble columns, sleek area lighting, and a cool, comfy array of seating options. The Hotel Minneapolis’ two restaurants, the Lobby Bar (the “LB”) and restaurant Max, will offer breakfast, lunch, happy hour, dinner, and late-night cocktail options with an innovative yet approachable style in synch with the hotel’s hip, fresh atmosphere.

The Hotel Minneapolis and the adjacent restaurant Max are connected to the Minneapolis skyway system and are just steps away from Light Rail Transit, offering hotel guests convenient connections to the airport and downtown destinations.

The Hotel Minneapolis is a product of a partnership between Morrissey Hospitality Companies (MHC) and Hempel Properties, both based in the Twin Cities. The Hotel Minneapolis is also affiliated with the Doubletree and Hilton hotel brands, enabling guests to earn HHonors points and airline miles, relax in Doubletree’s signature “Sweet Dreams” beds, and savor Doubletree’s warm chocolate chip cookies upon arrival. The Hotel Minneapolis is located at 215 4th  Street South in downtown Minneapolis.  For reservations, rates, and more information, visit the hotel’s website at www.thehotelminneapolis.com , call l-800-222-TREE in the U.S. and Canada, or contact the hotel directly at 612.340.2000. 

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Contact:

Peg Roessler
Roessler PR
952-949-6550
 

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Also See: Morrissey Hospitality Appoints Brian Schmechel General Manager for The Hotel Minneapolis Located in the Restored Midland Building in Downtown Minneapolis / February 2008
Hempel Properties and Morrissey Hospitality Co. Keep Hotel Plans, Drop Condos, On the Makeover of the the Midland Bank Building in Downtown Minneapolis; The Hotel Minneapolis Will Carry the Doubletree Brand / September 2007
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