KSL Capital Partners to Acquire Mackinac Island’s Iconic Grand Hotel

/KSL Capital Partners to Acquire Mackinac Island’s Iconic Grand Hotel

KSL Capital Partners to Acquire Mackinac Island’s Iconic Grand Hotel

|2019-09-12T17:19:22-05:00September 10th, 2019|

MACKINAC ISLAND, MI — The famed Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island is making a change.

A major change.

It was announced today by the Musser family that international investment firm KSL Capital Partners has “entered into a definitive agreement,” which makes Grand Hotel an an affiliate of KSL, according to release.

Dan Musser III will remain chairman, providing leadership and guidance to the team, “ensuring a seamless transition,” the release said.

Terms of the transaction will not be disclosed. The transaction is expected to close within the next 30 days.

“It has truly been an honor and a privilege for my family to serve as steward of this incredible Michigan landmark for nearly nine decades. This is a role we have not taken lightly, nor was this decision to transfer ownership to KSL,” said Musser.

“KSL is a seasoned investor in travel and leisure businesses, with a depth of resources and capabilities to provide exceptional service. KSL has owned and operated some of the most prestigious destinations in the world, and we are pleased that they will help preserve the history and heritage of Grand Hotel.”

The release also said “KSL understands the importance of Grand Hotel to Mackinac Island, the State of Michigan and beyond, as well as its history, charm and traditions. It is both a privilege and a great responsibility to take over ownership.”

Michael Mohapp, a Principal of KSL, said:

“We are grateful for the trust that the Musser family has placed upon us, and for Dan’s continued guidance that will help ensure that Grand Hotel remains a driving force in drawing visitors to Mackinac Island as it has for generations.”

Pivot Hotels & Resorts, the lifestyle and luxury operating division of Davidson Hotels & Resorts, will be engaged to manage the property for KSL.

According to its website, KSL Capital Partners is “dedicated to investing in travel and leisure businesses. Since 2005, KSL has raised four private equity funds and two credit funds with approximately $9 billion in equity commitments. Our investments range across travel and leisure businesses, such as hotels and resorts, clubs, 1/4 ufb01tness, family entertainment, skiing and resort real estate.”

Rumors have popped up about a potential sale over the years, the Musser family told MLive in a story in early August. At the same they denied any potential sale.

“When you own and operate an iconic resort like Grand Hotel, it’s not uncommon to be approached by organizations interested in acquiring it,” said spokesperson Julie Rogers at the time.

“We have been approached many times over the years and it’s a normal operational practice to entertain the due diligence process to both value our hotel and find areas of our operation that can be strengthened.”

Located on Mackinac Island, a popular destination that attracts visitors from all over the world, Grand Hotel was built in 1887 by the Mackinac Island Hotel Company, a group of railroad and steamship owners. W. Stewart Woodfill started working at Grand Hotel in 1919 as a desk clerk and purchased the hotel in 1933.

Woodfill’s nephew, R.D. (Dan) Musser, who started working at Grand Hotel in 1951, became president in 1960. It was purchased by the Mussers in 1979. Today it is owned by president R.D. (Dan) Musser III alongside his sister, Mimi Cunningham, and their mother, Amelia Musser.

The resort’s eye-catching highlight this year was the completion of its Cupola Suites, a four-year project bringing capacity to 397 guest rooms. The project began in 2014 and restored the dormers from the hotel’s original architecture from the late 1800s.

The final phase included four new suites and two new parlors on the fourth floor.

Grand Hotel continues to win numerous awards, including recent ones like Reader’s Digest’s 13 Best All-Inclusive Resorts in the United States, and Travel + Leisure No. 2 spot on the list of the Top 5 Best Resort Hotels in the Midwest.


©2019 MLive.com, Walker, Mich.

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