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Kahler Grand Hotel to undergo $30 million renovation

ROCHESTER, Minn (KTTC) – Big changes are coming to a historic hotel in downtown Rochester.

The Kahler Grand Hotel, as well as the Towers at the Kahler Grand, announced a $30 million dollar renovation project Thursday morning after a year of designing and planning. All of the $30 million will come directly from private funding.

Nestled in the heart of downtown Rochester, the hotel has welcomed guests near and far for nearly a century, including Former President Lyndon Johnson, Minnesota politician Hubert Humphrey, and TV personality Ed Sullivan.

“It’s going to be a high-end, luxury hotel,” said Michael Smith, the hotel’s regional director of operations. “When you walk through the hotel it’ll be like a history lesson on Rochester, Minnesota.”

The two-year, three-phase project will “revitalize and transform the hotel’s levels two through 11, which includes 605 guest rooms.” The construction project will provide changes to both hotels, bringing them “back to life and providing a luxurious historic Minnesota experience to its guests.”

The Kahler Grand Hotel renovations include converting its 192 economy rooms into 130 larger and more contemporary style rooms, which will also increase the number of ADA (American with Disabilities Act) accommodations for guests. Each room will get new furniture and a new layout; ultimately meaning 660 rooms will go down to 603 to allow guests more living space.

“This is what our new corridors will look like… just very nice, we’re going for a lighter feel.” The renovated rooms and common spaces “will provide open luxurious space for guests to work, dining, and relaxation during every stay.”

This is the most extensive renovation done to the Kahler Grand Hotel since it was constructed 97 years ago, way back in 1921. “The original building, which we’re standing in was built in 1921, the additions occurred in two phases: 1954 and 1967.”

To avoid any big disturbances, construction will be done during the winter months when fewer guests are checking in. However, the hotel will stay open throughout the two-year reno phase. “We are very excited about restoring the Kahler Grand back to its grandeur.”

With a project this size, noise is one potential issue that comes to mind. However, Smith said noise shouldn’t be an issue because the work will be concentrated to one particular area.

Shannon Rousseau

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