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Radisson Minneapolis Nears Completion

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. (June 3, 2003)——- The Radisson Plaza Hotel Minneapolis, among the region’s top hotels known for hospitality excellence for more than 17 years and a flagship hotel for the Radisson brand’s global hospitality operations, is reaching the final stages of a multi-phased, $11.5 million refurbishment that began in Fall 2002.  When completed in late June, the renovation will transform the full-service hotel’s lobby and guest rooms from a traditional business décor to a 21st century design with a customized boutique feel with several ultra comfortable design elements.  The renovation will also create additional meeting space. 
“The Radisson Plaza Hotel is a hospitality landmark in the state and a showcase property for the Radisson brand,” said Bj¿rn Gullaksen, executive vice president and brand leader for Radisson Hotels & Resorts.  “This renovation will help position the hotel as one of the top full-service properties in the state of Minnesota in terms of quality and services.” 
The hotel, which was developed by Carlson Companies’ founder Curtis L. Carlson on the site of the original Radisson Hotel he acquired in 1962, was razed in the 1980s and rebuilt as the Radisson Plaza Hotel.  The Radisson Plaza Hotel was developed as part of the $108-million Plaza VII mixed-use hotel and retail downtown development with a 325,000-square-foot office tower, designed to meet the city’s demand for more meeting
space, larger contemporary guest rooms and more expansive parking facilities.  The hotel is company-owned and managed and serves as a showcase for Radisson as the company has grown to more than 440 hotels in 61 countries.

“The Radisson Plaza Hotel is a Midwestern landmark that has contributed significantly to the vitality of Seventh Street and its adjacent shopping and entertainment districts,” said Phil Handy, senior project coordinator of the Minneapolis Community Development Agency (MCDA).  “The Radisson Plaza Hotel’s refurbishment is part of over $1.2 billion in recent private and public development activity downtown that will help the city’s efforts to attract more business and tourism.” 
“Radisson is proud to play a vital role of this hospitality landmark that is the birthplace of the global Radisson brand,” Gullaksen added.  “The hotel’s refurbishment supports our commitment to be best in class and provide a competitive advantage for Minneapolis as a premier hospitality destination,” said Gullaksen.
“The refurbishment will update our lobby and other key public areas with a fresh and inviting contemporary design with comfortable seating, special group-check-in area, and adds 4,000 feet of much anticipated new meeting space,” said James Callaghan, general manager of the Radisson Plaza Hotel Minneapolis.  “All of the new changes will enable us to provide the highest quality product and service for today’s travelers, and maintains our position as one of the leading hotels in the market,” he added. 
Major changes include a complete renovation of the hotel’s lobby and guestrooms and creation of additional new meeting and pre-function space, including meeting rooms with views of downtown Minneapolis.
Another dramatic development on-site will be the addition of a contemporary new restaurant concept with its own street-level entrance. 
“FireLake, Grill House & Cocktail Bar, is a dynamic new full-service restaurant featuring classic Midwestern cuisine with a Mediterranean twist.  The menu is influenced by the indigenous rich flavors of the American heartland,” said Callaghan. “The restaurant’s warm and inviting interiors, expansive exhibition kitchen, wood-burning oven and straightforward cooking-style will make this new restaurant and bar a popular year-round gathering place for Minnesota business leaders, residents and visiting guests,” he added.
FireLake, Grill House & Cocktail Bar concept has been created by Royce Ring, principal of Knauer, Inc.  Ring is noted as one of the country’s most dynamic restaurant designers, creating some of today’s hottest award-winning restaurants. 
Radisson is taking guest comfort to a higher level as the only hotel in the area to offer the “Pacific Coast Suite”- a luxurious natural bedding system, featuring a seven-layer, hypo-allergenic down feather bed with high-quality linens in each guest room to ensure year-round comfort.  To provide comfort while working, each room also features a new executive-style work desk with power outlets for computer hook-up, a customized roll-out tray for in-room dining and a comfortable ergonomic chair.  By mid-summer, all the guest rooms will offer high-speed Internet access. 
The top three floors of the hotel feature the Plaza Club, offering upscale accommodations and special services and amenities such as concierge service, complimentary continental breakfast, newspaper, beverages and hors d’oeuvres.  The Plaza Club floors have been upgraded and feature newly reconfigured rooms and suites with some offering whirlpool baths and others offering separate showers and deep soaking tubs. 
The hotel’s guest accommodations have expanded with three new large suites that are over 1,100 square feet each, the largest guest rooms at the property. Each suite features a spacious living room and parlor area with a dining/conference table with seating for eight people, a wet bar, mini-refrigerator and microwave oven enclosed in custom cabinetry and one and a half bathrooms.  These suites can be connected to two other standard guest rooms to create an exceptionally spacious three-bedroom suite.
All of the hotel’s 360 guest rooms and suites overlook a soaring 17-story, sky-lit interior atrium or Seventh Street and feature contemporary style furnishings with sleek classic, yet contemporary design.  SFA Design of Santa Barbara, Calif. is the interior designer for the overall hotel renovation and also handling the restaurant’s interior design.  Provisions, a global procurement company of Carlson Hotels Worldwide, oversaw the purchasing of the furniture, fixtures and equipment. MA Mortenson Company is the general contractor for the project. 

The hotel also provides features a 17th floor health club, featuring state-of-the art cardiovascular and stationary exercise equipment, free-weights, an aerobics room for a
complete workout.  The health club workout room overlooks the city, and there are television monitors and wireless audio connection available for guests FM radio receivers, and male and female locker rooms.  The hotel also offers a whirlpool and sauna. The hotel offers underground parking and a retail shopping area on the second floor which is adjacent to Marshall Field’s department store and connects into the Minneapolis skyway system to major retail centers including City Center, Gaviidae Common, IDS Center’s Crystal Court and several other prominent department stores.