MINNEAPOLIS, May 26, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Carlson, a global hospitality and travel company, and Mortenson, a U.S.- based, privately-held construction services company, today celebrated the start of construction on the USD 137.5 million, 500-room Radisson Blu Hotel that will adjoin Mall of America ®.
Carlson and Mortenson are equity partners in the hotel. Mortenson is the developer and general contractor, and Carlson Hotels has a 40-year management contract to manage the hotel. Situated on the Mall's south side, the upper upscale hotel is an important step in the Phase II high-end expansion at Mall of America. The hotel is expected to open in March 2013. Top leadership from Carlson, Mortenson and Triple Five, owners of Mall of America, were joined by Senator Kenneth Kelash, Hennepin County Commissioner Randy Johnson, Bonnie Carlson, president of the Bloomington Convention & Visitor's Bureau, and other state and city officials for the groundbreaking ceremony this afternoon.
"This is a major milestone in achieving our Ambition 2015 growth strategy, which includes opening landmark Radisson Blu hotels in key gateway cities and destinations in the United States," said Thorsten Kirschke, chief operating officer, Carlson Hotels and president, Carlson Hotels, Americas. "While we have several other Radisson Blu projects currently being evaluated, this property represents our second Radisson Blu development signed for the U.S. The Radisson Blu Aqua Hotel, Chicago, the first Radisson Blu signed in the country, will mark the debut of the upper upscale, contemporary Radisson Blu tier when it opens in November 2011.""We are thrilled that we were able to make this project a reality, despite the very difficult financial market conditions of the past several years," said David Mortenson, executive vice president, Mortenson Construction. "This important achievement underscores the strength and experience of the team, and our commitment to getting the job done. Radisson Blu will be a great addition to Mall of America and the Twin Cities." "Breaking ground for the Radisson Blu Hotel is a significant milestone for Mall of America as we move forward with the Phase II expansion of the property," said Kurt Hagen, vice president of Triple Five. "We see more than 40 million visitors annually and are excited that we will soon be able to offer a stay in a high-end hotel that will be the first of its kind to connect via skyway directly to Mall of America." Designed by project architect ESG, the 13-story Radisson Blu at Mall of America will be the first hotel connected to the mall by skyway and will be situated on the south side between Macy's and Bloomingdale's department stores. The hotel's drive-up entry will be on the ground floor and the lobby will be situated on the mall's second floor. The custom-designed guest rooms will feature three distinctive Radisson room styles, including Mansion House, Naturally Cool and Urban. Recreational facilities will include a full-service spa, a fitness facility and an indoor swimming pool. Conference facilities will include more than 22,500 square feet of meeting and event space, encompassing two spacious ballrooms. There will be a Concierge Lounge and floor with upgraded rooms and amenities. The hotel will feature a FireLake Grill House & Cocktail Bar, a contemporary evolution of the award-winning restaurant concept as at the Radisson Plaza Hotel in downtown Minneapolis. Radisson Blu at Mall of America will provide contemporary, modern facilities and amenities that leisure and business travelers alike will find refreshing and welcoming. The hotel staff will be trained to provide World of Radisson services such as Business Class, Grab & Run, 3 Hour Express Laundry, Express Checkout, Yes, I Can!(SM) service, 100% Guest Satisfaction Guarantee, and Club Carlson, Carlson's new hotel loyalty program. Radisson Blu at Mall of America will be located off of Interstate 494, three miles from Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport and only 20 minutes from downtown via the city's light rail system. About Carlson Carlson is a global hospitality and travel company headquartered in Minneapolis, Minn. Carlson encompasses more than 1,070 hotels, including Radisson®, Country Inns & Suites By Carlson(SM), Park Inn by Radisson and Park Plaza®; more than 900 T.G.I. Friday's® restaurants; and a majority stake in Carlson Wagonlit Travel®, the global leader in business travel management. Carlson operates in more than 150 countries and its brands employ about 170,000 people. http://www.carlson.com About Mortenson Mortenson is a U. S.-based, privately-held construction services company. As one of the nation's top builders, Mortenson provides a complete range of services, including planning, program management, preconstruction, general contracting, construction management, design-build, and development. Mortenson has offices in Chicago, Denver, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, Phoenix, and Seattle with international operations in Canada and China. www.mortenson.com About Mall of America® Mall of America is the nation's largest retail and entertainment complex. At 4.2 million square feet, MOA is home to more than 520 world-class shops, Nickelodeon Universe®, the nation's largest indoor family amusement park; SEA LIFE Minnesota Aquarium, a 1.2 million gallon walk-through aquarium; Moose Mountain Adventure Golf; Theatres at Mall of America – a 14-screen movie theater with VIP theatre and more. The Mall opened in August of 1992 and is located in Bloomington, Minn., just minutes from downtown Minneapolis and St. Paul. SOURCE Carlson