Local entrepreneur Bob Sullivan, owner of the 162-room hotel visible from US-131 North at the Ann Street exit, said the name change reflects that he will be operating the lodging as an independent hotelier. All signage that refers to Radisson -- everything from the hotel's main marquee to telephone nameplates in every room -- will be replaced with the Riverfront Hotel brand early next week.
Sullivan said he decided to part ways with Radisson, a hotel franchise owned by the Carlson Co. Inc. headquartered in Minnetonka, Minn., when Carlson's rebranding strategy under its Ambition2015 plan didn't provide the right fit for Sullivan's Ann Street hotel location.
"We are an upscale hotel," he added. "Our guests appreciate our value-based approach of providing comfortable, contemporary accommodations less than 2 miles from the heart of Grand Rapids."
The Riverfront Hotel-Grand Rapids offers amenities such as Sleep Number® beds, indoor pool, whirlpool, dry sauna, fitness center, complimentary wireless Internet access, 42-inch plasma TVs, pet friendly rooms and business class suites. The Landing Restaurant, a local favorite dining spot for more than 40 years, features dishes made from ingredients that support West Michigan farmers, and the hotel's adjacent sports and entertainment lounge offers scenic views of the Grand River, with music and entertainment 5 nights a week. The hotel also has 2,585 square feet of meeting space for social, business and group events.
Hotel General Manager Todd Roesler said the rebranded hotel has launched a website, http://www.ontherivergr.com, to inform guests and take online reservations. Riverfront Hotel-Grand Rapids will gain a profile in the next few days on the lodging industry's Global Distribution System, the worldwide hotel reservation network for booking rooms used by travel agents and travel consortia such as American Express and Carlson Wagonlit.
Roesler said the company will operate Riverfront Hotel-Grand Rapids as an independent hotel, but it has not ruled out a possible association with another major hotel chain.
Sullivan bought the hotel in 2003 with former state senator and lifelong friend Glenn Steil as a Radisson Hotel, but it started out as a Holiday Inn when it was first constructed in 1968. Sullivan built and developed the Days Inn Downtown at Pearl Street that he sold, which later became Holiday Inn. He also owns the 156-room Howard Johnson Plaza on 28th Street near U.S. 131, and continues to own and operate Sullivan's Carpet and Furniture store on 28th Street.
Sullivan and Roesler said the new name and rebranding emphasizes the unique opportunities that metro Grand Rapids offers with its access to the Grand River. "There are a tremendous number of exciting things on the drawing board for the city and the river," Sullivan said. "As our new name suggests, we intend to be part of it."