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Riverfront Hotel

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Brann's exterior decorator.

I just assumed Velvet Touch was now operating this mess now.

I'm assuming one of the pre-requisites to qualify under the Choice Booking system is to look tacky as possible?

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There is really no way to unfairly criticize this thing.  The building now has not one, not two, but three different and uncoordinated styles to it. Several years ago, the then-owners tacked on a front porch to the entrance that made no attempt to blend in with the existing (dated) architecture. So we had a 1990's bolt on.  For reasons passing understanding, they have now painted most (but not all) of the tower white and  purple. Mind you, they stopped at the first floor, which you can sort of see in the picture. So, floor one -- 1970's brown and beige brick; floors two through seven -- south beach; front entrance -- Hampton Inn.  Left untouched is the hideous restaurant on the river. 

I can't imagine someone looking at this plan and saying "yeah, let's go with this."  It is hot garbage.

Edited by grnd
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Take a look at recent tripadvisor reviews of this place.  Apparently he's been booking guests during this remodeling (although older reviews aren't so good either.)  I can't imagine pulling up to this hotel and actually registering.

If you are old like me you can probably remember when Bob Sullivan decades ago was a pretty popular guy with his baseball teams and his bars on Bridge Street.  Don't know what's happen to him in his old age with this hotel and his smokers only hotel at 28th and Buchanan.   

Edited by walker
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16 minutes ago, MJLO said:

Did the city approve this?  Are we expecting a wave of Jewish snowbirds from the tri-state area???

I just looked on the city site and they have applications in for multiple updates.  As these can be confusing, I found one for exterior renovations "in review", not sure how that works.  

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This reminds me of a hotel near where I live that was called the "Purple Hotel" for it's purple exterior accents.   It was well know for a mob hit, coke parties, and Swinging. It was torn down a few years ago.   They are definitely going for a certain crowd with this makeover.



Edited by mpchicago
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2 hours ago, ctpgr34 said:

I just drove there today.  The are doing a bunch of renovation outside, including parking, landscape, etc.  Too bad the exterior is a D-. Also a better pic from the Ann St Bridge.


WOW!! That's fugged up. Maybe he read that Grand Rapids has a huge human sex trafficking problem and wants to cash in on it? 


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Its just never been a great place for a hotel.

On the other side of a highway from a car dump, old factories. Across the river from more of the same. If you stay there, the only thing you can do without a car is go to the park.


I've always felt bad and slightly embarrassed knowing that people coming to GR for the first time may be staying there. Maybe in 20 years, with a lot more river development and rehabilitation of the area, it may be a great place to stay.

Edited by GR_Urbanist
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Looks like Bob Sullivan is not to blame after all.  He sold it at a loss to a member of the very large Patel family back in 2013.  Here's the story:

Riverfront Hotel Re-opening

EDIT: in case you don't know it already - here's some background on why so many hotels are owned by people named Patel:

Patel Hotel Cartel


Edited by walker
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I wish them well but they have their work cut out for them. I belong to a professional group that has monthly meetings in the banquet facility many years. Food, service, and pricing was good during the Sullivan years. Since then there was a decline in both food and service. There has been 4 F&B managers in the last year. The last meeting was awful. Couldn't contact the F&B manager before the event, they raised the rates in spite of our contract, and the food was either burned or partially cooked. I was tasked with conveying our unhappiness with the event. No response. Our group is moving to another facility that is working very nicely with us to acquire our business:)

Other than the purple accent on the outside, they have done a beautiful job redoing the place. The lobby is very nice.

Edited by Raildude's dad
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