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Mille Lacs Band Debuts Rebranded Hotel in Iconic Downtown St. Paul

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The Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe unveiled its new InterContinental Saint Paul Riverfront hotel, a multi-million-dollar renovation and rebrand of the former Crowne Plaza, on Monday.

The 19-month project on St. Paul's largest hotel is expected to bring a new level of luxury to Minnesota's capital city.

"The response has been shock," Joe Nayquonabe, Jr., CEO of Mille Lacs Corporate Ventures, told the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal. "There hasn't been much investment or TLC in this place for years and that's what made it such a ripe opportunity. There's such a need in this city for a good convention hotel and for another luxury product."

The new 410-room and -suite hotel offers stunning views of the Mississippi River and downtown Saint Paul skyline. The mid-century modern design and décor exude the brand's iconic elegance and glamour that the InterContinental Hotels Group brand has been renowned for since the first hotel opened in 1946. 

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Mille Lacs Corporate Ventures purchased the hotel in 2013, and today every square foot of the property has been updated from the guest rooms to the meeting spaces, including a new restaurant—the new Citizen Supper Club, with a nod to the bygone era of the 1960s.

“In our teachings, we focus on protecting future generations,” said Melanie Benjamin, Chief Executive for the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe. “In an economic sense, that means diversifying our economy, which is what these hotels mean for the Mille Lacs Band. We’re especially proud of our partnership with the City of St. Paul, and view this project as evidence of what tribes and cities can achieve when they work together.”?

The Band's renovation and launch of the InterContinental Saint Paul Riverfront is part of its big St. Paul investment from the beginning of 2014, when it purchased the Crowne and the nearby Double Tree by Hilton for $37 million.

“This reinvestment will continue downtown Saint Paul's rapid growth and vitality,” said Saint Paul Mayor Chris Coleman. “I am thankful to have the partnership of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe. The opening of the InterContinental® Saint Paul Riverfront is key to the continued success of our downtown business district.”?

Mille Lacs Corporate Ventures manages all the Mille Lacs Band’s businesses, including Grand Casino Mille Lacs, Grand Casino Hinckley, the InterContinental Saint Paul Riverfront and the DoubleTree Hilton in Saint Paul, Minn., 2020 Brand Solutions, Embassy Suites Oklahoma City and other Band-owned businesses such as a cinema, a grocery store, gas/convenience stores, a golf course, wastewater treatment plant and a print shop.?