Minneapolis-based Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group plans to paint the town red with a new hotel brand targeted to the young and the young at heart.
Radisson Red Minneapolis, which is just two blocks from U.S. Bank Stadium, is the country’s first hotel under Radisson’s Red brand. With keyless entry to rooms and no front desk, Radisson Red hopes to be the hip alternative to the traditional full-service hotel.
“The brand is about being bold, alive, creative … We wanted to fight the beige,” said Rich Flores, vice president of branding for Radisson Red, on Wednesday.
The 164-room hotel is located on the corner of Portland Avenue and S. 3rd Street in the recently christened East Town neighborhood. The Radisson Red, which opens Nov. 16, is part of a wave of hotels that is set to open in downtown by the end of this year.
The only thing devoid of color at the five-story newly constructed building is its dark outer facade. Quickly, guests are greeted with the chain’s trademark color when they make their way through the bright red, glass entryway.
The “social hive” of the lobby is complete with modern furniture, such as neon red modular stools, and a mural in orange and black of crows by local artist Adam Turman. Staffers at the hotel will be known as “Creatives” and will mingle in the hive to help guests.
“We do hope to offer a range of experiences,” said Ryan Foley, the hotel’s general manager, or “Curator.”
A display of screens allows guests to explore points of interest throughout the city and even take a selfie. A large gathering space on the lobby outskirts can either be booked for a meeting or used as flex space for an impromptu game of pingpong or just to hangout.
The OUIBar + KTCHN onsite restaurant is inspired by Minnesota street food as well as food from around the world, such as British street tacos, a different take on fish and chips, and breakfast pizza. Guests will be able to bring the food up to their rooms or munch in the dining area or on the outside ground-level terrace.
There’s also a gym and retail space for an outside restaurant or business on the main level.
The rooms, which have a smaller footprint than traditional ones, are also re-imagined with wardrobes instead of dressers, an abundance of outlets and showers with a Minnesota-themed stag motif with the tiles.
“Carlson is here. We have natural connections … We are proud of being here in Minnesota,” Flores said.
Radisson Red is as paperless as possible with guests able to use their mobile devices to swipe to get into their rooms, request services and chat with other guests.
The mobile functionality could likely appeal to younger travelers.
“I think others are trying to capture that demographic. I don’t know if everyone is doing it to the extent of Radisson Red,” said Ronn Thomas, senior director of hospitality brokerage services for Cushman & Wakefield/NorthMarq.
“I think it’s a good move on their part,” he said.
Radisson Red is considered an upscale, select-service hotel as it doesn’t provide some things such as room service or banquet facilities. Carlson Rezidor has several other brands all over the market including Country Inns and Suites, Park Inn by Radisson, Quorvus Collection, Park Plaza, Radisson and Radisson Blu.
At this point, the Radisson Red is the closest hotel to the new Vikings stadium, which will play host to the Super Bowl in 2018, and is also connected to the skyway.
“That’s a good position to be in,” Thomas said.
There are several other Radisson Reds in development across the country including in Miami and Portland. There are discussions of building a Radisson Red in downtown St. Paul.