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Grand Hotel delays grand opening

The Mount Vernon Grand Hotel did not meet its scheduled Grand Opening and instead will open for business in time for the Christmas season.

The University had announced last year that the new facility would open this month.

The delays began back before construction had even started, when the Mount Vernon City Council brought up a zoning issue over parking spaces which stalled the project for two months. Then, sub-zero temperatures last winter kept construction crews from completing the building’s roof on schedule. MVNU President Dr. Henry Spaulding says a national shortage of elevator installers caused the most recent holdup.

Despite all of these delays, the hotel is already showing signs of success. January 2016 is already completely booked, and guests are making reservations as far ahead as 2017. Spaulding says many of these reservations are from Kenyon College parents and alumni who want to make sure they will have rooms in town during certain Kenyon campus events.

The hotel is now scheduled for a soft grand opening on Dec. 4, with City Council members and the donor, among others, present for a ribbon cutting.

A Christmas reception for MVNU faculty and staff will follow at 3:30 p.m. that afternoon in the hotel’s banquet room. MVNU plans to host a larger, black-tie event at the hotel in March.

The Mount Vernon Grand Hotel will sit downtown on the square at the site of the former Curtis Inn. The property was purchased at auction in September of 2013 with funds donated by Ariel Corp.

Ariel also paid to demolish the old hotel buildings and construct the new Grand Hotel. The new hotel will feature Victorian suites and traditional rooms. Other features include a breakfast room, a workout room, a business center and a conference room.

The new business belongs to MVNU but is being managed by CUSA. Room costs are expected to top out around $159.

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