MILLE LACS BAND CORPORATE VENTURES TO CONVERT SAINT PAUL CROWNE PLAZA TO LUXURY INTERCONTINENTAL HOTEL
Plans include a multi-million dollar renovation of the 22-story hotel.

Saint Paul, Minn. – January 14, 2014 – Just one year after acquiring two hotels in the City of Saint Paul, the Corporate Ventures of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe announced today that it has signed a deal to convert the 22-story, 468-room Crowne Plaza Saint Paul Riverfront Hotel into an InterContinental hotel.  As the only InterContinental hotel in the state, the completion of the multi-million dollar renovation in 2014 will usher in a new era of luxury for Minnesota’s capital city.

When the Mille Lacs Band purchased the hotel back in March, it immediately began researching different brands to determine the best fit for the property.

“We knew the current franchise agreement was coming to an end and this was a great opportunity to refresh the entire property,” said Joe Nayquonabe Jr., Commissioner of Corporate Affairs for the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe. “The change is about more than just a brand flag – it’s a statement about our long-term commitment to the City of Saint Paul as well as our commitment to delivering excellence in all of our business ventures.”

Each room will receive a complete overhaul, including a new expanded bathroom, new furniture and fixtures. Other common areas such as the lobby and meeting spaces will be upgraded and a new bar and restaurant concept will be announced soon.

“We’re excited to become an iconic and upscale InterContinental hotel,” Nayquonabe said. “This exceptional product, coupled with the world-class leadership of Graves Hospitality, Inc. will ensure its long-term success.”

The hotel will officially become an InterContinental when it achieves 75% of room completion.  The goal is to have half of the rooms complete by April and all of the rooms complete by July.

“This is a dramatic reinvestment that 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 and the Graves family.  There are many good things in store for Saint Paul, and I look forward to seeing what they have in store for this property.”

About the Corporate Ventures of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe Indians
The Corporate Ventures of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe Indians manages all the Band’s businesses, including Grand Casino Mille Lacs, Grand Casino Hinckley, the Crowne Plaza Riverfront Hotel and the DoubleTree Hilton in Saint Paul, Minn., and other Band-owned businesses such as a cinema, a grocery store, gas/convenience stores, a Subway franchise, golf course, wastewater treatment plant and a print shop. It also oversees a certain amount of the Band’s investments and considers new business opportunities to provide economic support for the Band’s future. The Corporate Ventures has over 3,500 employees and its board of directors is comprised of five members, who guide the business and investment decisions for the Band.

About the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe
Mille Lacs Reservation is located in east central Minnesota and is the perpetual home of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe. More than 2,300 of the band’s 4,300 members live within reservation boundaries. The Band supports its members with a variety of services for economic, social and cultural advancement, including health services, early childhood and youth centers and economic development planning.

Media Contacts:
Sarah Barten
320-532-5939
763-238-0717
sbarten@grcasinomn.com

Kris Jensen
651-253-2659
kjensen@tunheim.com