Historic U.P. hotel gets fresh start
SAULT STE. MARIE, Mich. (AP) – A historic landmark in downtown Sault Ste. Marie is under new management and has added a chef from Grand Traverse Resort.
Not only does this business want to make a return to its former self, but new management wants to impress upon the community it is there for almost any function.
“Currently, we are the only full service hotel in Sault Ste. Marie,” said Jean Maleport Grove, the new manager at the Ramada Plaza Ojibway. The owners are Mary Lou and Dean Kreig.
The hotel has a colorful past and the owners and management want to return to its roots, according to The Evening News of Sault Ste. Marie .
This historical landmark opened its doors on New Year’s Eve in 1927. It overlooks the Soo Locks and was once known as the finest building and one of the most beautiful hotels in Michigan, according to the hotel’s website.
“It was a plush hotel in its day,” Grove said. “It now has 71 rooms and a presidential suite.”
It cost roughly $250,000 on property donated by Michigan’s only Upper Peninsula-born Gov. Chase Osborn.
The building’s Egyptian-style exterior looks similar today as it did when it opened. When the Ojibway Hotel opened, it had 100 guest rooms, dining room, checkroom, barbershop and beauty parlor. It also had Egyptian architectural design, decor, detailed amenities and exceptional services.
“It is a unique place,” Grove said. “They do ghost walks through the hotel and they think there still is a ghost in here. It is quite a property.”
Besides ghosts, the hotel also served to help those who were ailing as at one point it was the national headquarters for hay fever sufferers because of the clean, pollen-free air blown in from Lake Superior.
There also have been plenty of famous visitors to the hotel.
According to the hotel’s website, persons such as Jack Dempsey and Joe Louis have stayed at the location, as well as Gordie Howe, and Gov. Rick Snyder.
Grove said the most honored guest was in 1992 when President George H.W. Bush, and his wife Barbara, spent time at the location.
“Security came in and it was pretty different,” she said.
The Ramada Plaza Ojibway is under new management and the woman leading the way is no stranger to the industry, or area.
Grove is originally from the Sault, but left for 12 years to work for the Kreigs at their properties in the St. Ignace-Mackinaw area.