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KALAMAZOO, MI — A brand famous for showcasing rock and roll memorabilia will soon move into an iconic space in Kalamazoo that helped shape music history through the production of Gibson guitars. Hard Rock Hotels has announced plans for development of a new hotel at the historic Gibson guitar and mandolin manufacturing site at 225 Parsons St., which is the founding location of Gibson Mandolin-Guitar Mfg. Co. In 1917, according to a news release from Dora Hotel, a partner in the development. The hotel will be a new addition to the REVERB by Hard Rock portfolio — the business casual hotel concept designed to be an energetic cultural hub for connection, creation and inspiration among music fans, locals, and travelers alike, according to the news release. REVERB by Hard Rock Kalamazoo will embody the brand’s modern, urban design package, featuring “traveler-friendly” integrated technology, smart rooms, shared spaces designed for collaboration, the company said. The company said it plans to offer programming highlighting local music, food and entertainment. PlazaCorp Realty Advisors and Dora Hotel Company will work in partnership with Hard Rock International. REVERB by Hard Rock Kalamazoo is expected to be built on the renowned Gibson Mandolin-Guitar Manufacturing Company site, keeping a keen eye on maintaining the historic parts of the property, the company said. “PlazaCorp has a long history of redeveloping historic places and creating reimagined spaces and this project does just that,” said Andy Wenzel, Executive Vice President of PlazaCorp Realty Advisors.
“Our partnership with Hard Rock connects the deep music history of this site with their appreciation of exciting and creative spaces, historic music events and artifacts. This transformational project provides new jobs and investment in the neighborhood and is made possible by our local, state and federal development partnerships contributing incentive support. We look forward to sharing this redeveloped site with the community and music lovers far and wide.” The new build and conversion of the original Gibson manufacturing building, with an anticipated completion date of fall 2023, will include a wide range of amenities for guests to enjoy including a Body Rock Fitness gym, bar, brewery/restaurant, banquet facility, intimate auditorium, museum and “signing room” where many historic artists signed contracts with Gibson. REVERB Kalamazoo will allow travelers to experience signature features that can be expected across all REVERB properties including locally curated city guides, modernized hotel amenities and room features, advanced technology and increased sustainability efforts, the news release states. “We are incredibly excited about our partnership with PlazaCorp Realty Advisors and Dora Hotel Company, allowing REVERB to expand to a prime city in Michigan,” said Todd Hricko, Senior Vice President of Hotel Development at Hard Rock International. “REVERB Kalamazoo is the perfect new location for the REVERB by Hard Rock brand, with several announcements in other major U.S. Cities set to be made within the year.” Tim Dora, President of Dora Hotel Company, said, “We are honored to join PlazaCorp and the city of Kalamazoo on another exciting project that incorporates the history of the city. Having the opportunity to collaborate with an exceptional brand such as Hard Rock ensures this will be a one-of-a-kind.”
REVERB properties aim to highlight Hard Rock’s traditional music-centric theme as seen in every hotel but with its own unique spin, celebrating modern music lovers while encouraging them to connect and create in a new city. They offer enhanced common spaces designed to encourage teamwork and smart rooms that allow travelers a customizable stay. To learn more, visit https://reverb.Hardrockhotels.Com/. Those looking to join REVERB’s band of fans on social media can follow the brand on Instagram and Facebook. For more information or to book a stay at any of the Hard Rock Hotel properties, visit www.Hardrockhotels.Com. Hard Rock International has venues in 69 countries spanning 240 locations that include owned/licensed or managed hotels, casinos, Rock Shops and cafes. Beginning with an Eric Clapton guitar, Hard Rock owns the world’s most valuable collection of music memorabilia at more than 86,000 pieces, which are displayed at its locations around the globe, the news release states. Orville Gibson founded “The Gibson Mandolin-Guitar Mfg. Co.” in Kalamazoo in 1902, and the company moved into the 225 Parsons plant in 1917. Nearly 100 years later, in February 1984, Gibson Guitar announced it was leaving Kalamazoo. The company closed the historic factory at 225 Parsons St. In Kalamazoo and moved to Nashville, Tennessee. The factory at 225 Parsons St. Is now listed as a location of Heritage Guitars, a company that has continued to produce and sell guitars. Heritage Guitar announced in 2017 a partnership with Rolling Stone to make changes to enhance the factory. The company could not be reached for comment Monday.
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