For the recent $25 million restoration of the Hyatt Regency Minneapolis, the architectural firm placed a strong emphasis on the area’s history, and on green practices.
The company, Stonehill & Taylor, researching the area's history, including its Scandinavian roots and Minneapolis' three dominant industries—lumber, flour and woolen mills—that sprang from St. Anthony Falls. And while local history was an inspiration, the renovation was also done to maximize the impact on the local economy and minimize its environmental footprint, according to Mike Suomi, vice president of interior design.
Most of the locally sourced materials came from within 500 miles of the Twin Cities, and 80 percent of the furniture, fixtures and equipment for the 533-room hotel was produced in the United States or Canada.
Jeff Coy of JLC Hospitality Consulting in Phoenix described the locavore project as unique. "When a hotel tries to incorporate regional materials to lend authenticity, but also regional employment, that's a big positive," he said. It's also uncommon. Only about 5 percent of all hotels being built or renovated go to such lengths, he said.