Former School, City Hall Now Grinnell Boutique Hotel

GRINNELL, Iowa  --  For weeks, Angela Harrington had been getting the same question: when would the Hotel Grinnell open?

That answer is now.

In an effort spanning at least 10 years, city leaders and Harrington had been trying to figure out how to open a hotel downtown.

After the City Hall moved out, things began to fall into place, including an investor partner and some assistance from a state program.

“The challenge in a small community is that the critical mass just isn't there to support it,” said Harrington. “Nevertheless, we really need variety of accommodations in a small town."

Harrington credits the city manager and City Council, along with the State of Iowa for making this happen.

"I started with all kinds of big towns like Chicago, Denver, and even Omaha, New York, and really looking at what the trends were in lodging in the boutique industry,” said Harrington. “Small places that really have a sense of place, where there's all kinds of things to do close by.”

“We think it's pretty symbiotic. We think the hotel is going to benefit from being located downtown, and we think downtown is also going to benefit from having this hotel,” said City Manager Russ Behrens. “Also, Grinnell College campus is just two blocks away.”

Grinnell City Hall moved out of the former Community Center--now Hotel Grinnell--and into the former Transportation Museum.

Hotel Grinnell is full next weekend for Grinnell College Parent’s Weekend.

The hotel is focused on a higher-end market with rooms running around $150 a night. Rooms feature custom-made beds with the hotel logo, made by Co-Line Manufacturing in Sully. The firm is known for it’s Goal-Setter Basketball equipment; it had never made beds before, according to Harrington.

“I’m so incredibly proud to bring this kind of lodging accommodations to this sweet little town,” said Harrington, who used to be the Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau executive.

For information on Hotel Grinnell, click here.