More than a hundred people packed onto the new event lawn overlooking Falls Park for a windy ceremony celebrating a stunning hotel, that stands as a model for collaboration between the city and private developers.
Greenville Mayor Knox White and developer Richard C. Kessler led the official ribbon cutting for the Grand Bohemian Lodge, the twelfth boutique hotel in The Kessler Collection. The chairman and CEO’s love of Native American art, culture, and music are reflected throughout the Grand Bohemian hotel and played a big part in the ribbon cutting ceremony. As guests were being seated on the event lawn, they heard tribal drums, and the entertainment manager of Kessler’s Savannah property played the Native American double flute from the podium, flanked by Native American artwork.
During the ceremony, the mayor presented a key to the city to Richard Kessler, saying he hoped Kessler would come back to Greenville often.
Kessler’s hotel overlooking Falls Park has 187 rooms, a luxury spa, and a Michelin-star chef at its Restaurant – Between the Trees. Guests can tour the hotel’s art gallery and stroll hiking trails around the grounds.
Anyone who lives in Greenville or visits the city can enjoy new public spaces adjacent to the hotel. The city committed about four million dollars in reimbursements for Falls Park East Gateway improvements. The project includes the artificial turf lawn where the Grand Bohemian celebration unfolded, brick pedestrian walkways and streetscaping, and landscaping in the areas where the lodge transitions into Falls Park.
Greenville’s Economic and Community Development Director, Merle Johnson, says the project is a great example of what’s possible when the city collaborates with its partners.
During the ribbon cutting celebration, Mayor White praised the craftmanship of the Grand Bohemian.
He recalled a story about an architect on the project – up on a ladder at the hotel entrance, putting stones in place himself – carefully selecting the perfect place for each one.
The mayor said he hopes the takeaway lesson for everyone is that the beautiful city that’s been created here is kind of like those stones. In the grand vision for Greenville, he said, everything is in just the right place.