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  • History of Kahler Hospitality Group Rochester, Minnesota

The Rich Legacy of Our Rochester Hotels In MN

History of Kahler Hospitality Group
From its humble beginnings to its present success, the Kahler Family has a history of ingenuity, entrepreneurship, and service within the Rochester community.
The Kahler hotels have reached recent milestones and celebrated many accomplishments - hosting Bishop Desmond Tutu, constructing new hotels, and creating an enduring legacy in our city. It all started in that small town of Bayfield, Canada with Henry Kahler.
The Kahler Grand Hotel has a rich tradition and history in Rochester beginning with the Mayo Brothers. The Mayo Brothers wanted to build their hospital in Rochester, MN.
Being a small country town, Rochester at first could not offer enough places for patients and hospital workers to stay, creating a demand for real estate development in the hospitality field.
As a beginning effort, the Mayo Brothers asked John Kahler, of The Kahler Corporation (formed in 1917) to build them a hotel/hospital to be the starting home of this grand, medical vision to offer care to people.
History of Kahler Hospitality Group
In 1921, Kahler Grand Hotel started as Rochester's landmark property, known then as The Kahler Hotel. This unusual building was a hybrid, one of its kind.
The eleven-floor structure not only offered services of an up-scale hotel but also was the beginnings of the Mayo Clinic Hospital, originally called "The Sanatorium." Six floors of the building were used for hotel purposes and five floors for hospital services, including three operating rooms and several laboratories.
The new Kahler Hotel was designed following John H. Kahler's unique way of providing hospitality.
It was to be a triple plan: a 210-bed hospital with operating suites for oral, plastic, and general surgery; a 150-bed convalescent unit; and a 220-room hotel.
As the Mayo Clinic Hospital grew and expanded, so did the Kahler Hotel and other hotels that the Kahler Corp. owned and developed, to provide places for people coming for medical help.
Thanks to the efforts of the Kahler Realty Corporation, a growing hotel industry blossomed to meet the need of visitors and hospital employees.
History of Kahler Hospitality Group
During the Depression era, more improvements were made, despite hard economic times. Due to Minnesota's bitter cold winters, a pedestrian, tile-lined subway system was constructed, connecting the downtown Mayo Clinic Campus of patient buildings and hospitals to surrounding hotels and retail.
In 1953, hospital functions were phased out of The Kahler Hotel. The Kahler Corporation sold all of its hospital holdings, including the Colonial Hospital, The Worrall and Kahler Hall nurses home, to the newly expanded Methodist Hospital.
Using profits from these sales to expand its hotel services, The Kahler Corporation focused on enhancing their hospitality business for patients and tourists and building several hotels aimed at different demographics.
Eventually, they developed and owned four hotels in Rochester, including The Kahler Hotel, The Kahler Inn & Suites, and The Kahler Plaza Hotel (now Rochester Marriott Mayo Clinic Area).
With a proud legacy, our business is all about making every guest experience memorable. We truly do serve with all our heart. The Kahler Grand Hotel will be 100 years old in 2018!