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Whatever happened to the old Holiday Inn?

The old Holiday Inn in Duluth was located in Canal Park, just down from downtown, and this was before all the new development happened in Canal Park. In the 1980s, it had its name changed to something else. I don’t remember what that name was, or if the building is even still there. Can anyone bring me up to date?

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23 Comment(s)

  1. I don’t remember a Holiday Inn in Canal Park, but I guess I’m not quite old enough to have noticed it.

    The downtown Holiday Inn & Suites opened in 1982, taking over the location of the Normandy Hotel, which was built in 1978 and is featured on the cover of this pictorial calender published by Stewart-Taylor Co.

    Paul Lundgren | Sep 14, 2012 | New Comment
  2. The only hotel I remember pre-Grandma’ Saloon was the Metropole. Though technically not in the canal, but between the old viaduct and the stream plant.

    TimK | Sep 14, 2012 | New Comment
  3. Only in Duluth is 30-year-old development referred to as “new” development.

    Barrett Chase | Sep 15, 2012 | New Comment
  4. Functional linguists, note: Tim K’s use of the word “canal” led him to type the near-synonym “stream” instead of “steam plant.”

    Soren d'Hillside | Sep 15, 2012 | New Comment
  5. If you Google “duluth mn vintage holiday inn” you won’t get much useful information, but you will find an image of a postcard showing the Holiday Inn at 250 S. First Ave. E., which looks like it would put it just about in the bottom of the current storm-water retention tank at Lake Avenue and I-35.

    BryGuy | Sep 15, 2012 | New Comment
  6. Pretty close. It was basically where the Canal Park Inn sits now. After Holiday Inn it became a Park Inn, I believe.

    DonD | Sep 15, 2012 | New Comment
  7. There are pitfalls to posting with your phone while sleepy. I also hat autocorrect.

    TimK | Sep 15, 2012 | New Comment
  8. Ah! I failed to allow for that demonic misinvention.

    Soren d'Hillside | Sep 15, 2012 | New Comment
  9. I found out what happened to the Holiday Inn. I compared satellite photos from now with aerial photos on the Minnesota Historic Aerial Photo archive. Comparing this photo from 1972 with today let me discern that the old upside-down F-shaped Holiday Inn was located just south of where the Canal Park Lodge is now.

    The confounding thing for a driver is that Lake Ave. no longer goes straight; the new bridge lands one on Canal Park Drive, which used to be First Avenue South, and one must turn right onto Railroad Street to get back onto Lake Avenue. That turn is made directly in front of what was the Holiday Inn.

    professor55812 | Sep 15, 2012 | New Comment
  10. This is a close-up of the old Holiday Inn in Canal Park, circa 1970s. You can make out the Holiday Inn sign at lower left. The full photo can be found in this News Tribune Attic post.

    akjuneau | Sep 15, 2012 | New Comment
  11. PDD user Izzy Absinthe submitted this old postcard image by e-mail.

    Paul Lundgren | Sep 15, 2012 | New Comment
  12. So Paul Lundgren was wrong about something in Duluth’s history. Damn, I should’ve taken a screenshot before he cleverly edited the comment.

    Tom | Sep 15, 2012 | New Comment
  13. He said he didn’t recall it. That is not being wrong.

    TimK | Sep 15, 2012 | New Comment
  14. Well, originally I phrased it more like I didn’t think there was a Holiday Inn in Canal Park, so indeed I thought wrong. I still can’t make a Canal Park Holiday Inn mesh with my pre-juvenile memories. In my mind it was always the Canal Park Inn.

    DonD has it right, though. The Holiday Inn was built in 1962, and later became the Canal Park Inn. It was torn down in 2006 and replaced with the Canal Park Lodge.

    So, I shot a photo of the Canal Park Holiday Inn demolition site on Sept. 7, 2006, but had no idea the building had ever been a Holiday Inn.

    Paul Lundgren | Sep 15, 2012 | New Comment
  15. The Club Saratoga was a neighbor before they moved to the current location, maybe that’s why you never noticed the Holiday Inn.

    llinmpls | Sep 15, 2012 | New Comment
  16. During my college days (’78-’83) blocks of rooms at the Holiday Inn in Canal Park were used as overflow housing for UMD students that the on-campus dorms could not hold (the same was true at the Hotel Duluth). In fact, I once loved a girl who lived there. Actually…it was more than once.

    Dave P | Sep 15, 2012 | New Comment
  17. Why are we not talking about Schooners Night Club? This was the dim, rarely if ever used section of the hotel bar. They had a vaguely populated lounge, as well. Inexplicably I spent about 9 months there drinking at least 2 or 3 nights a week as roadie and (unnecesary) manager for my friend Todd “Hot Toddy” Eckart in the late 90s. Besides one packed Halloween night I don’t remember them ever using the night club area. Inexplicably they had about a 30 channel board and a pretty nice in-house sound and light system there of the sort that the tiny little Pizza Looch would drool over but nothing ever happened there. Correct me if I am wrong. Stories and photos even better. Also, I believe that the summer version of Schooners had the first fully stocked outdoor patio bar. A person could stroll up from the Lakewalk order a beer or fruity drink and, presumably, stroll right back along the Lakewalk unimpeded by any pesky walls or fences.

    wildgoose | Sep 15, 2012 | New Comment
  18. And yes, I’ll admit on review that I used inexplicable in a sort of “inconceivable” manner, but I do know what it means. I was just using it wrong.

    wildgoose | Sep 15, 2012 | New Comment
  19. Here is an excellent Duluth News Tribune photo of it in 1984, when it was the Harbor Inn and the Lake Avenue Viaduct was being constructed over the path of yet-to-be-built I-35.

    So it was
    1) Holiday Inn, from 1962
    2) Harbor Inn, at least by 1984
    3) Park Inn, at least by 1989
    4) Canal Park Inn, at least by 1992
    5) demolished 2006

    What I remember most about the hotel from my one night staying in it was the unusual location and design of the swimming pool. As I recall it, the swimming pool was in the basement of the easternmost wing of the building (the top of the F), very unusual for a Holiday Inn pool. The pool furthermore did not merely slope from the shallow end to the deep end; it also sloped in the middle of the deep end. Thus, the middle of the deep end was deeper than the sides of the deep end.

    professor55812 | Sep 15, 2012 | New Comment
  20. Park Inn touted itself as the “friendliest hotel in the world.” We found that amusing back in the day.

    spy1 | Sep 16, 2012 | New Comment
  21. We were aware of the Holiday Inn but couldn’t afford to stay there. We thought wouldn’t it be nice to be down near the lift bridge and water. Instead we were up on London Drive at the Viking Motel or Lake Motel. Eating at the McDonald’s or Pizza Hut. Now it’s funny to think we were impressed by a Holiday Inn and the pool. But it was the early 1980s.

    Bayfieldwis | Sep 17, 2012 | New Comment
  22. Here’s a better version of that postcard shown above. 

    And as a bonus, the Voyageur!

    Barrett Chase | Sep 28, 2012 | New Comment
  23. Doing a search for something else here and came across this post a bit late.

    I stayed with my family at the Holiday Inn in August of 1977. One of the very few times my family ever stayed in a Holiday Inn.

    The pool was originally located under the dance floor/stag area in Schooner’s lounge. It had a deep end and diving board (I loved diving), and hot tub/jacuzzi too, and the diving board was later removed (insurance pretty much did that for all hotels). The pool area had some glass windows that were always steamed up, but when clear you could see out to the walkway along the back side of the hotel, and beyond to the lake. The windows were also not very weather proof/inefficient and the pool area leaky later on.

    Later, the owner of the Canal Park Inn (Richard ‘Dick’ Sonntag (sp)) had the antiquated pool area removed and semi-filled in to enlarge the bar/dance area, and you could tell as the floor there had more of a hollow feeling. I believe it was also used for some storage under there too. Then a new larger pool area, with a bigger but more shallow pool, larger jacuzzi, and bathrooms/shower was built off the back of the building and farther down (toward Endion and off center to that midsection) which you could see from the Lakewalk. I swam in the new pool (after hours) quite a bit back in the day.

    The old outside bar was pretty popular, and there were attempts to revive it, but it was not up to code (no running water and such -- and the owner didn’t want to sink any money into it), so it could only be used limited (bottled beers, wine coolers and the like from iced troughs), while mixed drinks and wines (and sometimes food too) were brought out from the bar by servers, and when busier (such as over Blues Fest/limited weekends) they’d staff the area, otherwise it was serve yourself. When it was nice out it was a very popular place to go as it was one of the only places you could have a drink outside along the lake (besides Chi~Chi’s deck, or Grandma’s).

    ruby2sd4y | Nov 29, 2012 | New Comment

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