When the Radisson Hotel was built at 505 W. Superior St. in 1970, it was Duluth’s first new hotel in 43 years. It would be difficult to count the number that were built in the next 43 years, but not impossible. Go ahead and try.
The husband and wife team of Andy Matson and Chelsy Whittington plan to open the three-suite hotel on the second floor of a historic building they recently purchased at 1923 W. Superior Street. The new accommodations will be called the Hotel Pikku, which means small or odd in Finnish.
Matson and Whittington said travelers who want to experience a trendy, centrally-located neighborhood away from typical Duluth tourist areas will stay at the Pikku Hotel. Clients or patrons of other Lincoln Park businesses are also potential lodgers. The cozy, completely renovated rooms with kitchenettes will rent for between $100 and $150 a night.
Visitors to Duluth can soon add a hostel to the growing number of lodging options available in the Twin Ports. Nightclub owner Bob Monahan and an undisclosed partner purchased the former Garon Brothers Jewelry store at 217 W. First St. and plan to open a 46-bed hostel in the space next spring.
The Viking Motel operated at 2511 London Road from 1961 to 2000, and was demolished in 2001. The two-story, 30-room motel overlooking Lake Superior listed these amenities on its postcard: “Room Phones. Free Color TV. Coffee. Air Conditioned. Bridal Suites. Water Beds.”
Alpert’s Motel was located “13 miles from Downtown Duluth on North Shore Drive. Scenic Highway 61 on Lake Superior Circle Route.” The back of the postcard shown here indicates the motel offered “all the modern conveniences for your comfort, spacious grounds and beautiful view of Lake Superior.”
Joe and Mary Beth Alpert moved from Duluth to the French River area in 1952 to build the motel. They managed it until 1976. Joe died in 2004; Mary Beth in 2012. The motel was auctioned off in 1992.
Marketed as “Duluth’s finest auto court,” located “on the shore of beautiful Lake Superior,” Brindos’ London Road Court boasted 14 “all modern” units. Amenities included housekeeping facilities, electric refrigeration, gas range, shower baths, lavatories, automatic gas heat and hot water.
A panorama view from high atop Skyline Drive overlooking Duluth. The Buena Vista Motel and its lounge and restaurant opened in the 1950s. Bob Magie, Bob Nylen and Jerry Strum bought it in 1986 and oversaw a remodel in 1995. They operated the business for nearly 20 years before selling in 2005 to developer Tim Wiklund, who demolished the structure to create the 45-unit Superior Vista condominium complex.