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Checking In At The New Radisson in Normal

After almost a decade of dormancy, there's new life on the north Normal hotel landscape.

Holiday Inn failed. So did Sheraton Inn. And Staywood Inn, as well. Now the new Radisson Hotel hopes to rise from their ashes on the north side of Normal to turn the location into a success story.

Building on the skeleton of the previous building, the new Radisson has 12,000 square feet and 158 rooms, plus conference facilities that boast something different for the Twin Cities, according to Mallori Browning, director of sales at the Radisson.

"We don't have one large ballroom with airwalls in between. We have four completely separate rooms, which helps the client feel like this is their space. Walls don't have to be shared, so noise control is not something we'll have to deal with," she said.

Regarding the previous failed hotel ventures that were once on the same spot as the new Radisson, Browning wasn't inclined to blame the location for those failures.

"At some time, some people lose sight of what's important. We care about our clients, customers and staff, and we want to be a part of the community. So I think that we'll be the one that lasts."

Donating to a local food kitchen is one way the Radisson is reaching out to the community.

"We have a great connection with Home Sweet Home Ministries," said Kenzi Anet, Radisson's sales manager. "We donate a lot of our extra food off to them just to make sure nothing goes to waste. And we plan to keep on doing that."

Restaurant and Bar

The new restaurant at the Radisson is called Trader's Grill and is located adjacent to the lounge and bar in the spacious atrium lobby.

"Our bar is the centerpiece of the lobby," said Browning. "And the restaurant is on the other side. We want this to be the place for people to hang out, whether you're a guest or a community member."

Trader's Grill is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and the Radisson is hoping to feed not just guests, but make this a destination for community members.

"Consistency is key," said Browning. "People come and they know what to expect. And the experience of it all should be welcoming. Going into a typical restaurant, you can kind of feel rushed sometimes, the tables have to be flipped for the next diners. But here whenever you're done, you can just flow into the soft seating area and hang out and watch the game on the big-screen TV in the bar."

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Reporter, content producer and former All Things Considered host, Laura Kennedy is a native of the Midwest who occasionally affects an English accent just for the heck of it. Related to two U.S. presidents, Kennedy appalled her family by going into show business.