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Immersed in history and splendor, the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island is a standout destination that has welcomed guests since 1887.

If you’re short on time, here’s the quick answer: The Grand Hotel is currently owned by an affiliate of KSL Capital Partners LLC, a private equity firm. However, the story of ownership is filled with historical nuance and a rich legacy of hospitality.

This article delves into the ownership history of the Grand Hotel, its current ownership, and the legacy that has been upheld through the years.

History of The Grand Hotel

The Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island is a historic landmark that has captivated visitors for over a century. Its rich history dates back to its establishment in 1887 and has since become a symbol of luxury and grandeur.

Origins of The Grand Hotel

The idea for The Grand Hotel was conceived by a group of investors led by R.D. Musser, a wealthy businessman. They envisioned creating a luxurious resort that would attract affluent travelers from around the world. The hotel was designed by architect Charles Anderson, who incorporated elements of Victorian architecture, giving it a distinctive and elegant appearance.

Construction of The Grand Hotel began in 1886 and was completed just a year later. The hotel quickly earned a reputation for its opulence and exceptional service, making it a sought-after destination for the elite.

Historical Highlights

Throughout its history, The Grand Hotel has played host to numerous notable guests and events. Presidents, celebrities, and dignitaries have all graced its halls, leaving behind a legacy of glamour and prestige.

One of the most significant events in the hotel’s history was the meeting between Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev and Vice President Richard Nixon in 1957. This meeting, known as the “Kitchen Debate,” took place in the hotel’s lobby and attracted worldwide attention, showcasing the hotel’s prominence on the global stage.

Over the years, The Grand Hotel has undergone several renovations and expansions, ensuring that it continues to provide a luxurious and unforgettable experience for its guests. Today, it stands as a testament to the enduring allure of classic American hospitality.

Cultural Impact

The Grand Hotel has not only left its mark on Mackinac Island but also on popular culture. It has been featured in numerous films, including the 1980 romantic comedy “Somewhere in Time,” starring Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour. The hotel’s timeless charm and picturesque surroundings have made it a favorite location for filmmakers.

Additionally, The Grand Hotel has become synonymous with the annual Lilac Festival, a celebration of the island’s vibrant lilac blooms. This festival attracts thousands of visitors each year, who come to enjoy the beauty of the island and experience the grandeur of The Grand Hotel.

For more information on the history and cultural significance of The Grand Hotel, visit their official website at

Ownership History of The Grand Hotel

Early Ownership

The Grand Hotel, located on the picturesque Mackinac Island in Michigan, has a rich ownership history dating back to its opening in 1887. The hotel was originally built by a group of investors led by R.D. Musser, a prominent businessman at the time. It quickly gained popularity among the elite, who were attracted to its stunning views and luxurious amenities.

During its early years, The Grand Hotel changed hands several times as different investors recognized its potential. However, it wasn’t until the Musser family took ownership that the hotel truly began to flourish.

The Musser Family Legacy

The Musser family, led by R.D. Musser’s grandson, Dan Musser III, played a pivotal role in transforming The Grand Hotel into the iconic establishment it is today. Under their ownership, the hotel underwent extensive renovations and expansions, ensuring that it maintained its grandeur while keeping up with modern standards of luxury.

Throughout the years, the Musser family has been committed to preserving the hotel’s historic charm and unique character. They have carefully curated its distinctive decor and maintained its renowned service standards, making it a beloved destination for guests from around the world.

Sale to KSL Capital Partners

In 2017, after over eight decades of ownership by the Musser family, The Grand Hotel was sold to KSL Capital Partners, a leading investment firm specializing in the hospitality industry. The sale marked a significant milestone for the hotel, opening up new possibilities for growth and continued success.

KSL Capital Partners has a proven track record of managing and enhancing luxury properties, making them an ideal fit to carry on The Grand Hotel’s legacy. Since the acquisition, the hotel has continued to thrive under their ownership, attracting visitors with its timeless elegance and unmatched hospitality.

Current Management Structure

The day-to-day operations of the Grand Hotel are overseen by a dedicated management team. The general manager is responsible for overseeing all aspects of the hotel’s operations, including guest services, food and beverage, housekeeping, and maintenance.

The management team works closely with the various departments and staff to ensure that the Grand Hotel provides an exceptional guest experience. From the moment you arrive at the hotel, you can expect to be greeted by friendly and knowledgeable staff who are committed to making your stay unforgettable.

Under the guidance of KSL Capital Partners, the management team is constantly looking for ways to improve and enhance the guest experience. They regularly seek feedback from guests and make adjustments based on their suggestions and preferences. This commitment to continuous improvement is one of the many reasons why the Grand Hotel remains a top destination for travelers from around the world.

Also Read: Why is the Grand Hotel So Expensive?

Legacy of The Grand Hotel

Since its opening in 1887, The Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island has been a symbol of elegance and luxury. With its stunning architecture and breathtaking views of the Straits of Mackinac, it has become an iconic landmark in Michigan. But what is the legacy of this historic hotel?

Maintaining Tradition

One of the key aspects of The Grand Hotel’s legacy is its commitment to maintaining tradition. The hotel has been family-owned for three generations, and the current owners, the Musser family, have made it their mission to preserve the hotel’s historic charm. From the moment you step into the lobby, you are transported back in time to a bygone era of glamour and sophistication.

The Grand Hotel is also known for its strict dress code, which requires men to wear jackets and ties in the evenings. This dress code harkens back to a time when formal attire was the norm, and it adds to the hotel’s timeless appeal.

Additionally, The Grand Hotel is famous for its front porch, which stretches 660 feet and is the longest front porch in the world. This porch is a gathering place for guests, who can relax in rocking chairs and enjoy the stunning views of the Straits of Mackinac. It is a tradition that has been upheld for over a century and continues to be a beloved feature of the hotel.

Modern Innovations

While The Grand Hotel is steeped in tradition, it has also embraced modern innovations to enhance the guest experience. The hotel offers a variety of amenities, including a spa, golf course, and multiple dining options. Guests can also enjoy modern conveniences such as Wi-Fi throughout the property.

One of the most notable modern innovations at The Grand Hotel is the addition of the Esther Williams Swimming Pool. Named after the famous actress and competitive swimmer, the pool provides a refreshing oasis for guests to cool off and relax. It is a perfect blend of old-world charm and modern comfort.

Future Plans

The Grand Hotel is constantly looking to the future and has plans for continued growth and improvement. One of the future plans is to expand the hotel’s meeting and event spaces, allowing for larger conferences and gatherings. This will attract more business travelers and further establish The Grand Hotel as a premier destination for both leisure and business.

Another plan is to enhance the hotel’s sustainability efforts. The Grand Hotel is committed to reducing its environmental impact and has implemented several initiatives, such as energy-efficient lighting and waste reduction programs. This focus on sustainability ensures that future generations can continue to enjoy the beauty of Mackinac Island for years to come.


The Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, currently owned by KSL Capital Partners, has been an iconic destination for over a century. Its rich history, ownership changes, and timeless charm have intertwined to create a unique legacy in the hospitality industry. As the hotel moves forward under its current ownership, it continues to uphold the grandeur and elegance that have always set it apart, ensuring that guests continue to enjoy a truly ‘grand’ experience on Mackinac Island.

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