Minnesota’s Island in the Sun

Built in 1961, the elegant Ambassador Resort Motor Hotel was located just 5 minutes from downtown Minneapolis at Highways 12 and 100. For almost thirty years, the Ambassador was Minnesota’s island in the Sun. Under that big bubbling dome, they controlled the weather so we could have fun and relaxation. The hotel’s King’s Courtyard had a national prizewinning pool, Finnish saunas, red sun lamp solarium, shuffleboard, putting green and ping pong and much, much more! For your dining pleasure, the richly decorated Kashmir Room, Shalimar Cocktail Lounge, Mandalay Piano Bar, and Camino Coffee House were all right there under one magnificent roof. If you wanted to spend the night the Ambassador had 200 Italian Provincial guest rooms and suites. The hotel hosted year round banquets and conventions in their amazing Hall of Kings. What happened to the Ambassador? The hotel checked out its last guest on March 25, 1991. Management blamed road construction, a two-year delay between the closing of the Minneapolis Auditorium and the opening of the Convention Center and the media for routing traffic around the area. It seems unlikely that this place would have made it into the 21st century. If I remember right it got a little sleazy those last few years. I guess they could have installed a water slide. The bank sold the tract in 1991 and the site became a home for one more Chili’s and another Olive Garden.