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Mille Lacs Band to confirm purchase of 2 St. Paul hotels

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The Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe is expected to officially announce Monday morning it has completed its purchase of the 470-room Crowne Plaza Riverfront Hotel and 250-room DoubleTree by Hilton in downtown St. Paul, Minnesota Public Radio reports.

Together, the two properties have nearly half of the hotel rooms in the state's capital city.

Melanie Benjamin, the tribe's chief executive, first spoke about a potential deal for two unnamed St. Paul hotels in January.

According to the Star Tribune, tribal leaders consider the investment a way to diversify its economy beyond gambling.

"It is a fantastic thing for Saint Paul," Matt Kramer, president of the Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce, told KARE 11. "They are going to be putting money into these (hotels). They have got a really interesting, strong experience in the hospitality industry for the last 20-some years. They know how to do this. That is going to raise the tide for everybody in Saint Paul."

Both hotels will be managed by Graves Hospitality.

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