New Radisson In South Dakota Uses Mt. Rushmore
For Unique Marble Floor Design

Hotel Business - January 7-20, 1997 - FLOOR COVERINGS

By Tony DeLa Cruz

Mt. Rushmore floor medallion

RAPID CITY, SD - A marble lobby floor mosaic intricately cut by waterjets might not be for every hotel. But here at the recently opened Radisson Hotel Rapid City, Iowa-based artist Harri Aalto, of Creative Edge Corp., took a cue from the nearby Mount Rushmore landmark to create a one-of-a-kind decorative floor.

The floor design measures 24 feet wide by 60 feet long and is anchored by a center medallion, 18 feet in diameter, which replicates the famed heads of the four presidents found on the national monument, Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Roosevelt.

The medallion alone used 75 different natural stones from around the world. The foliage surrounding the monument, for example, was created with five shades of Greek and Taiwanese green marble, as well as with Portuguese Amarillo and Spanish Rojo Alicante marble.

The presidents' faces were fashioned from variegated beige marble, with shadow detail created by locally sourced Dakota Mahogany granite. The clouded sky above the heads was depicted through the use of variegated white Greek marble and various blue Brazilian stones.

The hotel is owned by Shiba Investments and managed by Lodging Host, based in Longview, TX. At opening ceremonies, Peter Blyth, president, Radisson Hotels Worldwide Development, and Karim Merali, managing partner, Shiba Investments, said one reason behind the unique lobby treatment was to infuse the property with a distinct American flavor.

"Our goal with this design project was to impart the flavor of America in the hotel," Merali said. "Rapid City is one of the most visited areas of the country, more than five million people annually come to see the Black Hills, Mount Rushmore, and the Crazy Horse memorial. We saw this as an opportunity to capitalize on the beauty of the surrounding area."■