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Gibson's former Kalamazoo factory is being converted into a Hard Rock Hotel

Gibson Kalamazoo factory
(Image credit: Andrew Woodley/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

The grounds of Gibson's former factory in Kalamazoo, Michigan are set to become the site of a new Hard Rock Hotel.

Developed in partnership with PlazaCorp Realty Advisors and Dora Hotel Company, the hotel will be part of the Reverb by Hard Rock brand, and will involve the redevelopment of the 103-year-old building structure in the 225 Parsons Street complex.

Heritage Guitars' factory – which is also located at the 225 Parsons Street site – will not be affected by the hotel's development.

Gibson operated out of the complex from 1917 to 1984, before relocating to its current facility in Nashville, Tennessee.

In the interest of retaining certain key elements of the Gibson site, Hard Rock says it will keep “a keen eye on maintaining the historic parts of the property”. As an example, a “signing room” in which artists once inked contracts with Gibson will be preserved.

Other features of the hotel will include “smart rooms”, an “intimate auditorium” and a “museum”, as well as “programming highlighting local music, food and entertainment”.

Says Andy Wenzel, Executive VP of PlazaCorp Realty Advisors, “PlazaCorp has a long history of redeveloping historic places and creating reimagined spaces and this project does just that. 

“Our partnership with Hard Rock connects the deep music history of this site with their appreciation of exciting and creative spaces, historic music events and artifacts.”

He continues, “This transformational project provides new jobs and investment in the neighborhood and is made possible by our local, state and federal development partnerships contributing incentive support.”

Sam Roche

Sam is a Staff Writer at Guitar World, also creating content for Total Guitar, Guitarist and Guitar Player. He has well over 15 years of guitar playing under his belt, as well as a degree in Music Technology (Mixing and Mastering). He's a metalhead through and through, but has a thorough appreciation for all genres of music. In his spare time, Sam creates point-of-view guitar lesson videos on YouTube under the name Sightline Guitar.