At $365 a night and up, rooms at the Grand Hotel on this northern Michigan resort island offer lots of luxury and a strong dose of history, but not necessarily cool air.
That's set to change May 3rd, when the 120-year-old hotel opens for the season on the island where motor vehicles still are banned.
For the first time, all 385 rooms will be air conditioned.
Public spaces and newer rooms have had air conditioning for years, but operators couldn't figure out how to cool 170 lakefront rooms on the hotel's famed front while preserving the classic architecture.
The solution came from hotel heating and cooling Chief Andrew McGreevy.
Cooling power for the air conditioners will come from newly installed water heat exchangers in the bathrooms, McGreevy said. "We're firing them up right now," he said on Friday.
The exchangers cool the air by contact with the cold water system, McGreevy said. He said the heated water contributes to the hotel's hot water system.
"Years ago, people came here because of the coolness in summer," Hotel President Dan Musser told the Detroit Free Press. "But I think the summers have been getting warmer, whether it is global warming or not."