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New Peregrine Hotel opens to guests, a feathered friend and a new market

New Peregrine Hotel opens to guests, a feathered friend and a new market

A seven-story landmark in downtown Omaha is about to re-launch in its new skin as the Peregrine Hotel.

The Peregrine Hotel is set to open for business Tuesday in downtown Omaha. And its managers are preparing for a slice of business they hadn’t imagined when the nearly $15 million rehab project launched a few years back.

Among guests planning stays at the historic structure at 203 S. 18th St. are "pop-up wedding" and elopement parties. That market segment was not so prominent before COVID-19 started restricting bigger gatherings, said David Scott, director of marketing and sales.

On a day this July, for example, the Peregrine will host eight back-to-back small weddings coordinated by Tiny Luxe Weddings, a wedding planning company started recently by two Omahans.

“They're creating the magic,” Scott said of the Tiny Luxe entrepreneurs. “We’re just the host.”

He expects small wedding parties to continue to be a market force as many people have come to appreciate more intimate, less-fuss, destination-type settings. 

The Peregrine Hotel stands out for other reasons as well. Take its mascot — a rescued peregrine falcon named Aero, who lives at Fontenelle Forest but will visit the hotel from time to time for educational and social purposes.

Aero will be at the hotel for a photo shoot this week related to the tiny weddings.

The Peregrine takes its name from live falcons that nest atop a neighboring office tower. Various features and creative touches within the hotel pay homage to the bird, including falcon figurines in bedrooms and nests that greet guests getting off the elevator of every floor.

The lobby restaurant called the Habitat will open to the public this week, too. At first it will be available publicly for dinner only; breakfasts and lunches are to be added later.

Conversion of the historic Saunders Kennedy building into the 89-room high-end Hilton Curio brand was announced about five years ago by owner ViaNova Development of Chattanooga, Tennessee. Various issues, including the pandemic, delayed the opening, said Scott.

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Reporter - Money

Cindy covers housing, commercial real estate development and more for The World-Herald. Follow her on Twitter @cgonzalez_owh. Phone: 402-444-1224.

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