Sunday, November 23, 2008
Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz was in Rochester, Minnesota last week. The 84-year-old Saudi Arabian monarch was in town, visiting the renowned Mayo Clinic for medical reasons and bringing with him hundreds of staff and relatives. His entourage managed to spend $1.5 million in the short time they were there, cleaning out clothing stores and drinking vintage wines. Five U-Haul trucks were needed to transport their purchases, and two Boeing 747 planes were needed to take them the rest of the way back home.
While in Rochester, King Abdullah stayed at the International Hotel, billed as the only world-class accommodation in the city and located at the top of the Kahler Grand Hotel. Suites at the hotel start at $900 and go all the way up to $3000. Helpfully, the hotel is also connected directly to the Mayo Clinic.
On the free spending ways of the Saudis, the manager of Macy's at the Apache Mall said simply, "It's been good for our store and good for our community here — they spend money." But the Saudi royal family has demanding tastes even checking the silverware at restaurant before deciding to dine there.
Saudi King Rochester Photos
King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz
King Abdullah's Lodgings: International Hotel