The Cleveland Hostel welcomes guests from around the world to Ohio City neighborhood
by Chuck Hoven
(Plain Press, October 2012) The Cleveland Modern American Hostel, 2090 W. 25th Street held a grand opening ceremony on September 12th. Mark Raymond, the owner and manager of Cleveland Hostel, showed visitors around the hostel which features a number of amenities including a roof top patio, shared kitchen facilities for travelers, free wi-fi, and bicycle storage.
Raymond, who lives in the hostel, says he traveled quite a bit, often by himself, staying in hostels along the way. At the hostels, he was able to hook-up with people and talk about places where they have been and learn about places to visit. Now, as the proprietor of the Cleveland Modern American Hostel, Raymond says, “I’m happy we are open and welcoming guests from all over the world to Ohio City and Cleveland. I enjoy showing them around and answering their questions.”
Raymond says visitors often ask about where to go in Cleveland, and he points out various locations on a map. The West Side Market is a favorite destination and when visitors ask if they can walk there, he can tell them it is just up the street.
The hostel, on West 25th Street just a block South of the West Side Market, has already attracted visitors from many different countries since it opened its doors on August 18th. Raymond says guests have visited from Brazil, North Africa, Japan, Taiwan, United Arab Emirates, Sweden, German and from around the United States.
In creating the hostel, Raymond leased the space from the Maron Family who owns the building. He then, with financial assistance from his family, began a roughly $600,000 conversion of the space into a 15 room hostel which can accommodate up to 60 guests at a time. Raymond says, in addition to financing from his family, he participated in the City of Cleveland Storefront renovation program and received a grant from Cleveland Colectivo. Raymond says he also received a donation of bunk beds and furniture from the Stanford House Hostel that used to operate in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.
According to hostel’s website, TheClevelandHostel.com, accommodations in the hostel start at $25 a night. Raymond says there are some private rooms with queen size beds and their own bathrooms. Other rooms are dorm style with bunk beds. In some of those rooms, there are private bathrooms and in others, the bathrooms are shared. Clean sheets and towels are also provided. The hostel has heat, air conditioning, a laundry room and various common areas.
Raymond says people arrive at the hostel by various means. There is a mix of people arriving by train, plane, bus and bicycle. About half the guests come by car. One guest flew in from Dayton in a private plane. Several cross country bicycle riders have stayed at the hostel — one traveling from Minneapolis and another on a trip from Seattle to Boston.
In the future, Raymond hopes to have bike rentals for guests to help them get around town.