How Wild owner Craig Leipold rolls
The Minnesota Wild, at 23-20-3, may be near the cellar of the Northwest Division, but their owner Craig Leipold remains in the penthouse. Literally.
Leipold, who owned the Nashville Predators for a decade before finalizing his $260 million deal for the team last spring, is a Racine, Wisc. native who still holds permanent residence there at his 18,000-square foot mansion with his wife and five sons. Of course mom, Mrs. Helen Johnson-Leopold -- she of the #190 ranking on the Forbes 400 list of richest Americans -- probably isn't washboarding the boys' snow-smudged jeans as I type this. Yet her hubby is no monetary slouch himself, having earned his own fortune first via the telemarketing industry before succeeding in the rainwear business.
But when Leipold isn't behind the 12 x 5 slab of Berlin Wall artifact (really) that graces the entrance to his Wisconsin estate, he's instead housed atop the historic brick makeup of the Saint Paul Hotel. Last year, Leipold signed a 10-year, exclusive lease to reside in the 2,400-square foot penthouse of the perennial 4-Diamond destination.
From about 1910-1990, the penthouse space was employed for a myriad of purposes, including: storage, television news broadcast, and as digs for the hotel manager. In 1990, the
environs became exclusive corporate property, with a grasp so tight on the space that it's said former President Clinton was unable to reserve lodgings (opting instead for the Ordway Suite).
In 2006, the hotel regained control of the space and began renting it out to the public for $5,000 a night. That was until Leipold's arrival.
Let us take a brief tour, shall we:
The spacious, 14th floor penthouse offers both an expansive view of the Mississippi and a unique vantage of downtown St. Paul. Inside, there can be found two bedrooms, two-and-a-half bathrooms, full kitchen, living room with fireplace, a spacious dining room and an impressive foyer. The kitchen offers a private service stairway, just as the guest is afforded a private elevator.
For a fine visual tour via a WCCO television piece on the penthouse, please click here.
The hotel's location makes for an easy stroll for the Wild boss to see his charges skate; just about 5 blocks away from the X, or almost exactly double what the Wild, at 2.48 -- ranked 27th in the NHL -- average in scoring as their substandard season meets the All-Star break.
Leipold has a rep for being an intense/intelligent hockey fan, along with being a cool guy. That noted, perhaps he'll find little static in lining up now-embattled Wild GM Doug Risbrough with a bellman's gig should the club fail to reach the playoffs this year.
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