Making Minnesota rock, one hotel at a time

How entrepreneur David Musolf is helping hotels increase their ‘cool factor’

Are you into music? Do you travel too much for work? Ever wonder when you'll find the elusive balance between your musical hobbies and your professional life?

When you ask St. Louis Park resident David Musolf those questions, his answers are "yes, yes, and yes." But instead of wishing for more hours in the day, Musolf decided to create a business that would allow him to enjoy playing guitar while traveling for his job as group publisher at Tiger Oak (disclaimer: Tiger Oak is the publisher of Minnesota Business).  

My Hotel Rocks is a concept that's new to the Twin Cities. Founded in the fall of 2013 by Musolf, My Hotel Rocks provides rentable acoustic/electric guitars to hotels. Hotel guests can check out the guitars like library books, and play in their hotel rooms during their stay.

So far, The Depot and the Hilton Garden Inn  both in Minneapolis  have hopped on Musolf's bandwagon and now provide guitars to guests through his company.

"As a business traveler, I always have downtime in my hotel room," Musolf says, noting that he's always been a "traveling salesman" in varying capacities. "Eventually, I got to thinking, ‘How many other people are out there like me, who want to play the guitar while on the road?"

After crunching the numbers, Musolf was pleasantly surprised. He says that about 10 million people come through Minneapolis annually for business trips. Of that number, he figures roughly 7 percent play guitar. If My Hotel Rocks can capture even 1 percent of that number, Musolf has 7,600 guitar-playing travelers to reach in Minneapolis alone.

His company works in two ways: The hotel can rent guitars from My Hotel Rocks (maintenance included) for roughly $20 a month, or, hotel guests can lease guitars directly from Musolf and dollars are reconciled with the hotel after the fact.

"Providing a guitar to guests ultimately ups the hotel's cool factor," Musolf says. Beyond that, Musolf says that My Hotel Rocks enhances the guest experience, provides on-site sales opportunity, and lures in a new customer base.

While the concept is new to Minnesota, it's not entirely novel. Both Hard Rock Hotel and Ace Hotel provide a similar service to their guests, but not through an outside vendor like My Hotel Rocks. And Musolf hopes to continue to grow awareness about his company in the coming year.

"I've been chatting with people in Minneapolis, and there is a lot of interest," Musolf says. "By the end of 2014 or 2015, our goal is to have a number of national brands on board."