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Journey Through Time: Pier B’s Historic Past

At Pier B Resort Hotel, we are so proud to be resting on a piece of extensive history. Everywhere you turn, you’re met with reminders of our old shipping town, still equipped and maintaining its reputation in the shipping industry today – allowing you to watch ships pass by from the comfort of our rooms, Harbor lawn, and Silos Restaurant.

Let’s take a journey back through time to where Pier B originated.

Around 1883, due to the mining and timber industries on the Iron Range booming, the construction of a train trestle began to connect Rice’s Point (west) to Canal Park (east). This trestle formed what is now the location of Duluth’s developed waterfront.

To facilitate the storage of limestone transported by steamer, the 7.4 acres that our resort now resides on was developed as “Pier B”. By 1892, at least 10 piers were constructed along the harbor to support the growing industries. These piers are now the location of the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center, Great Lakes Aquarium, and Bayfront Festival Park!

In 1920 four 100-foot-tall adjoined silos were constructed on Pier B to store powdered cement, a key ingredient in making concrete. Once an essential component to the successful pier, these silos are still resting on our property today!

Acting as a giant vacuum cleaner, the silos suck the powdered cement from ships. Attached to the side of the silos was a “Bag House”, a facility which distributed the powdered cement into bags for transportation.

Pier B was utilized for various operations including the loading of trains and trucks for bulk distribution until 2008. At this time, operations moved to an alternative site and the once bustling pier was left quiet.

As the years passed, local developers Alessandro Guiliani and Sanford Hoff recognized the tremendous development potential of the site. They saw the opportunity to restore an incredible landmark of Duluth’s history, contribute positively to the environment by cleaning and restoring the land affected by the shipping industry for over 100 years, and bring people from near and far together to enjoy the beauty of Lake Superior in the form of a Resort Hotel. And with that Pier B Resort Hotel, along with the adjoining Silos Restaurant, were born. The getaway destination later opened in summer of 2016!

And since then we have continued to grow and make our own history. We have added a Sport Court onto our property, hold concerts, events, and celebrations throughout the year, and are constantly adding unique amenities to offer our guests and give them a memorable stay!

We invite you to come make memories amidst some of Duluth’s greatest history! Visit to learn more, see our packages, and book a stay.

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