Last week Essex County received a visit from a rock ‘n roll icon. KISS rocker Gene Simmons was in the area and made visits to some area agricultural facilities and popped in to check out a couple local businesses. One of those stops was at Kingsville’s Grove Hotel, where Simmons stayed for the day.
General Manager Jennifer Flynn was a bit shocked when she saw the iconic musician walk in.
“There was a little bit of shock when he came in,” she said. “We knew that it was somebody important but weren’t sure who it was, to be honest. I’m in the age bracket to know what KISS means to people, but some of the younger group that work at the hotel kinda looked like deer in headlights. He even joked with them saying “You have no idea who I am do you”.
Simmons rarely makes random trips to small towns without a purpose. The rocker has a keen interest in the marijuana industry, where he serves as Chief Evangelist Officer for BC grower Invictus. He made a stop at Double Diamond, a local greenhouse grower who recently entered into a partnership to grow cannabis for Leamington-based Aphria Inc.
While at The Grove, Flynn says Simmons was quite engaging with everyone.
“I had a very lengthy conversation with him and he engaged with most of the people either working at the hotel or in the area,” she added. “Obviously word got around that he was there, so there were various people milling around trying to get a glimpse of him.”
Simmons is one of the more famous people to visit The Grove. Recently, the hotel has had visits from Colin Mochrie and Kevin McDonald. Coincidentally, celebrity chef Roger Mooking was also staying at the hotel at the same time as Simmons.
“Roger was in the area as well so we were expecting him,” she said of the Chopped Canada and Man Fire Food TV star. “He was excited when he heard that Gene was there to so it’s kind of cute. We were going to get a picture with Roger and when he found out Gene was staying here as well, he had to get a picture with him as well. So he was equally impressed that he was here.”
Visit The Grove Hotel online for more about them.