New General Manager of Radisson Blu at Mall of America is Down for the Challenge

Aug 12, 2021

The new General Manager of the Radisson Blu Mall of America, Alex Francis, is no stranger to adventure. Born in Alaska and raised in Washington, he spent much of his youth rock climbing and rappelling off cliffs. He has also been bungee jumping, and several years ago he and his wife went sky diving to celebrate their anniversary.

For a man who has seemingly done it all, one adventure has eluded him: rappelling down the side of a building. 

Alex will finally have that chance on Saturday, Sept. 18 during a thrilling Salvation Army fundraiser called Down for the Challenge. The event will allow hundreds of people to rappel down a 14-story building at Mall of America, with proceeds benefitting Salvation Army housing and homelessness-prevention programs.

“I was initially drawn to Down for the Challenge because this is an excellent cause,” said Alex, who started his new job earlier this summer. “I love opportunities to support great causes and stay active.”

A great cause indeed: The Salvation Army helps thousands of Minnesotans who are experiencing homelessness, with 25 shelters and housing facilities operating 365 days a year. In addition, our homelessness-prevention services last year dispersed nearly $4 million worth of rent/mortgage assistance and other services.

Alex is a longtime supporter of many charities and fundraising events.

“There are too many to name,” he said. “It is imperative that more people get involved to raise awareness as well as funds to help with research and family support.”

Alex has more than 20 years of experience in hotel operations and is one of Radisson’s top managers in the country, earning 2020 General Manager of the Year honors for Radisson Hotel Group Americas. 

He is excited to rappel not only to have fun and support The Salvation Army, but to be an example to his three kids. 

“My wife and our three kids are the most important people in my life,” Alex said. “I loved rock climbing in my youth, and I think this rappelling experience will bring back some great memories.”

Are you Down for the Challenge? Be among hundreds of people to rappel down a 14-story building at Mall of America, with chances to win awesome prizes. All proceeds fund local Salvation Army housing and homelessness-prevention programs. Learn more or register at

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