Fargo's Radisson Hotel being turned into 'upper upscale' Radisson Blu
FARGO - The downtown Fargo Radisson Hotel is in the midst of being remodeled and rebranded as a Radisson Blu “upper upscale” hotel.
The announcement was made in a Facebook post on Monday, July 13.
“Today we begin! We are excited to turn downtown Fargo Blu, and bring the first 4-star hotel to North Dakota!” the post on the Radisson Hotel Fargo page said.
Photos showed off renovations to two rooms and promised the hotel’s 149 remaining rooms will be fitted out to match.
Five-year Renaissance Zone tax breaks for the nearly $6 million project were approved by the Fargo City Commission in October 2019..
The Radisson is part of the portfolio for Fargo-based Brandt Hospitality Group.
Steve Martodam, president and COO of Brandt Hospitality, said Wednesday, July 15, that the interior and exterior changes will make the hotel a regional standout.
"I think the Radisson Blu will become our flagship property. It's something that we look forward to, kind of showcasing who we are and what we do," Martodam said.
It's also important to stay ahead of the competition, which includes a hotel in the downtown Block 9 mid-rise tower that's nearing completion, he said.
"The Radisson performs well. With new product coming to the market, you want to stay fresh and you want to make sure that your product is inviting. And what you'll have with the Radisson Blu is something that feels brand new. And the timing of that, with the Block 9 project., just makes sense," Martodam said. "We're making significant investment in the rooms. It's going to be more of a contemporary European design. The furniture, the fixtures, the bedding package, everything is higher-end than what you would see in a typical mid-scale property."
The work begins in earnest next week, he said.
"We'll start on the demolition of two floors of guest rooms. We'll work one to two floors at a time and the entire project will be completed by December of this year," Martodam said. "I will say there was some discussion, when COVID hit, on whether or not it was a good idea to move forward with this project. But the current crisis doesn't really change our position in investing in our hotels. As we come out of this pandemic, we really just look forward to welcoming visitors to the community with more fresh, upscale rooms and events (spaces)."
Several other Brandt group properties are in Fargo, including Courtyard by Marriott, Holiday Inn, and Holiday Inn Express (both the West Acres and southwest Sanford Medical Center locations). Other Brandt properties include the Holiday Inn & Suites Atlanta Airport North, Home2 Suites by Hilton Sioux Falls (S.D.), and Fairfield Inn & Suites Sioux Falls Airport. There are also several other properties under construction or in development, according to the Brandt website.
Martodam said Brandt Hospitality has new hotels going up in Oregon, Idaho, Colorado, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island.
"Typically, we're a hotel builder and we have a lot of new product in our portfolio. This will render the Radisson building to the level of new product," he said.
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Radisson Blu hotels are typically found in cities such as Copenhagen, Paris and London. In the U.S., there are Radisson Blu hotels in Chicago (opened in 2011), downtown Minneapolis, and at the Mall of America in Bloomington, Minn..
The Radisson was valued at $11,538,000 before the renovations began, according to the Renaissance Zone application for the project.. The $6 million capital investment was calculated to be about $45 per square foot.
Martodam said the Radisson Blu should be well-positioned in the market once the pandemic is past.
"There's maybe some questions around the hospitality business in general given the pandemic. Certainly, that's been challenging for us, but we're starting to see the return of some banquet and events business, which is nice, and leisure demand from youth sports has been pretty strong in the Dakotas, so we've been pretty thankful for that," Martodam said. "We look forward to visitors returning to our communities."