Fresh, new hotels aim to please
The big log cabin at 1767 44th St. S. in Fargo is a new 83-room Best Western Kelly Inn & Suites hotel.
Just a block east, Bismarck-based Coulter Lodging Inc. has opened a new four-story, 75-room Expressway Suites hotel.
Both offer a variety of amenities for family and business travelers.
Using a woodsy, outdoor theme - log rocking chairs and staircases, mega-stuffed leather chairs and couches, and rock fireplaces - the Kelly Inn employs about 20 full- and part-time workers, said Lisa Amann, general manager.
Expressway Suites has a staff of 30 full- and part-time employees, said Dave Isaak, general manager and co-owner.
Both hotels have large multipurpose conference rooms for business and banquet use, small-group business centers, swimming/water play areas, exercise rooms, continental breakfasts and high-speed wireless Internet.
All Kelly Inn guest rooms, 18 of them suites, are furbished in cowboy, moose, elk and bear-themed decor, said Amann, who has worked for 22 years with Sioux Falls, S.D.-based Kelly Inns Ltd.
There are 17 types of rooms, 23 of which contain whirlpools, fireplaces and wet bars, she said.
In addition to large rooms, the Expressway Inn offers upgraded suites, some with hot tubs and others containing two rooms, said Isaak, who has been with the company since 1991.
Amann was previously manager of the Best Western Kelly Inn at 3800 Main Ave. in Fargo for seven years. Before that, she managed the Kelly Inn at 4207 13th Ave. S. for three years.
There are about 4,000 hotel rooms available in Fargo-Moorhead, said Cole Carley, president of the Fargo Moorhead Convention and Visitor's Bureau.
"Business is very good right now," he said, with average daily occupancy rates trending upward.
Hotels that have opened this year are owned by people who either have, or have had hotel property in Fargo-Moorhead, he said.
Recent expansion has not been based on speculation, Carley said. "There's a lot of faith in the market by people who are already in the hotel business in Fargo-Moorhead."
Readers can reach Forum Business Editor Craig McEwen at (701) 241-5502