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New hotel for Moorhead, Fargodome expansion teased at 'State of the Cities' event

When it comes to the North Dakota side of the Red River, Fargo Mayor Tim Mahoney said major changes are in the works for the Fargodome.

Five people are seated in front of logos for the cities of West Fargo, Horace, Fargo, Moorhead and Dilworth on a stage in a crowded, darkly lit room.
Starting second from left, West Fargo Mayor Bernie Dardis, Horace Mayor Kory Peterson, Fargo Mayor Tim Mahoney, Moorhead Mayor Shelly Carlson and Dilworth Mayor Chad Olson participate in a joint discussion hosted by Shannon Full, far left, and Tony Grindberg, far right, during the Chamber's annual State of the Cities on Thursday, Jan. 19, 2023, at the Delta Hotels by Marriot in Fargo.
David Samson / The Forum
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FARGO — The mayors of Fargo, Moorhead, West Fargo, Dilworth and Horace gave their takes on the state of their respective communities during a "State of the Cities" event held Thursday, Jan. 19, in Fargo hosted by the Fargo Moorhead West Fargo Chamber of Commerce.

Horace Mayor Kory Peterson said one of the good things that happened in his community this past year was the arrival of a new Dairy Queen, and one of the major things happening in 2023 will be the reconstruction of Wall Avenue in Horace.

"That road is in dire need of an upgrade, and that's going to happen this summer," Peterson said.

Moorhead Mayor Shelly Carlson outlined major plans for that city that include a large-scale redevelopment of the area currently occupied by the Moorhead Center Mall in downtown Moorhead .

A screen reads State of the Cities in the foreground of a bustling banquet hall.
Attendees gather for the Chamber's annual State of the Cities on Thursday, Jan. 19, 2023, at the Delta Hotels by Marriot in Fargo.
David Samson / The Forum

Saying it was "go time" for Moorhead in regards to that work and other upcoming projects, Carlson also noted developer Kevin Bartram recently informed her he was purchasing part of the building that houses a U.S. Bank branch in downtown Moorhead with an eye toward transforming part of the structure into a hotel.

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Contacted later Thursday, Bartram confirmed he had purchased floors 2-7 in the building, though he stressed that U.S. Bank stilled owned the basement and first floor.

Bartram said his plan is to establish a boutique hotel on the upper floors of the structure that was originally constructed as a hotel and which at one time was home to the Treetop Restaurant and Lounge. Bartram said if plans for a hotel do not happen, the upper floors of the building will most likely be turned into multi-family housing.

At the state of the cities event, Fargo Mayor Tim Mahoney talked about the future of the Fargodome, which recently celebrated 30 years as a venue.

Mahoney said that after three decades of operation, the Fargodome is in need of remodeling and expansion. He said more information would be released in the coming weeks regarding how the Fargdome will change and how that change will be paid for, though he noted a conference center will be part of the discussion.

"This will bolster the Fargodome and prepare it for the next 30 years and beyond," Mahoney said.

Dilworth Mayor Chad Olson said "there's been a lot of positive progress in the city of Dilworth." He highlighted the ongoing success of the Rail District , a business complex that opened in Dilworth in 2021.

"I get to brag about what other people are doing," Olson said.

West Fargo Mayor Bernie Dardis talked about that city's success in working with other entities, including Cass County and the city of Fargo.

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He also touched on the accomplishments and challenges experienced by West Fargo Public Schools, which continue to see strong enrollment growth.

Because of that growth, Dardis said, the school district will soon need a fourth high school.

"It's a dynamic part of our community, and we're very proud of that," he said of the school district.

I'm a reporter and a photographer and sometimes I create videos to go with my stories.

I graduated from Minnesota State University Moorhead and in my time with The Forum I have covered a number of beats, from cops and courts to business and education.

I've also written about UFOs, ghosts, dinosaur bones and the planet Pluto.

You may reach me by phone at 701-241-5555, or by email at dolson@forumcomm.com
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