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Trade Talk: Second Holiday Inn Express hotel planned in Fargo

FARGO - A second Holiday Inn Express is planned in Fargo, with an opening date expected sometime in September 2014. The hotel will go up at 1751 45th St. S.

Dave Olson

FARGO - A second Holiday Inn Express is planned in Fargo, with an opening date expected sometime in September 2014.

The hotel will go up at 1751 45th St. S. It is slated to have about 110 rooms and a pool, said Steve Foss, the project's architect.

"The pool is set up such that, basically, it is designed for families on the weekend and businesspeople during the week; it has swimming lanes as well as play areas," Foss said.

The project is one of many new hotels launched or announced in the Fargo-Moorhead area in the past year or so, and more are planned.

Even so, there is little danger of overbuilding, said Charley Johnson, president and CEO of the Fargo-Moorhead Convention and Visitors Bureau.

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Johnson said there are about 4,600 hotel rooms in Fargo, Moorhead and West Fargo, and by fall 2014 the number will be close to 5,000.

With the occupancy rate running at about 67 percent for the metro area, there's room for more rooms, Johnson said.

Fargo Planning Director Jim Gilmour agreed.

"They (developers) are looking ahead for when the Sanford facility opens," he said, referring to a Sanford Medical Center planned for the southwest edge of the city.

"In the short term, the number of construction workers it's going to take to put up that facility is going to have an effect on hotel room occupancy," Gilmour added.

Hotel name shifts

On the subject of hotels, the city of West Fargo says a hotel slated to be built near a planned conference center will have a different brand name than originally announced.

The 136-room hotel proposed for the area of 19th Avenue and Ninth Street East will be an Element by Westin hotel instead of Aloft Hotel, according to the city's planning department.

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Nightclub closes

A Fargo nightclub that began life as Mr. G's and was recently known as The Bar has closed its doors at 1150 43½ St. S.

A new enterprise will soon go in at that location, said Warren Ackley, one of the owners of the property, but he declined to reveal specifics.

Mr. G's opened in 2004.

The bar was renamed WOW Radio 94.7 the Bar in 2010.

In 2012, the nightclub underwent another transformation and became known as The Bar.

New JL Beers site

The Fargo City Commission recently OK'd the transfer of a liquor license for JL Beers, which plans to open a second Fargo location by late fall at 32nd Avenue and 42nd Street South.

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The original JL Beers opened in 2009 at 518 1st Ave. N. in downtown Fargo.

Since then, JL Beers has opened in other North Dakota locations in Bismarck, Grand Forks and West Fargo, and in Moorhead and Sioux Falls, S.D.

A franchise location is also planned for the Twin Cities by the end of the year.

Rosy numbers

Economic numbers are looking good for the Fargo-Moorhead Metropolitan Statistical Area, according to data provided by the Greater Fargo Moorhead Economic Development Corp.

The unemployment rate for the area is 3.1 percent. That compares to a national unemployment rate of 7.3 percent (not seasonally adjusted).

North Dakota's unemployment rate was 2.8 percent as of May.

Area housing starts total 855 so far this year, compared to 602 at this time last year, a 42 percent increase.

The Fargo-Moorhead Metropolitan Statistical Area includes Cass County in North Dakota and Clay County in Minnesota.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Dave Olson at (701) 241-5555

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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