Minot's Grand Hotel uses shuttle to promote downtown businesses amid construction

MINOT, N.D. - A Minot hotel has turned their latest promotion into a way to encourage people to support the city's downtown merchants.

For many of the other downtown Minot merchants, the sound of construction has turned away shoppers.

That's where the Grand Hotel on Minot's north hill comes in.

General Manager Nicole Gebeck joined forces with the faces behind Indak Media to create a series of Facebook live videos promoting businesses across the Magic City.

“We just wanted to think of a fun to bring people downtown in a non-conventional way,” said Eric Thoemke, with Indak Media.

“We create these tv personalities with Joel and Nicole being the hosts, and then kind of make this narrative-based short on each episode,” said Matthew Maldonado, with Indak Media.

Staff members shuttle guests from the hotel to spots. It started as a way to get people to the zoo, but they've branched out all over town.

“As a guest of the Grand Hotel, we will take you anywhere within the Minot city limits, and what better place to focus on than our downtown area?” said Gebeck.

Downtown merchants say they're grateful the Grand has used their promotion to help boost business.

“There's a lot of local folks of course that follow social media, and they see the video series and they can find MainStream Boutique and downtown Minot,” said Pam Karpenko, MainStream Boutique owner.

“The construction's kind of hurting their business. People say the construction... they just want to avoid it in general,” said Joel Matthys, the Grand Hotel operations manager.

Gebeck said the shuttle runs 24-7, so if you're staying at the Grand Hotel and want to head downtown, you can, morning, noon, and night.

You can find the videos on the Grand Hotel Facebook page.

Gebeck said that people who comment and ‘like’ the videos can win prizes.