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Bismarck Sees Lodging Mini-Boom | 11/01/2011
The oil boom in western North Dakota is being felt here in the Bismarck area. Jim Christianson tells us about the impact on the hospitality business in this week`s Inside Business feature.
The continued economic growth in western North Dakota is spurring a mini-boom in Bismarck lodging, with three new hotels under construction in north Bismarck and more in the planning stages. Along the State Street corridor, we will soon see "welcome" signs for a new Mainstay Suites, a Residence Inn and a Staybridge Suites.
Convention and Visitors Bureau Director Terry Harzinski says that the Bismarck-Mandan lodging market remains healthy, as indicated by the latest occupancy figures through September.
"Occupancy rate for Bismarck-Mandan is up about 3 1/2 percent over last year," said Harzinski. "Occupancy rate overall year-to-date is about 78 1/2 percent for Bismarck-Mandan."
The three new properties will add nearly 10 percent to the total number of hotel rooms in Bismarck-Mandan.
Mainstay Suites, developed by Febco Incorporated, is located on Gateway Avenue on the company`s property that already includes the Comfort Inn, built in 1982, and the Comfort Suites, built in 1997. The 65-room Mainstay Suites is attached to the Comfort Suites, and the two hotels will share a fitness area and water park. The hotel is expected to open by Christmas.
Staybridge Suites, developed by The Koehler Organization of Aberdeen, S.D., is located just west of Gateway Mall. The 97-room property is expected to be complete by June 2012.
Residence Inn, a Tharaldson Hospitality property, is being built on land that was part of the Home Depot site on North 14th Street. The extended-stay 92-room hotel is expected to open in summer 2012.
Harzinski said: "I think it definitely shows that the need is there; obviously, these companies wouldn`t be building more hotel properties if the need wasn`t there. I think it is a good sign for our economy that we`re growing."
Harzinski says that oil development in western North Dakota is spilling over into the Bismarck-Mandan area in the form of meetings and conferences related to the energy industry. And although the oil patch is having an immediate impact, long-term, sustained growth is the real driver behind hotel development in the area.
Bismarck-Mandan currently has about 2,600 hotel rooms, with about 250 more being added by the three new hotels.