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Women’s hockey tournament expected to continue 2021 economic boost for Minot

Published: Mar. 16, 2021 at 5:23 PM CDT
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MINOT, N.D. – After more than a year of having to go without events, the hospitality industry has seen an increase in activity during the month of March.

Tourism is expected to increase as the state gets a handle on the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hotels like the Staybridge Suites said they are seeing more guests as larger events make their way into the area for the first time since 2019.

Hotel management said they were packed for the first time since COVID thanks to events like the KMOT Ag Expo and the Class B Girls State Basketball tournament.

“There were many nights where we were sold out, and I know that there are lots of other hotels in the community that were sold out as well. And that’s a great sign, it really feels good that people are up and travelling again,” said Phyllis Burckhard, Staybridge Suites director of sales.

This past weekend, Visit Minot reports that hotels reached 80% occupancy out of more than 2,500 rooms. Tourism industry leaders say more events are in the works as the state continues with vaccinations and COVID restrictions continue to loosen.

“People are just kind of getting started in the planning of it because of course we didn’t know can we do this are we going to do this and now people are starting to have that confidence that says ‘You know what, 2021 is the year, let’s make it happen,’” said Stephanie Schoenrock, Visit Minot Executive Director.

Maysa Arena will play host to some of the best college hockey teams in the country in April, as the ACHA Women’s Div. I National Championship rolls into town. Visit Minot partnered with the Minot Park District and Minot State University to draw the event.

Organizers said they were looking to downsize due to COVID and were welcomed into the community.

“It was an opportunity for us to kind of go away form the norm with multiple divisions at one location and now we can go to perhaps a smaller city, a smaller venue. We all know what a great hockey community Minot is,” said Craig Barnett, ACHA executive director.

Bringing a much-needed revenue boost for the local hospitality industry and the community.

Barnett said he and his team are working with local healthcare leaders to develop a COVID-19 mitigation plan for the tournament.

We’ll have more information on the tournament including ticket information as it develops.

The ACHA Women’s Div. I National Championship tournament is April 15-20.

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