Another new hotel opened in Minot on Aug. 7, but not in the hotel boom area of south Minot. This one broke new ground in north Minot.
The 86-room Hampton Inn & Suites opened on North Hill to serve any type of guest stay, but the hotel particularly caters to the needs of the business traveler.
The Hampton is part of the Hilton hotel line and Hilton's Honors, the nation's largest hotel rewards program.
Jill Schramm/MDN • Amanda Shappell is general manager of Minot’s new Hampton Inn & Suites, built overlooking the city on North Hill.
Jill Schramm/MDN • A king suite room in the Hampton Inn & Suites features a large desk, mounted flat-screen TV and king-sized bed, on which sits a portable lap-desk. The room also includes a couch and private bath facilities.
Jill Schramm/MDN • A gathering area inside Hampton Inn & Suites is a popular place for guests to interact or work. The doors at the back open into a breakfast serving area.
The Hampton is Minot's first Hilton hotel, joining Hamptons in Bismarck, Fargo, Grand Forks and Dickinson. Williston's new Hampton also opened Aug. 7.
Located on North Broadway between Minot State University and the airport, the Minot hotel is locally owned by Minot Hotel Partners. Joel Feist is the corporation's managing member.
"It's by far one of the fastest growing brands in the hotel market," said local Hampton general manager Amanda Shappell. Shappell, a Tioga native, has worked in Minot's hospitality industry for the past 13 years, having previously managed two different local hotels.
Astoria Hotel to be completed next month
The Astoria Hotel & Suites in Minot is expected to be completed at the end of September, company officials say.
The 102-room hotel, being built at 3500 S. Broadway, is among a number of new hotels in Minot.
The Minot hotel also is one of three Astoria hotels recently opened or being built in western North Dakota and eastern Montana.
The Minot Astoria Hotel will have all the amenities including indoor pool and Jacuzzi, business center, guest laundry and exercise room. A free breakfast buffet will be available for patrons.
The Astoria Hotel & Event Center in Dickinson is currently opened at full capacity, with a remaining building consisting of about 80 more luxurious rooms and extended-stay suites, a restaurant/lounge and event center to be completed shortly, according to a news release.
In Glendive, Mont., the Astoria Hotel & Suites, an 89-room facility, is nearing completion. A business community reception and a community open house are planned there for early September.
Hampton's biggest expansion market recently has been Europe and Asia, said Dan Fay, president of Commonwealth Hotels, a hotel management company based in Kentucky. The company has been assisting local management at the Hampton.
Fay said guest surveys by J.D. Power put Hampton hotels consistently in the top spot for best overall experience. The Minot hotel incorporates all the particulars of the brand that have helped earn the high ratings.
The four-story hotel includes a pool and hot tub, with equipment to aid people with disabilities. The pool room's large windows overlook the city.
The on-the-house breakfast includes a changing menu of cold and warm foods each day, prepared by staff in the hotel's state-of-the-art kitchen. The hotel offers a business center, guest laundry, shuttle van and fitness center featuring exercise equipment with individual television screens. A "suite shop" offers an a variety of snack foods.
Each guest room provides WiFi, cable Internet access and computer hookups to the flat-screen televisions. The breakfast area closes off to leave the dining area as a popular gathering spot for guests to hold meetings, work on their computers or just interact.
"They have probably done a better job than any other brand in keeping up with the technology," Fay said of Hampton. The hotel's wireless capacity is designed to support multiple users and multiple devices without coming close to slowing speed, he said.
Fay said Minot guests also comment on the contemporary feel of the new hotel, which carries shades of brown, rust, and yellow throughout. Artwork has a North Dakota look.
"One of the wonderful things that Hampton does is they like to bring a local feel to all their hotels. That's very representative in the artwork," Shappell said.
Guests also can enjoy the view that is out their windows.
"We are nestled in an absolutely beautiful location overlooking the city," Shappell said. Sitting atop North Hill, the hotel overlooks the cityscape on one side and the outdoors on the other. Deer, turkey, rabbits and pheasants have been spotted outside the hotel, Shappell said.
"It's definitely exciting being the new product on the north end of town," Shappell said. "The response has been great. A lot of people are really excited to see us here."
Although the hotel was getting calls for rooms before it even opened, booking dates still are available, she said. The hotel reports vacancies to the Minot Convention & Visitors Bureau, which offers a tracking service to keep prospective visitors updated on room availability.