Posted 12/05/12 (Wed)
By Kate Ruggles
Farmer Staff Writer
Two new hotels, located on the south edge of Watford City on U.S. Highway 85, that will feature 192 rooms will be the newest addition to a 50-acre development project that will also include a large grocery store, Alco, family-style restaurants, gas stations, convenience stores, and a McDonald’s and a Subway restaurant.
The land has been owned by Carmen Wold for over 40 years, and his nephew, Kirk Wold, had the vision of wanting to expand on the commercial development of Watford City to bring in some much needed services and amenities.
“We are building two hotels in Watford City,” states Brett Erdmann, one of the investors in the project. “One hotel, the Little Missouri Inn & Suites, is for short-term stays and the other, the Teddy’s Residential Suites, is designed for extended stays.”
Erdmann is the president of New Leaf Hospitality, Inc. and will be managing and operating the hotels. Erdmann, originally from Williston and his wife, Trisha, also a North Dakota native, became interested in the Watford City area about a year ago.
“I drove past Wold’s land when it was being prepped for development and began to inquire. I found out it was owned by Carmen and Kirk. I approached them with an idea for the two hotels and they were very interested,” states Erdmann.
Together, along with another partner, Tammy Wilson, they developed the concept for the hotels and the complex that will eventually surround them.
The two hotels will be similar in amenities, but will differ in accommodations, as they each target a slightly different clientele.
According to Erdmann, the Little Missouri Inn & Suites is a typical hotel designed to suit those looking for a one- to four-day stay in the area, while the Teddy’s Residential Suites is an extended-stay hotel for people desiring a place to stay for five nights or longer.
They will both have a state-of-the-art fitness center, a business center complete with Wi-Fi and oil worker locker rooms.
The Little Missouri will be three stories and have 89 rooms that include a microwave, refrigerator, a 42-inch flat-screen TV and coffee maker. It will have a large indoor pool, Jacuzzi and will offer a free breakfast.
The Teddy’s Residential Suites will be four stories and will have 103 rooms that, according to Erdmann, will mirror mini apartments.
“They will have a studio apartment look and feel. The rooms will be spacious with a kitchen area that includes an electric glass cook-top stove, convection microwave, full-size refrigerator, sink, cabinets and drawers fully stocked with all the kitchen utensils and equipment,” Erdmann states. “There will be both one- and two-bedroom suites in this hotel.”
The Teddy’s will also have a large conference room giving them the capacity to seat up to 200 people, two board rooms for smaller meetings, a lounge with a comfortable indoor atmosphere and an outdoor patio as well as a large Jacuzzi room.
Erdmann states that the hotels are not part of a franchise but were instead named for the area. They are, however, designed to be able to be converted to a franchise if need be.
“We didn’t want a franchise to start out with. We named the hotels for the area and with the area in mind,” states Erdmann. “They were named the Little Missouri and the Teddy’s for the Theodore Roosevelt Park and the Little Missouri River and Little Missouri Grasslands. And, just like there is a North and a South Unit to the Theodore Roosevelt National Park, we hope to someday be able to build a South Unit hotel complex near Belfield.”
Erdmann states that in addition to their North Unit hotel development, there is a 10,500 sq. ft. building complex being constructed nearby, and Subway has already committed to 2,500 sq. ft. of that complex. In addition, a 24-hour restaurant called Q’s Kitchen Family Restaurant has committed to a portion of the space along with Maverik Convenience Store.
“Maverik is an upper-end convenience store whose niche is home-baked goods,” states Erdmann. “There will be a gas station with Maverik, as well as a bakery that sells rolls and donuts.”
According to Wold, there is more land available for development, if anyone is looking to develop.
“We are working on filling the other lots around the hotels and Subway building. We are looking at professional office spaces for medical and dental professionals, an attorney or a chiropractor,” states Wold. “There are lots of possible future plans. We are trying to solve the needs of the community and create a community complex and commerce center.”
Wold states that he has discussed his plans with Watford City Mayor Brent Sanford and City Planner Curt Moen, because he views what he is doing south of town as an extension of Watford City’s Main Street.
“The City Council, Planning Commission and Planning Department realize retail development will occur as the population expands. With the lack of parking and open space on Main Street now, the areas extending north and south of town on Main Street seem to be potential growth areas for the Main Street corridor,” states Sanford.
Wold states that he will be responsible for putting in the roads, water, sewer, electric, curbs and gutters for the development.
The Little Missouri is slated to open in mid-May, while Teddy’s will open at the end of June if everything goes according to plan.
When the hotels open, they will be looking to hire 15 front desk employees, three managers, 15-20 housekeepers and a dedicated staff for the conference centers and lounge area.