Friday, May 26, 2006

Canad Inns to build in Bismarck?

Canad Inns, the Winnipeg-based hotel chain that is currently building a $50 million dollar, 200 room, 13-story hotel and waterpark complex adjacent to Grand Forks' Alerus Center, is now proposing to build a $50 million dollar, 260 room, 16-story hotel and waterpark complex adjacent to Bismarck's Civic Center. Canad Inn's interest in the Bismarck market was first mentioned on Grand Forks Life in early February of this year...check out that post here.

I must say I'm a tad surprised to see Canad Inns proposing to build a project in Bismarck that is so similar (actually...even bigger) to what is currently under construction in Grand Forks. I thought our "destination center" was going to be such a unique thing for a city in a state like North Dakota? I thought that people would come from across the state to visit our waterpark because there would be nothing else like it anywhere else in the state? That is pretty much what Canad Inns said in the past when they were proposing the Grand Forks complex, but now they turn around and propose basically the same project in Bismarck. Hmmm.

Why such a big project connected to a facility like the Bismarck Civic Center? It is smaller than the Alerus Center or Fargodome and gets far fewer events. It is also much older than a facility like the Alerus Center and doesn't have the same level of familiarity or popularity throughout the state and region like the Alerus, Engelstad, or the Fargodome do.

When I think of the long road it took for Canad Inns to actually start construction in Grand Forks, I think I'll believe this project when I see it.

Bismarck Tribune articles about the proposal:
Canadian hotel pitches Civic Center plan
Canad outlines hotel's features


Dave Miller said...

Grand Forks is special, but come on! Candad is a business, if they feel that putting up another hotel in Bismark will be good for their business than what's the big deal?

Oh, I see, it's about size... :-)

JGS said...

Yea, size, 16-story hotel going next to a rundown pile of crap. If Bismarck was smart, they would have built a new stadium like the Alerus, REA, Fargodome years ago. Now they are proposing to build a beautiful 16-story hotel next to that thing? What a joke on Canad Inns part. Build it in Fargo instead, better yet, just keep the Grand Forks hotel the only one in the state!

Anonymous said...

Isn't Bismarck planning to upgrade their civic center as their part of the bargain?
Also, doesn't Canad have a plan for a second tower at the Alerus?
To me, it is much better for Bismarck to get this type development, rather than Fargo. Bismarck's development will really only impact convention business, not Canadian traffic. If Fargo had a Canad Inns type development, that would definitely impact GF.

Just be thankful Canad chose GF rather than Fargo.

GrandForksGuy said...

Anonymous, you are right. It is much better to have a Canad Inn in Bismarck than one in Fargo. One of the Tribune articles did mention that there are several other Canad Inns in development. I'm curious if they are planning a Fargo hotel in the future.

By the way, for some reason I can't seem to edit my post, but I should make a brief correction. I intended to link to my February story about the possibility of a Canad Inn in Bismarck, but I put up a link to a Herald article instead. The link I intended to include is this one. Sorry for the confusion.

Peder Rice said...

I will mention that the Civic Center was remodeled just a few years ago, and it does look great now. A new foyer and food court have added a lot to the place. And so, Bismarck needn't build a new facility anytime soon. In fact, I hope they don't build one, because it'll likely just lose money (Alerus Center ring a bell?).

But beyond just the Civic Center, one can see that Bismarck has grown a LOT the past thirty years.

And it continues to grow. And the proposed hotel would be located right in the heart of the city. It seems like a sound business move to me. In fact, and not to sound like this is a stab at Grand Forks, but I'm quite surprised it wasn't built in Fargo or Bismarck first. Those two communities are sponge communities of another level, and so I think it a tremendous thing that a Canad Inns is even under construction here.

PartTime said...

I know it was mentioned in the past that Canad Inn along with another hotel (name wasn't mentioned) wanted to build next to the Bismarck Civic Center, so it comes as no surprise to me. What does kind of surprise me though is that they are building it a lot bigger than the one here in forks, 16 story 260 room compared to 13 story 190 room. It was mentioned before that Canad Inn is hoping to attract Canadians coming down from Canada here at the Grand Forks Hotel, but that wouldn't be the case in Bismarck. Needless to say, I was surprised they were building bigger there.

Brent said...

The civic center with its facilities and location between downtown and the mall makes this a far better project than on the Alerus. Just because the Alerus is new does not make it good.

GrandForksGuy said...

No offense Brent, but I just don't see it quite that way. Yes, the Civic Center has been remodeled recently and yes the location is in a central part of the city, but I still think the Civic Center is a smaller facility than the Alerus, Ralph, or Fargodome and is utilized less and is certainly less recognizable throughout the state/region. The Civic Center location also has very little room for future expansion by Canad or by other businesses looking to set up shop next to the hotel.

The Alerus is actually very centralized in GF. The proximity to UND, the Ralph, south side shopping, the interstate, and the medical park makes this a prime location for a large hotel, in my opinion. Also, the large numbers of Canadian shoppers coming to town makes I-29 in GF perhaps the best location in the entire state for a CanadInn hotel tower.

I'm not saying that the Bismarck location is a bad location. I'm just saying that I think the GF/Alerus location is very hard to beat for this particular company.

Anonymous said...

I just had to comment on this because it keeps comming up while I am searching for updates on the Bismarck Canadinn. The Alerus Center and Fargodome get far more events???? Civic Center that I know has almost no dates that it is not being used, this month there are 8 days that don't have something scheduled to your precious Alerus center's 20 open days, and the big events at both are the same lame Larry the Cable Guy shows.

Granted, The Civic Center is old and does not hold the huge concents that Fargodome or Alerus Center has but when I last checked those facilities arent exactly having huge concerts all the time, Alerus has only had 4 major concerts in the past 2 years.

What I think Canadinn is looking a is the Civic Center's Exhibit Hall that holds more national and statewide Conventions (like ND Fire School, Long Term Care, Energy Generation Conference.. etc) and it is those types of events that get people to stay in Hotels, not the Black Eyed Peas, gretchen Wilson etc., those events pull mostly from the locals and see a small bump in hotel business, where large conventions can fill every hotel room in the city and many more of those work in Bismarck rather than GF.