For folks who want to kick off their shoes and stay awhile, the new Candlewood Suites hopes to be their home away from home.
The hotel, which opened Friday, is located near Wal-Mart at 900-37th Ave. SW and fills its four-story structure with 80 suites. It is currently taking reservations locally and can be reached at 858-7700. Candlewood Suites falls under the umbrella of IHG, a national hotel chain that also operates Holiday Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Staybridge Suites and Hotel Indigo, among others.
Joshua Galloway, general manager, said all the suites are set up for an extended stay, although guests can choose to stay only a night or two if they wish. Although guests can spend just one night, Galloway said the tiered pricing structure of Candlewood Suites makes the nightly charge cheaper the longer you stay.
"So if they stay seven nights, their nightly rate will be less than if they stayed just one night," he said.
In addition to a tiered pricing structure, the rooms themselves are set up a little differently than a typical hotel room to make a longer stay more pleasant.
"Each room is gonna have a fully-equipped kitchen in them," Galloway said. "It's gonna be the first one in Minot to have that, so we're very, very excited about that."
The fully-equipped kitchen includes a stove, microwave and full-size refrigerator, not the dorm-style refrigerator found in many hotel rooms. The amenities don't stop there, as a free laundry service is available 24 hours a day, as is a fitness center.
Galloway noted the fitness center has equipment sponsored by Lance Armstrong's LIVESTRONG charitable organization, which has given Candlewood Suites the opportunity to help in the fight against cancer.
"A portion of the proceeds from purchasing that equipment goes to cancer research," he said. "We're very, very excited about that."
While there isn't a pool, guests will have free access to the Candlewood Gazebo, which has two gas grills that can be used free of charge to cook some barbecue 24 hours a day. There will also be a business center with two work stations that includes free Internet access and printer use. In addition, there is also free wired and wireless Internet access in every room.
The hotel even has the Candlewood Cupboard, a small convenience store for weary travellers who'd rather not go out and about just to pick up a needed item or two.
"Think of it as, I guess, a little mini-convenience store where guests can purchase items ranging from breakfast to lunch to dinner to aspirin to whatever they need," Galloway said. "So if they can't get out to Wal-Mart they can come in there and pretty much everything is in there."
There will be three types of rooms among the 80 suites, ranging from one double bed or two double beds, all the way up to one-bedroom king suites, which will actually have a separate bedroom in addition to living room and kitchen areas that cover several hundred square feet.
Along with being the first extended-stay hotel in Minot, Galloway is excited to be offering the Magic City another first.
"We're gonna be the first hotel in Minot to offer true HD television," he said. "A lot of hotels in any market will have the flat-panel TVs, but no HD service - but we're gonna have that."
The original opening date for the hotel was July 15, but like just about everything else in and around Minot this year, construction was impacted by the frequent rainstorms. Despite being set back several weeks, Galloway feels they are opening at a good time of the year and he was very excited to greet the first guests coming through the doors.
With all the expansion going on in the oil industry and in Minot itself, Galloway feels like they're entering the market at a very good time. He said all the research they've done and reports they've seen point to the conclusion that Minot needs more hotels to support its current growth spurt.
"I just think that with the expansion that Minot is seeing all around, it's a great time to add some hotels," Galloway said. "I think Minot was undersaturated as far as hotels went, and I think that getting some new properties in town is definitely gonna benefit because I don't think that there's enough places for people to stay at this point."
Galloway said the extended-stay nature of Candlewood Suites helps it stand out from the crowd in Minot. When guests spend the night, he wants them to feel right at home. In addition to having a microwave and two-burner stove in each room to cook a meal, there is also a dishwasher to help clean up.
About the only thing the hotel doesn't help with is deciding who cooks and who does the dishes.
"We offer something that Minot doesn't have right now, and that is the extended stay. And with everything that's happening in Minot, our motto is, 'Consider us home,'" Galloway said. "We've got all of the comforts of home, from the full kitchens in the rooms to all of the utensils. They won't have to go buy anything to make a meal."
"It's just a home away from home, that's what we want people to feel like and that's how we're gonna treat our guests, is that this is their second home. Because we know what it's like to be on the road," he added. "So come stay with us and we'll treat you like you're at home."