If you haven't been to the State Fair in Minot yet and need a hotel room, you shouldn't have a problem finding a place to stay.
Minot has many more hotel rooms now than it ever has had before. That's especially good when big events like the North Dakota State Fair are going on in the city.
"Last year it was very difficult," said Wendy Howe, executive director of Visit Minot, formerly the Minot Convention and Visitors Center.
"Right now we have a lot of rooms available during the week and even as we look at Friday (today) and Saturday there's still quite a few hotels with availability which this year we think is a very good thing," Howe said on Thursday, as she checked through the hotel availability on the Visit Minot website at visitminot.org.
"The hotels do want to sell out," Howe said. "Of course, we do want them to as much as possible but it is good that the visitors can see that they have options and places to go, especially for our Canadian visitors. It reminds them that we do have rooms available and that will continue through the year. It helps ease their mindset to where last year when they came for the fair and other events or just to come and shop, they probably had challenges getting a room, then maybe thought Minot is very difficult to go to now," she said.
"With the change in hotel room availability, it hopefully will change their minds to help them realize there are rooms and definitely affordable rooms, and they have choices," Howe said.
She said the overall average daily rate for this year is about $105.
"We won't get the fair week until the fair is over but rates do go up typically during major events, and that's not unique to Minot. That's any community anywhere typically when you have a major event like that, that fills up your community," she said.
"But I do think when we receive the report it will probably show that rates are down a little bit compared to last year because we are in a different situation. We have more hotel rooms available, we have less long-term stays occupying the hotels and so with that, the rates do become more affordable," she said.
She said not as many people are staying long term in hotels.
"People that are here with the oil and energy industry are transitioning into apartments, condos and homes that are now becoming available as more have been built in Minot. With that, there's not as many staying in hotels long term," she said.
The hotel room availability situation now in Minot is very good, Howe said.
She said there are more visitors in the community, the hotels are busier than what they were years ago but more of them have been built in the city in the past months.
Twelve new hotels have been built in Minot in the past two years.
She said Comfort Suites is to open in the next weeks. "When they open, we'll have 3,090 hotel rooms," she said.
"That's the other thing we have to remember when we're looking at how many rooms are available during the fair is we have a lot more rooms than we had three years ago and we have a lot more rooms than we even had last year," Howe said.
She said the higher number of hotel rooms also is a benefit for the upcoming Norsk Hostfest. "Not only with tour groups but even with individuals who have said they've wanted to come to the festival for years but they've not been able to find a hotel room," she said.
"Now we should be able to help them to accommodate them and bring some new visitors to those events," Howe said.