West Fargo was recently named as one of the 100 most comfortable cities in the U.S. by Expedia.com, based on nearby tourism and ratings of available hotels.
Such an honor was unlikely as recently as three years ago when there were only three hotels in the city and none were further south than a block from Main Avenue, where industrial businesses make up the majority of the city skyline.
But now there are six hotels open with a seventh planned in the near future. Cambria Hotel and Suites and Element Fargo opened near the Veterans Boulevard and Interstate 94 Corridor in 2014 followed by a Microtel Inn and Suites by Wyndham.
Developer Todd Berning is planning to build a $14.5 million Homewood Suites near the existing Cambria Hotel and Suites at 825 Beaton Drive.
And, there has been talk of additional hotels eyeing the city for new locations, Matt Marshall, West Fargo economic development and community services director said.
"I have taken inquiries about additional locations but nobody has come to me and announced anything new," Marshall said. "It is likely in late 2017 or 2018 an additional one or two more [hotels] could come. I say that just based on the conversations I'm having."
Expedia used verified user reviews to determine the 101 American cities with the top hotel comfort ratings, using 2015 data. Each city on the list received more than 100 reviews, and were ranked based on a comfort level: The number one city earned a rating of 4.7 out of 5 and the last city on our list received a score of 4.2. Expedia ranked West Fargo as No. 69.
Marshal said the additional hotels is a great business indicator for the city.
"We like to see hotel development because it's foreshadows other development," Marshall said. "If they see a lot of business and tourism coming in, enough that they need a hotel here, it's likely there will be additional development coming. Hotels can be a sign of growing business, retail or tourism and that's good for all of the community as a whole."
New hotels can also offer services to existing residents. Aside from being a go-to spot for visiting relatives, Cambria and Element both have available meeting rooms that are often used for community events and both were designed with amenities available for local uses in mind.
The Microtel Inn & Suites by Wyndham in West Fargo was the first in North Dakota to be TAG Approved, according to Samuel Pulkrabek, general manager of the West Fargo hotel. The TAG Approved designation means it joined more than 2,000 hotels that meet specific standards for serving the LGBT community with sensitivity and respect..
Not only will the newest Sanford medical campus open soon on the Fargo-West Fargo border near Veterans Boulevard, the West Fargo School District is planning to open a new aquatic center and hockey arena,which will be marketed for use by national and regional events.
The new Homewood Suites will be attached to that expansion. It will be a four-story, 105-room, high-end hotel. The two hotels will be connected by the existing West Fargo Conference Center, which will be expanded by 1,760 square feet.
Nicole Holden, director of marketing for the Fargo-Moorhead Convention and Visitors Bureau, has said the addition of more hotels and additional convention spaces is a draw for West Fargo tourism. It allows more booking of conventions and events that draw from outside the region.
Before the Cambria opened, the last time a hotel was built in the city was a Days Inn in 1992, which has since become Howard Johnson.
The Rodeway Inn and Super 8 are also located near Main Avenue in West Fargo.