With the Super Bowl in Minneapolis this week, international attention will be on our state. Yet tourism is a year-round effort in Minnesota, and there are plenty of new hotels in the works in the northwest suburbs that will accommodate visitors.
At the annual meeting recently for Minneapolis Northwest Tourism, the story was building.
"It's a growing region, and there's a lot of great stuff coming, and there's already a lot of great stuff here," said Dave Looby, president and CEO at Minneapolis Northwest Tourism.
The tourism organization represents the cities of Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park, and Maple Grove.
In Brooklyn Park, Highway 610 has paved the way for new business and tourism growth. Two new Hilton Hotels are rising near 610 and West Broadway: a Home2 Suites and a Hampton. Both hotels will open later this year, accommodating some of the newer corporate business that's moved in.
"A number of businesses such as Olympus and Takeda pharmaceuticals have representatives that come into Brooklyn Park yearly to see the new products, understand what they're selling, and then get trained," said Erik Hansen, Brooklyn Park economic development and housing director. "We have a lot of that business traffic, and they're looking for accommodations that are closer."
Brooklyn Park will have two additional hotels along Highway 610, though construction dates are not yet set on a new Fairfield Inn and Suites and a yet to be determined hotel.
In Brooklyn Center, Marriott plans to build another Fairfield Inn and Suites adjacent to the Embassy Suites and Earle Brown Heritage Center.
Marriott also has building plans this year in Maple Grove for the northeast corner of Elm Creek Boulevard and Hemlock Lane.
"It's going to be, as I understand it, a SpringHill Suites and a Fairfield Suites," said Maple Grove Mayor Mark Steffenson. "It's a combination hotel where essentially they're going to share some services, but obviously, the one will be on one side and the other will be on the other side of the development."
New restaurants and other corporate business development are spurring on new hotels in Maple Grove, adding to the city's eight existing hotels. Maple Grove expects among two to three million square feet of new development in 2018. All the new hotels will help accommodate visiting guests Minnesota would love to bring back permanently.
"Tourism is economic development's first date," said Looby. "People don't come to the area, move their family here, move their business here without trying us on first."
Alexandra Renslo reporting
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