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Best Western making home in Fairmont

Above: TPI is transitioning from Holiday Inn to Best Western. From left: Dusty Bicknas, Chief Maintenance Engineer, Mike Christians, General Manager of Green Mill and Jason Subbert, General Manager of TPI Hospitality, stand in the lobby of the hotel, which is currently under construction.

FAIRMONT — Holiday Inn in Fairmont is in the middle of being transformed into a Best Western. The transition, officially happening Dec. 30, has been coming for awhile.

Jason Subbert, general manager of TPI Hospitality, said a lot of people have been asking if the hotel will still be under the same ownership.

“TPI Hospitality has owned this building since 1978 when they built it. We’ve had a long history taking care of guests in Fairmont and will continue to do that. We’re re-investing about $1.5 million into this property,” Subbert said.

TPI also owns Super 8, Quality Inn and Hampton Inn. They also own Green Mill restaurant, which will remain open in its current location.

Subbert explained that their 20-year franchise agreement with Holiday Inn ended two years ago and the reason they’re not renewing the agreement is that the prototype was built in a certain era and they don’t re-license that prototype anywhere. Subbert said TPI switched over their other hotels that were similar in services to Best Western as well.

Subbert explained that Best Western has a much better presence in rural areas. He said that Holiday Inn did it one time, but that it’s really focused on primary and secondary markets, like Minneapolis and Mankato.

“Best Western doesn’t attack the primary markets as much as the other markets, but you’ll find Best Westerns just about everywhere,” Subbert said.

As for what will change in the hotel, Subbert said all of the work in the ballroom was done ahead of time, last year, to get it done before the past wedding season.

About a month ago, work in the lobby and the rest of the hotel began. Most noticeable to people will be the color changes. The greens and beiges will be blues and grays.

Subbert said the ballrooms will also continue to be named after Fairmont’s lakes and the old Interlaken Heritage photos will also remain.

The room count will stay the same with 101 rooms, but Subbert said they’re changing some of the offerings in the rooms.

“All of the rooms will have two queen-sized beds instead of full-sized beds,” he said.

Each room also received a new 55-inch smart TV, as well as new Keurig coffee makers.

Subbert said so much of the hotel business mirrors what happens in a residential area so things that people have at home, they try to have available for people when they’re guests.

“Things need to continue to evolve and change to meet the needs of people who are traveling,” Subbert said.

The pool area will stay the same but will be getting a new splash of color. The hallways are also getting re-painted.

The front desk area is being re-done and Subbert said there will be a small food court area there so guests can get something to eat after hours. He said that’s something that all Best Westerns offer.

While no jobs are being added because of the change, Subbert said everyone is excited about the investment. He shared that TPI is the 5th largest employer in the city.

“We have a lot of families that rely on these jobs and Covid really affected our industry in a negative way,” Subbert said.

Now that business has been getting back up to speed and the re-investment has been made, Subbert said he wants to make sure people understand that they’re doing business with the same company.

“It may have a different logo on the property but it’s still TPI Hospitality. At the end of the day, the positive thing for the area is that there will be a nicer hotel for friends, family and work colleagues to stay in when they come to the area,” Subbert said.

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