Tribes lead investor in hotel project

BISMARCK The Three Affiliated Tribes is the lead investor in new hotel project being planned for the campus of United Tribes Technical College near Bismarck.

The tribes, with headquarters near New Town, has provided the equity commitment necessary to proceed with development and construction of the hotel, according to a news release.

The United Tribes of North Dakota board of directors approved the financing structure March 26, accepting the equity investment of the Three Affiliated Tribes in a facility estimated to cost about $33 million. The Three Affiliated Tribes is one of the college’s five governing tribes.

“The MHA (Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara) Nation feels it’s a good opportunity to be involved with a franchise name-brand hotel on the UTTC campus,” said Tex Hall, tribal chairman. “And with UTTC near the Bismarck airport, it makes great business sense. It’s the kind of investment the tribe is looking for.”

Other tribal investors are also being invited in, said David Gipp, UTTC president. “It’s open to other area investors too, although we’re looking to create a program funded primarily by Native or tribal investors.”

The hotel site is located in the northwest corner of the UTTC campus, just off University Drive adjacent to the Bismarck International Airport.

As planned, the six-story hotel will contain 160 rooms with a 10,000-square-foot conference center, restaurant, business center, fitness center, pool, gift shop, and other state-of-the-art amenities for meetings and conferences.

The development is led by All Nations Development Alliance, Mortenson Development and Thor Construction. The three were selected by the college in fall 2012 to lead the development, design, financing and construction. Leo Daly has been selected as architect and Dougherty Funding will be structuring the overall project financing.

The hotel will be affiliated with a major chain. Operations will include an educational component for UTTC students. Training will focus on hotel management, business administration, security, and food service, said Gipp.

Groundbreaking is expected as early as July with completion in summer 2014.