UTTC to host hotel projectAug 11th, 2013 | By tcj | Category: 25-1: Art & Symbolism, Tribal College News
The Mandan/Hidatsa/Arikara Nation (MHA) is the lead investor in a new hotel project to be built on the campus of United Tribes Technical College (UTTC, Bismark, ND). The United Tribes of North Dakota Board of Directors approved the financing structure for a facility estimated to cost approximately $33 million. MHA is one of the college’s five governing tribes, the others being Sisseton- Wahpeton Oyate, the Spirit Lake Tribe, the Standing Rock Tribe, and the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa.
“The MHA Nation feels it’s a good opportunity to be involved with a franchise name-brand hotel on the UTTC campus,” said Tex G. Hall, MHA Nation chairman. “And with UTTC near the Bismarck airport, it makes great business sense. It’s the kind of investment the tribe is looking for.” A location adjacent to the Bismarck International Airport has significant advantages. “The energy boom offers a good opportunity to serve travelers coming into the area by air,” said UTTC president, David Gipp. “Our location is ideal for meetings and conferences and convenient for corporate and leisure travelers alike.” 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.
All Nations Development Alliance, Mortenson Development, and Thor Construction were selected by the college in fall 2012 to lead the development, design, financing, and construction of the project. “Together, this team brings a unique blend of Native American hospitality development and construction experience,” said Mark Sweet, managing director of All Nations Development Alliance. “The equity commitment by the MHA represents the final piece of the puzzle, allowing the team to target a summer groundbreaking.”
The hotel will be affiliated with a major chain and operations will include an educational component for UTTC students. Training will focus on hotel management, business administration, security, and food service, said Gipp. “In the long term we see this as a revenue source to help support the college,” he said. “That is one of our primary motives, along with training and education.”