Is Duluth in need of more hotels?

By KBJR News 1

December 28, 2013 Updated Dec 28, 2013 at 11:49 PM CDT

Duluth, Min. (NNCNOW.com) -- From the tall ships to Grandma's marathon there are many reasons to visit Duluth; but this time of year people come for a different reason.

"We have been coming up to Duluth during the holidays for the most part the Christmas time frame," said Paul Burns, a frequent visitor of to the Duluth area.

While some folks may prefer to stay with family or friends, others book hotel rooms.

"Its kind of nice because we can do our own thing and be separate from the family, they have room, but they have a lot of people so it can be crazy," said Kim Denning, who is in Duluth visiting family for the holidays.

Christie Bretta, manager of the Fairfield Inn Marriott, says they may not be full up this weekend, but there's no shortage of guests.

"Starting in November through the holidays we are pretty busy, we get a lot of shoppers down from Canada, a lot of people coming in from out of town, a lot of people coming to visit family and friends so we see quite a bit until after the holiday," said Bretta.

Hotel managers say the summer months are usually the busiest but there are other activities attracting people here during the winter.

"January, February, and March we have a lot of hockey teams so our weekends can be pretty busy, weekdays are little quieter," said Bretta.

The park point Marina Inn Hotel is set to open summer of 2014 and will add another 68 rooms to the city.

"It will be another option for people down in Canal Park to just come down and relax," said David Riddle, with the Park Point Marina Inn Hotel.

Also coming to town is the La Quinta Inn and Suites, adding 96 rooms. However, some ask if these extra hotels necessary.

"People are coming up and they are having difficulty finding a place to stay," said Gene Shaw with Visit Duluth.

"The pro is that we can always use extra rooms, especially in the summer months. Cons, your winter months are going to be a struggle because sometimes we don't have the need for it," said Bretta.

An 80 room Holiday Inn Express Hotel and Suites is also expected to be built near Miller Hill Mall, serving travelers from the nearby Duluth International Airport.

If all three hotels are built, they will bring an additional 244 guest rooms to the area.

Posted to the web by Kati Anderson.
kanderson@kbjr.com