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Ardean Aafedt and his business partners bought The El Rancho Hotel in Williston during the mid-1980s and saw dramatic effects from the oil bust. Now his daughter, Cyndy Aafedt, is majority owner of the hotel as it faces new challenges related to the oil boom.

FOTB: Educated by history; 1980s bust influences Williston hotel owners to remain cautious

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WILLISTON -- With an oil boom driving 100 percent occupancy rates at The El Rancho Hotel and a restaurant that is always packed, many business owners would have expanded or built new hotels.


Not Cyndy Aafedt.

The majority owner of the Williston hotel said she's influenced by her father, Ardean Aafedt, who was an owner of The El Rancho when oil prices dropped in the mid-1980s.

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Amy Dalrymple

Amy Dalrymple is a Forum News Service reporter stationed in the Oil Patch. She can be reached at or (701) 580-6890.