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Two Williston hotels closing their doors

Photo by Melissa Krause/ Williston Herald The Missouri Flats Inn, located on 35th Street W, is closing this week. The hotel is owned by Harry Litke. Another hotel he owns, the Marquis Plaza and Suites, located on Ninth Ave. NW, is also closing.

WILLISTON, N.D. -- The Missouri Flats Inn, once featured on a TV reality show “Hotel Impossible,” and the Marquis Plaza and Suites will be closing their doors this week.

Harry Litke, who owns both properties, recently disclosed news to hotel staff.

“I’ve been here for 13 years, it’s heartbreaking,”  general manager Nicole Ross said. She received notification of the closure by text message last Thursday. “But really, I understand why it needs to be done. We’re just hoping if the area picks back up we can reopen.”

Ross said she received a text message from Litke last Thursday that notified her of the closure. She returned to work to help wrap up hotel operation after just giving birth three weeks ago.

More than 30 employees from both Williston facilities were notified less than a week ago that their final day of employment will be this Friday. They said they they had knowledge that the hotels were for sale but have yet to find a buyer, which leaves the properties dormant for now.

The Missouri Flats, located at 213 35th St. W, is listed for sale for $3 million. The 55-room Marquis, 1525 9th Ave. NW, is currently listed for $3.2 million. Renovations to the two-story, 60-room Missouri Flats were televised on the Travel Channel in January 2015. Rumors of drug activity and prostitution at the height of the oil boom, which were confirmed from staff during the filming, stained the hotel’s image. But the renovations, which started in fall 2014, came just before the region’s oil economy went into freefall.

Hotels across the region continue to suffer with occupancy, with rates that have hovered at 30 percent throughout 2016. Some have been in better standing to weather the downturn. As of spring 2016, there were 25 hotels listed in Williston and four are listed for sale, including the Missouri Flats Inn and the Marquis Plaza and Suites.

There are over 2,300 hotel rooms in the market, and the loss of the two properties accounts for 105 rooms.

One of the baristas from Boomtown Babes, a small coffee hut located in the Missouri Flats Inn parking lot, expressed disappointment that such short notice was given. The hotel was used by the staff for ice and the restroom.

Litke purchased the Missouri Flats in 2008 and Wednesday will be the final day of room rentals for both properties.

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