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Apartments, hotels going up quickly

As construction continues on hotels in Dickinson to combat a recent housing shortage, officials said there has been equal interest in multi-family structures.

Seventy building permits were issued for multi-family structures in 2010, City Administrator Shawn Kessel said, adding that the definition includes facilities like duplexes and apartment buildings.

Dickinson Visitor and Convention Bureau Executive Terri Thiel said hotels remain near capacity with workers, but it is difficult to speculate need for more room.

"Expansion really isn't based on events or attractions we normally handle," she said. "What the need will be in 5 or 10 years depends on the energy industry."

Kessel said many of the people staying in hotels travel here for work and go home to other cities or states. Having families move in and invest in homes is a great benefit, he said.

"When people develop residency, they join clubs, go to school and they grow roots," Kessel said. "The impact on economy and way of life are stronger."

However, hotels are still moving into the area. Six hotels are expected to open their doors in the near future.

Kessel said that before the hotel businesses seek building permits, they take a lot of time and due diligence to ensure they will be successful in the community.

"We rely upon that to a great degree," he said, adding that each goes through a proofing process to ensure there is a market for that type of business and that financing can be achieved.

Patrick Giese, co-owner of the La Quinta Inn & Suites project on the old Pizza Hut lot near Interstate 94, said Thursday that plans are to break ground within the next ten days. Construction on the project is expected to last seven months, he said.

Hampton Inn & Suites owner and contractor Jeff Lamont said there were minor delays in construction at the location near Taco John's due to the rainy spring weather, but the hotel is still on track for its October


"Water from the streets would wash into the site," Lamont said, citing a plugged storm inlet. "That is cleaned out now."

Dickinson building official Mel Zent said he did a walk-through inspection to ensure the watery conditions didn't take a toll on the building.

"The building is still structurally sound," he said, adding that the foundation has not settled and there is no reason to pursue