A father and son from Louisiana have teamed up and brought their mobile motel — along with some Cajun cuisine — to the North Dakota oil patch.
The lodge houses 150 oilfield workers and is meant to provide a hotel-like atmosphere, offering larger rooms and more privacy than the typical man camps, which usually require residents to have roommates or share bathrooms.
Ricky Comardelle, who has provided living quarters for Gulf of Mexico oil workers for 25 years, and his 23-year-old son Dex formed the company known as Go-Motel. The company is developing a design of portable hotel rooms and plan to expand in other areas of the country
"We're trying to change what people think of when they hear of workforce accommodations," said Dex Comardelle, who's been working in North Dakota for more than a year.
The younger Comardelle told The Forum newspaper that tasty food is a priority at the lodge. Cajun night is a big hit with workers from the South, he said.
"They get a little taste of home," Comardelle said. "We would like to make this as close to home as possible for them."
Comardelle was working toward a degree in hospitality management at the University of Louisiana when he heard about the oil boom.
"North Dakota was my first real big job," Comardelle said. "I love it. I love this industry. It's something I have a passion for. I'm happy that North Dakota could be the place I get my start."