The goal of this letter is to get the community and or lender to change the occupancy of the Crookston Inn to Sr. Housing , student housing, apartments etc.
This letter is to let people in the Crookston community know that we believe there is only room for two midscale hotels in Crookston. If we need more rooms in the future, the AmericInn or the Cobblestone will add on and build new rooms. We will do it based on actual numbers, not a false feasibility study or dictionary prospectus. How did we come to that conclusion?
Some background, before the Cobblestone was built we had warned key leaders of the community that one more hotel in town is to many. The investors were not notified. This is the reason for this letter. The investors went ahead and built it. At the same time a hotel was built in East Grand Forks. This was to much for the market to bear.
Now with the Crookston Inn closed, the AmericInn and the Cobblestone will now make money that we need to renovate and provide the community with quality rooms.
Todd Jacobson, the former owner of the Crookston Inn found out two days after signing the papers that a new hotel was being built next to him. We feel that was unfair. Todd was a good hotel operator and tried hard. Had a new hotel not been built he would have done well. He put his heart, money and years of his life into the hotel. I can only imagine the heartache he and his family have gone through. We don’t want that to happen to the next person who invests their life savings into a similar project.
I have told many in the community that you don’t build a church based on the attendance of Christmas and Easter. The few times a year when we don’t have enough room, they can go to East Grand Forks… IT’S OK!
When the Cobblestone hotel opened it was a matter of time before one sunk. Look at it this way… It’s like a drain plug was pulled and we all started swirling down the drain. The question is who will survive?
#1. The hotel with the least amount of debt and/or most cash on hand. (cash/deep pockets, and low debt are a big life jacket in stormy weather)
#2. Hotels that are in the best condition. (no holes in the boat)
Who will sink?
Hotels in bad condition need lots of cash to plug the holes in the hull, or they sink quickly. Also while we are swirling toward the drain, we don’t make enough money to keep our hotels up to date, maintenance starts to lag and they all become worse for wear..
We at the AmericInn have served the community for 23 years and are debt free, which allows us to be a very aggressive competitor. We were not aggressive for the past 5 years. We did not feel it would be fair.
As for the next potential owners/investors, we want them to be forewarned and have a proper business plan in place so they can budget properly.
We want any persons or investors who are looking at purchasing or operating the Crookston Inn as a hotel to base your business plan on a $20 ADR. If you have any questions, please contact us before you sign papers and commit your life saving.
(No relation to Todd Jacobson)
Crookston Hospitality Group