AFTER A 40% DROP IN OCCUPANCY, I M HOTEL IN GRAND RAPIDS SEES 100% OCCUPANCY RATES DURING LINE 3 CONSTRUCTION
(GRAND RAPIDS, MINN) Like many businesses, I M Hotel by Timberlake and Timberlake Lodge in Grand Rapids had seen a drastic decrease in business, with occupancy rates falling nearly 40% because of the pandemic hitting tourism and traveling. As industries begin to rebound, General Manager Kris Ives credits the Line 3 pipeline project for bringing their hotel up to 100% occupancy for the month of January, thanks to pipeline workers.
“The Line 3 Project has given us one of the best few months of the past 3 – 4 years,” said Ives. “Average occupancy rate for a hotel, prior to the pandemic, was around 58%. The pipeline project saved us, and we are so grateful for the boost to our business.”
In 2014, under an Obama/Biden Administration consent decree, it was agreed this pipeline, originally built in the 1960s, posed great risk if left untouched and needed to be replaced. Six years of permitting, reviews and the largest pipeline study in Minnesota history led to the point where we are today, with construction in progress.
Not only does Ives support the benefit to her business, but she understands the need for this project as a whole. Ives said, “The right thing to do is to replace Line 3, which is 60 years old and deteriorating. It’s imperative to replace it with a new state-of-the-art pipeline that uses modern technology. Underground transportation of oil will keep our economy moving safely and will provide us with the reliable energy we need.”
Construction has been underway for just over three months, and there are more than 5,400 pipeliners working on the project across the 14 counties along the pipeline route. Ives said the workers are a welcomed addition to their town.
“The pipeline workers are extremely polite, very kind to housekeeping staff, are engaging with our staff, and merging well into our community,” said Ives. “They’re constantly traveling throughout the town, taking care of their personal needs from filling their gas tanks to grocery shopping to eating at restaurants or shopping retail stores to stock up on warm winter clothing and more. All of them are very safety-minded and adhere to strict COVID-19 protocols. They are now local residents, and we are happy to have them here.”
Timberlake Lodge and I M Hotel by Timberlake are operated by a family-owned company under the name of Grand Hospitality LLC. Family members are participants not spectators and pride themselves on being a place where you will always find ‘family on duty’. Kris Ives is the General Manager of the I M Hotel by Timberlake. She also sits on the Visit Grand Rapids Board of Directors. Her husband Burl is the Facilities Manager. The children are involved too.
In 2000, the family bought the local Super 8 property and began making major exterior improvements, which included roof lines, canopies and a new exterior look, and recently completed their multi-year remodel project entirely focused on the interior of the building.
The Timberlake Lodge was designated by Enbridge as the Headquarters for the onboarding process of the Line 3 Replacement Project. Ives is proud of this fact, and said “Line 3 is a positive project that’s delivering strong economic benefits to communities along the route, following numerous difficulties experienced because of the pandemic.”
Contact: Susan Goudge
Susan@Minnesotansforline3.com | 218-556-3617