Tricounty News

New motel coming soon to Eden Valley

By Julie Bulau, Staff writer

Ground breaking for Eden Valley's new motel is expected to take place within the next two weeks.

Located along Highway 55 just west of Valley Liquors, the one-story motel will feature 13 rooms and a state-of-the art kiosk check-in system. Nine double rooms will offer two queen-size beds while the four single rooms will have king-size beds. One of the rooms will be handicapped accessible, and two will offer features for the hearing-impaired.

Eden Valley Motel, the name at least for now, is being spearheaded by business partners Randy and Michelle Hansen, Ross Amundson and Michele Johnson Amundson, and Barry and Julann Albright. The group, who also own the Valley Inn, are working with the State Bank in Eden Valley on the project.

"It's something our group has been talking about for five years or more," Randy Hansen said. "When we bought the property for the liquor store which came with the vacant lot, we knew we had the location."

Hanson expects the motel to draw railroad and construction workers, truck drivers, people visiting the Eden Valley for reunions and special events, as well as out-of-town business people. Hansen, who also owns RIE Coatings, points out that when his customers travel to the Eden Valley plant, they typically have to stay in Paynesville or St. Cloud.

"A lot of people are looking for places to stay. Every once-in-awhile we get a call at the Valley Inn asking if we have rooms," Hansen laughed. "I guess they just see the 'Inn' part."

What sets the motel apart from similar facilities is that people will check in using a 24-hour Kiosk system. There will be a touch screen and card swipe and guests will receive a code which they punch in to open their rooms. After a great deal of research, Hansen located the system in Australia.

"I guess they're very popular there," Hansen said. "We'll save on overhead since we won't have to staff it 24 hours a day."

They are currently working to establish an on-line site with a link for reservations. Hansen has also secured a domain: edenvalley, so people can soon get more information about the project. They're also thinking about installing a webcam so people can watch construction.

The partners hope to open as soon as October. They feel it's a solid investment and will be good for the community. In addition to working closely with the bank, city council , chamber of commerce have also supported the idea. The city has assisted by designating a Tax Increment Finance District.

The plans include using local resources as much as possible, including hiring local contractor Ken Nistler, as well as purchasing building supplies from Eden Valley Lumber and flooring supplies from Tom's Carpet Kingdom.

They hope to create a special feel. "As a group, we thought of the places we've stayed and what we liked or didn't like and went from there," Hanson said. "Our intent is to give the rooms a more European feel with laminated floors and beds on slats," he added. "We want to have good quality mattresses."

Cleanliness will be a priority. The motel will also offer free wifi, flat-screen televisions, and complimentary breakfast deals at the Valley Inn.