Dignitaries break ground on ‘cutting edge’ hotel

RISE Modular HomeSuites Groundbreaking

The groundbreaking held last week in Owatonna was, as Gary Kinseth put it without a bit of irony: “Groundbreaking.”

Other words used during the event on Allen Avenue included “cutting edge” and “amazing.”

The site will be home to Minnesota’s first-ever modular hotel, courtesy of Rise Modular, a three-year-old manufacturing business in Owatonna.

“This is kind of a double win for Owatonna,” said Brad Meier, president and CEO of the Owatonna Area Chamber of Commerce. “We get to watch Rise Modular put their product up here, as well.”

Home2 Suites by Hilton is expected to be complete in about nine months.

“Owatonna’s had a lot of great projects, but I can’t wait to see the site go together – a finished product that arrives onsite,” said Mayor Tom Kuntz. “We look forward to the success.”

Rise Modular will construct mods, or sections of the hotel, at its facility on Lemond Road, then deliver and install them on site. The completed four-story building will consist of 56 mods.

City Administrator Kris Busse said she was “delighted that Hilton recognizes the potential Owatonna has for a strong future in the tourism industry,” providing a “cutting edge and positive impression of Owatonna.”

Meier said the hospitality industry is “kind of the ‘first date’ to a community. We’re continuing down this path of four years of great growth in Owatonna, approaching $100 million in investments each of those four years, and we’re on track here with this project – and others – to hit that again in 2023.”

Kinseth, vice president of Kinseth Hospitality Companies, and his brother Les Kinseth, president of the company that specializes in developing small-city hotels throughout the Upper Midwest, both praised Owatonna as an “amazing market” with much potential.

Home2 Suites will be an extended-stay hotel with 84 suites, each with a kitchenette.

The hotel will also feature an indoor pool, a laundry/gym combination, a business center, and meeting rooms.