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Dave Olson, Published June 22 2012

TRADE TALK: Hotel sees $1.4 million in renovations

Fairfield Inn & Suites, 3902 9th Ave. S.W., Fargo, is celebrating the completion of a $1.4 million renovation.

The work took six months and included redecorating and updating all 60 guest rooms.

The front entrance and lobby were expanded, and a breakfast area, fitness room and new business center were added.

Also, instead of vending machines, the

lobby area now features a market that offers frozen dinners and locally made and fresh products.

The hotel, which is owned and operated by TMI Hospitality, opened in 1992.

TMI has headquarters in Fargo and operates about 200 properties. It employs more than 4,500 full- and part-time employees in 24 states.

Billy’s back again

Billy’s Corner Bar and Grill in Vergas, Minn., has reopened.

The bar closed earlier this spring after owner Kevin Flynn said he no longer could afford payments on the business he purchased five years ago.

Billy’s has reopened under a new owner, Kurt Sleen, whose son, Jordan, is managing the bar.

About 17 former employees have been hired back, and several new workers have been added, said Jordan Sleen, who has worked at the bar for about a dozen years.

He said the bar’s menu will remain much the same as in the past, with a few new items.

Onsharp expands

Onsharp, a Web strategy, design and development company with headquarters in Fargo, is opening an additional office near Houston in Sugar Land, Texas.

The company said the move is in response to a growing number of online marketing and development customers and it hopes to add to its list of clients outside of the Midwest.

“Houston is a very entrepreneurial community that has attracted the second-largest number of Fortune 500 company headquarters in the United States,” said Joe Sandin, president of Onsharp.

Costco on schedule

Plans remain on schedule for the mid-October opening of a Costco Wholesale store in West Fargo, said Mark Vaux, the city’s director of economic development.

He said site preparation work is going on right now in the area of Interstate 94 and Veterans Boulevard, including a lot of earth moving and road construction.

Vaux said once the shell of the building starts to go up, construction will likely be quick.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Dave Olson at (701) 241-5555