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Associated Press, Published April 30 2013

Tribal college in Bismarck to build hotel

BISMARCK — Officials plan to build a $33 million hotel on the United Tribes Technical College campus in Bismarck to provide a training opportunity for students and to help support the school governed by the five tribes in North Dakota.

The Three Affiliated Tribes, also known as the Mandan-Hidatsa-Arikara Nation, is the lead investor for the project.

"The MHA Nation feels it's a good opportunity to be involved with a franchise name-brand hotel on the UTTC campus," Chairman Tex Hall said. "And with UTTC near the Bismarck airport, it makes great business sense. It's the kind of investment the tribe is looking for."

The six-story hotel will have 160 rooms along with a 10,000-square-foot conference center, restaurant, business center, fitness center, pool, gift shop, and other amenities. Construction is scheduled to begin in July and wrap up next summer.

"The energy boom (in western North Dakota) offers a good opportunity to serve travelers coming into the area by air," college President David Gipp said. "Our location is ideal for meetings and conferences and convenient for corporate and leisure travelers alike.

"In the long term we see this as a revenue source to help support the college," he said. "That is one of our primary motives, along with training and education."

United Tribes students will have the opportunity to get training on hotel management, business administration, security and food service, according to Gipp.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.