ROCKVILLE, Md., June 27, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Choice Hotels International, Inc. (NYSE: CHH), one of the world's largest hotel companies, and KAJ Hospitality today celebrate the groundbreaking of a new four-story, 103-room hotel, which will be connected to the future 15,000-square-foot conference center in West Fargo, one of North Dakota's fastest growing communities. KAJ Hospitality, led by the father and son development, ownership and management team of Kevin and Aaron Johnson, has corporate offices in Sioux Falls, S.D., Mitchell, S.D. and Wichita, Kansas, and will be the owner/developer of both greatly anticipated real estate development projects.
"Cambria Suites is experiencing impressive expansion throughout the country because Cambria Suites hotels meet the demand for stylish, upscale hotels offering tremendous value," said Michael Murphy, senior vice president of upscale brands for Choice Hotels International. "Right now, West Fargo is seeing tremendous economic growth and that's attracting major companies and the region's top talent. So a hotel which understands what these businesses and travelers need is essential."
North Dakota is the fastest growing state in the United States, developing at nearly three times the national rate. The city of West Fargo reflects that momentum. In 2012, the city issued 480% more commercial building permits than the previous year. Further, last year's city-wide growth rate was 72.9%.
The hotel and convention center project represents an estimated investment of more than $17 million and approximately 325 jobs to the greater West Fargo area. The Cambria Suites West Fargo will be the emerging upscale brand's first North Dakota property and is scheduled to open in the spring of 2014 at 19th Ave. East and Beaton Drive."We are proud to bring extensive marketplace knowledge and first-hand experience as a hotel operator in greater West Fargo to this new Cambria Suites hotel," said Kevin Johnson, president and chief executive officer of KAJ Hospitality. "For years, there has been a need in West Fargo for a mixed-use conference center space such as what we will now develop. With Cambria Suites as the hotel anchor of our conference center, we are filling an important need for this rapidly expanding city. And we are confident we have the perfect combination to achieve great success as a business as well as members of the West Fargo community." Building on solid development momentum, the Cambria Suites brand made hotel history by holding ground breaking ceremonies for three hotel projects in the New York market within 24 hours last December, combining an approximate $141 million investment and the creation of nearly 1,000 jobs. Since then, the brand has commenced construction nearby the Washington, D.C. Convention Center, just outside Dallas, Texas and announced major development agreements in other cities as well as a joint venture with its first institutional investor, Fillmore Capital Partners and its affiliates, to develop multiple Cambria Suites properties. Cambria Suites Miami is scheduled to open this fall. The West Fargo hotel will deliver the consistently high level of style at an equally attractive price guests have come to count on with this brand. All Cambria Suites hotels are new-construction and the brand leads the rest of the upscale lodging segment in guest satisfaction scores as measured by guests' likelihood to recommend (LTR). As of today, many Cambria Suites hotels are ranked #1 and #2 in their respective markets on TripAdvisor. Designed as a lifestyle hotel brand, Cambria Suites offers more than just a place to sleep at night. It features a larger lobby to give guests a more social atmosphere, spacious all-suite rooms that include separate areas to work and rest, providing business and leisure travelers room to relax, socialize and network.