The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Local News

October 4, 2012

New upscale motel opens in Mankato

MANKATO — Mankato’s newest hotel is wired — and wireless — with all the gadgets and tools for business travelers.

The upscale 93-room Courtyard by Marriott, next to Scheels at River Hills Mall, opened Wednesday.

General Manager Preston Lougheed said that while the hotel is set up for business travelers, they added many amenities not found in other Courtyard properties because of the strong leisure component in the Mankato economy.

“We’ll host business travelers during the week and we’ll have the leisure market on the weekends.”

The hotel is aiming for a big business in weddings. An outdoor courtyard has a fire pit, water features, a spot for wedding ceremonies, and room to seat 150 guests.

Nearby a 7,000-square-foot ballroom can be divided into smaller spaces for business events or opened up to accommodate 400 people.

“People can hold their wedding ceremony out here in the courtyard, then go into the ballroom for the reception and then got to their rooms for the night,” Lougheed said.

Other amenities include a 55-inch LCD touch screen in the lobby that allows guests to access a variety local and national information, and it can be transferred to their smartphone. They can touch the screen for local restaurants and get a map and directions that can be printed out, or access sports scores or a variety of other information.

“It’s a virtual concierge,” Lougheed said of the GoBoard screen.

The lobby features an open space with media pods, Wi-Fi and a variety of seating zones.

“Most hotels, you’re in your room or you’re going out. We have a lot of public spaces that still offer some privacy,” Lougheed said.

A bistro area offers breakfasts and evening meals, as well as Starbucks coffee, beer, wine and some cocktails.

The pool and whirlpool use saline rather than harsher-smelling chlorine, and the workout room features high-end exercise equipment, each fitted with a flat-screen TV.

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