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Crossings Inn and Suites open in Perham

Hotel management team, Arnie Thompson and Lynn Arntson, on the large stairway leading to the upper level, with immense stone fireplace in the background.1 / 2
Final details on the Crossings swimming pool and whirlpool were being completed earlier this week.2 / 2

Crossings Inn and Suites is open for business, complete with 45 guest rooms, a swimming pool, and even a bar.

The project has been nearly three years in the making, and started with three like-thinking entrepreneurs: Arnie and Connie Thompson and Lynn Arntson.

"Connie and I had been thinking about this for eight years," said Arnie. "We had thought about buying a resort at one time. We always felt the Perham area was very active, and with the right attitude toward growth."

Meanwhile, Arntson had been considering a bed and breakfast.

"I found out that, unless you have ten rooms, it isn't profitable--so why not a hotel?" said Arntson.

The idea was dormant for a few years.

"There was really no good commercial land available," said Thompson. But when the south east side of Perham began developing, with its Highway 10 frontage, the time was right.

The three were introduced to each other by Dennis Happel, one of the developers of the commercial addition that includes Dean's Country Market, Mark's Fleet and now, Crossings.

It took a couple of years to pull all 14 investors together. As Arnie explains the business arrangement, there are no "majority" investors, and there are several silent partners who have invested. In total, it was a $3.4 million project, said Arnie.

The Thompsons and Arntson have a management contract to operate the hotel. Arntson is general manager, and Arnie is maintenance manager.

The entrance and lobby features a tall staircase and balcony configuration, with an immense fireplace.

The 45 guest rooms include king singles, queen doubles and specialty suites. There are also extended-stay suites with a fireplace.

Other features include:

---meeting room

---free wireless and wired internet access

---each room has a microwave and a fridge

---counter tops are all granite

---outdoor recreation area

---a small bar area, with hours 4-9 p.m. weekdays and 4 to 10 p.m. on weekends

"The guests really do like the option of being able to order a drink in the motel," said Arntson. There is a large screen television in the bar area.

Arntson was a clinic coordinator with MeritCare. Six of her 17 years with MeritCare were in Perham.

"I wasn't unhappy with MeritCare, but I had my own goals I wanted to seek out," said Arntson.

Arnie Thompson is retired from Otter Tail Power. He is a Perham School Board member, and longtime member of the Perham Lions. Connie is a familiar face at the Perham Area Community Center front desk, and also a Perham Lions member.

Crossings employs about 15, including housekeeping, front desk staff and two bartenders.