Jan 10, 2013 12:55 AM by David Jay
BILLINGS - The new and improved Northern Hotel is set for its grand re-opening in March...and today - the focus was all about jobs.
Jobs that the opening of the downtown landmark will mean for the Magic City's economy.
After purchasing the Northern four years ago, brothers Mike and Chris Nelson are now looking to fill more than 100 positions.
The line went out around the Billings Job Service building and out the door this morning for people waiting for interviews.
By this afternoon...many still waited.
More than 600 came out to apply for the 117 jobs Northern needs for the hotel and two restaurants.
With such a large turnout., many waited an hour to an hour and a half for the chance to fill a job opening.
Mike Nelson says he's looking for a special skill for hospitality jobs.
"The ability of a person to invisibly serve the guest," Mike Nelson said.about what makes a good hotel employee. "To anticipate what their needs are going to be and to fill those needs before the guest even knows. Now that's a tough thing to do, you've go to really have some experience in doing that kind of deal, but that's the kind of person we're looking for."
"I think there's a little bit of a cache in working for the Northern that people are excited about," said John Rife, business consultant for the Billings Job Service. "Plus a new place, the new kid in town. Probably a quarter of these about or so are going to get a job out of this, and that's exciting. That's fun. It's fun to be a part of somebody else's success."
Nelson says as many as 200 people submitted applications on line, so about 800 have applied for jobs at the Northern Hotel..
Rife says these job fairs work well, in that.employers get to see a lot of people in a short time and applicants get the chance at an interview.