Jan 4, 2013 7:48 PM by Angela Douglas - Q2 News
BILLINGS - Next week marks the fourth anniversary of when Billings brothers Mike and Chris Nelson purchased the historic Northern Hotel in downtown Billings.
"When we walked into this hotel on the 9th of January, the tables were still set in the Golden Bell and the beds were made. It was quite an experience," recalled Northern Hotel co-owner Mike Nelson. "It was as if someone had just come in and said, 'Everybody out!' and they all left."
Since then, the building has been gutted and completely redone. The duo has faced many trials and tribulations along the way, but with the grand-opening set for mid-March, the end is now in sight.
"We're about 85-percent done in construction," said Nelson. "We start moving furniture into the hotel in about two weeks."
In an effort to keep the renovations a surprise until the grand-opening, the Nelson brothers have kept much of the renovations under wraps. But, there are a couple new additions you can view from the street.
"We're standing in Bernie's Diner," Nelson said as he stood on the new, white and gray tile. "Our fabulous breakfast and lunch place. It is a quick food diner as you can see. It will seat about 90 folks.
The Nelson brothers named the diner after their mother, Bernice. Mike and Chris hope guests will enjoy a casual dining experience for breakfast and lunch at Bernie's Diner. As for the fine dining, that is reserved for the restaurant and bar across the hall.
"We're really excited and proud of the TEN, which is our fine dining establishment," said M. Nelson. "It was named after my father, Thomas Edgar Nelson."
In order keep the new eateries running smoothly, the Northern Hotel will be hiring servers, bartenders, and kitchen staff. But that's not all, the Nelsons will soon be recruiting 117 workers to ensure the 4-star hotel in Billings provides a top-shelf experience for guests.
"You name it. If it's needed in a hotel, we're hiring for that position right now," said M. Nelson.
In fact, the Northern Hotel is holding a jobs fair at Billings Job Services on Wednesday, January 9 from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Billings Job Services is located at 2121 Rosebud Drive.
"We'll provide the applications, pencil or pen would be good, and a great attitude; a willingness to come to work," the hotel owner explained.
Whether you're in the market for a new job or looking for a downtown getaway, the grand-opening of the renewed Northern Hotel on March 15 will be a welcomed event by many.