Have You Heard: The Holiday Inn Grand is now a Radisson

The Radisson is back in Billings. Last week, the owners of the former Discount Holidays © Holiday Inn Grand at 5500 Midland Road took down the old signs outside and replaced them with the new Radisson brand, signaling a new transition for the 44-year-old hotel. The signs are a temporary cover now, but Stephen Nalley, the hotel s managing partner, says the permanent Radisson lettering should be up within two months, part of a multimillion renovation.

We want to get it done as soon as possible, Nalley said last week.

The plan to convert the brand of the seven-story, 316-room hotel went into motion in December when Florida-based Nalley and his partner, Joe Gillespie, bought the facility at auction for $7.85 million. Nalley and Gillespie own 191 hotels under their partnership, called Inner Circle US. The Billings property also includes the 43,000-square-foot Montana Convention Center, the city s largest stand-alone convention facility. Nalley said a designer has been to the property and plans have been submitted to Radisson. Renovations will be done in stages and take about a year to complete, he said.

Nalley stressed that the hotel would remain open during this period. In December, Nalley had said he was planning to meet with Billings city officials about a possible public-private partnership to improve the convention to attract visitors to town. Those talks remain preliminary, and Nalley said the owners are focused on hotel renovations first.

The Radisson brand should be familiar to Billings residents. The downtown Northern Hotel carried the brand in the 1990s, and it sponsored the Radisson Classic basketball tournament held during that time. In a news release, Radisson officials said they re glad to be back.

As one of the most refreshed hotel brands in North America, Radisson is focused on adding hotels in major cities, airport gateways and leisure destinations, said Javier Rosenberg, chief operating officer of Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, which owns the Radisson brand.

Kismet moving downtown

Kismet Fine Rugs in downtown Billings is moving from its home at 224 N. Broadway, but not far away. Renovations are underway at the former home of the Montana State University Billings extended campus at 112 N. Broadway, between Stacked and Belle en Blanc. Store representatives said they expect the move to take place late spring or early summer.

Kismet Fine Rugs, owned by Jeff Kismet, expanded to Billings in November 2014. Kismet has operated a store in Wyoming for about 25 years, and he sells rugs from Iran, India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Turkey, Egypt and Morocco. The MSUB extended campus is now at 224 N. Broadway.

Hancock Fabrics closing

The Hancock Fabrics store on Billings West End is closing in the wake of the Mississippi-based company s second bankruptcy in the last decade. Representatives at the store at 100 24th St. W. said the closure will take place in two to three months.

In a bankruptcy filing this month, Hancock, one of the nation s largest fabrics retailer, said it planned to close 70 stores nationwide to cut costs.

State checking vape licenses

The Montana Department of Revenue announced last week it will start inspections of vaping shops statewide to ensure they have proper licenses. A new state requirement for all retailers of alternative nicotine, vapor products and electronic cigarettes to buy $5 state licenses took effect Jan.

1. Revenue officials said they ve issued 680 licenses statewide, and about one-third of tobacco retailers have also applied to sell vaping products. The agency has issued about 1,800 postcards to remind businesses statewide to obtain the license.

Billings has about a half dozen vape-specific shops, and convenience stores across town also sell e-cigarettes. Visit www.mt.revenue.gov1 for more information.

D.A. Davidson sets record

Montana-based D.A. Davidson & Co. announced last week a record 2015 with $6.8 billion in transactions.

The investment banking group recorded 30 transactions involving mergers and acquisitions, 19 offerings of debt and equity and 15 board and corporate advisory assignments. D.A. Davidson, which has its headquarters in Great Falls and a downtown Billings office, is the largest investment bank outside of Wall Street.

Eatery to open in Crow

A new restaurant is coming to Crow Agency. Work is underway to build the new restaurant inside the Crow Nation Express Center at 42 Hospital Loop, according to the Crow tribe’s Facebook page.

The restaurant, which has yet to be named, should open in March.

Scams du jour

It’s tax season, which, for some, also means scam season. Two Billings residents reported last week receiving phone calls from people claiming to be from the IRS and threatening to sue. The two contacted me independently, and both said the call was from a 206 area code, which is in the Seattle area.

The Internal Revenue Service lists warnings about scams on its website at www.irs.gov2 . Officials say the agency will never call taxpayers and threaten litigation or demand payment. All of those communications would take place in writing.

Haikus from the valley

It was a big, historic sports weekend in Billings.

For the Eastern A

A new basketball era

A treat at Metra


  1. ^ www.mt.revenue.gov (www.mt.revenue.gov)
  2. ^ www.irs.gov (www.irs.gov)

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