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INNSIDE

Spring 2005

PROPERTIES

Staybridge Suites of Bloomington Provides Your Home Away From Home


Staybridge Suites of Bloomington began operations in May of 2001. This 127 unit hotel is positioned in the competitive Bloomington market located on the corner of Interstate-494 and Normandale Boulevard, and accommodates primarily corporate clients traveling for training, special projects, consulting or relocation. This prime location is also ideal for Minneapolis International Airport and Mall of America travelers. The Staybridge Suites brand is a new, upscale concept in extended-stay lodging. It offers three types of residential-style accommodations; a studio suite, a one-bedroom suite and a two-bedroom/two-bathroom suite. Each of these suites offer a fully- equipped kitchen in addition to a work desk with complimentary high speed internet access. Additional conveniences for business travelers include a 24-hour business center featuring internet access as well as copy and fax capabilities. When its time to relax, the Staybridge Suites offers a fitness center, guest library, indoor pool, whirlpool and even an outdoor courtyard complete with gas barbeque grills! Its the next best thing to being home. The Staybridge Suites of Bloomington has received numerous awards, including the 2004 Torgerson Properties Property of the Year and Top Gun awards (see page thirteen for pictures of the SSB team receiving their awards). The hotel team is also extremely proud of employee Pramela Bharrat, who was honored at the 2004 TPI awards banquet with the first annual Heart and Soul Award, recognizing her relentless efforts to do whatever it takes to satisfy the hotel guests. In 2003, Virgil Jones received the Guest Service Agent Diamond Service Award from the Bloomington Convention and Visitors Bureau, in recognition of his outstanding guest service abilities. In addition, the Bloomington location received the 2003 Quality of Excellence Award from Intercontinental Hotels Group. An outstanding facility combined with an outstanding staff has made the Staybridge Suites of Bloomington one of the most highly regarded extended-stay hotels in the Twin Cities area. Teamed with the Hilton Garden Inn located next door, they provide the best of the best for Twin Cities business or leisure travelers.

TPI Spotlight

The Staybridge Suites of Bloomington, located at the corner of Interstate-494 and Normandale Boulevard, provides all of the comforts of home to business and leisure travelers.

A Message From Tom Torgerson


Seems there are always things happening around TPI. This year we are embarking upon $4,000,000 in renovations to our existing facilities. Some of the larger projects include complete interior dcor remodels for SpringHill Suites Rochester and Staybridge Suites Naples. Holiday Inn Express Eagan, Holiday Inn Willmar and Holiday Inn New Ulm will be replacing all of their furniture this year. Not too glamorous a project, but a necessity none-the-less, is Holiday Inn Fairmont ripping out its entire parking lot and replacing it. And there are many, many more projects. They all require a lot of planning and hard work to execute by all of the associates at TPI. We want to ensure our guests are not compromised during these renovations and of course, enjoy the benefits once the projects are complete. Whatever it takes for Outrageous Guest Service, you have the power!
Tom Torgerson Chief Executive Officer Torgerson Properties, Inc.

Our new construction projects are proceeding quite well. In Rochester, our CourtYard by Marriott is topped out and all enclosed. What an impressive building and facility! This CourtYard will have a full-service restaurant, bar and meeting facility along with all of the other amenities youd expect from a CourtYard. Additionally, it has an enclosed private parking ramp integrated into the hotel. We are projecting an opening for late summer.

The full service Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites in Arbor Lakes (NW Minneapolis) is now scheduled to go through Planning Commission in conjunction with the entire next Phase of Arbor Lakes. The next phase is called The Fountains At Arbor Lakes with one large pond full of fountains and additional water amenities filtered throughout the development. Our Venetian themed hotel and water park sits right at the gateway to Arbor Lakes and on the shores of the large pond. The arrival at this signature hotel will be extremely dramatic. Our friend, Gary Sauer, has been instrumental in positioning the hotel in this location. In our next addition of the TPI Newsletter, we will be able to insert construction photos of this project. Our Green Mill & Conference Center in Willmar is venturing into new territory for TPI. Though many of our restaurants do delivery and some occasional off-premise catering, Willmar is going to put both feet into off-premise catering. We have invested in a kitchenon-wheels. This truck is currently being custom fabricated and should arrive soon. Our new business will be launched early summer and focus towards the more upscale catering needs in Kandiyohi county. I am also happy to report that our launching of Harvest Buffet in Austin last fall is off and running. This too is a first time concept for TPI. We are already achieving great customer satisfaction and profitability with sales trends showing growth. What a nice complement to our Torges Live nightclub at that location. Recently, we bought out our Limited Partner Investors at the Staybridge Suites in Naples, FL. The result is a more typical ownership and management scenario for TPI whereby TPI is now a 50% owner of the hotel and our partner is Ray DeAngelis. Additionally, TPI manages the hotel under contract. This opens doors for a lot of upside potential for the hotel and TPI. This was the only asset in TPIs portfolio whereby TPI had a minority interest in ownership. As a result, TPI either wholly owns the assets it manages, or at the very least has a 50% ownership stake. Though Naples had a happy ending, TPI has no intention of making future minority investments. I am excited about 2005 for all of us at TPI. I believe this is an exciting and great company to work at and make a difference at. We continue as a company to evolve our leadership abilities resulting in rock solid operations in each of our properties. Leadership sets the culture within each of our operations, and the associates take us home from there. We need both working harmoniously to achieve Outrageous Guest Service, and remember, You Have The Power! Tom Torgerson

HIN Care Committee Continues To Grow


Do-Your-Best Bear Acts As Mascot
The Hampton Inn Shoreviews Care Committee is in full gear. With a commitment to outrageous guest service, the committee consists of three employees from each department. The committee meets every other Wednesday and analyzes all guest surveys from Hilton, and selects goals to conquer. They have team ice breakers, challenges and games like Hampton Bingo to spread the news about whats going on in the care committee and to promote staff involvement and keep the energy we create alive. And yes, they get prizes. Our next goal is to paint our training room and add our five elements of the Hampton Inn training, posters for each department with each employees hand print and the date they started. As you can see, our mascot is the Do-Your-Best-Bear. One committee member from the front of the house and one from the heart of the house has our mascot key chain that they carry around all day to remind the team members of our vision.

Mitch Looks At The Lighter Side


When you work in a business that revolves around interaction with the general public, any number of situations can, and do, arise. When presented with a guest challenge, the resolution is sometimes clear and yet at other times it is not. We work diligently on a daily basis to insure that our guests do not experience anything less than outrageous guest service. There are however, on occasion, service breakdowns that do occur. In the case of these rare occurrences we are all empowered to do whatever it takes to alleviate the guests concerns and ensure their continued patronage. Based on my day-to-day experiences, TPI associates have done a tremendous job of providing our guests with the finest service possible. For that I am both pleased and proud. The nature of the hospitality business is such that we often find ourselves faced with situations that at times leave us speechless. In these circumstances there are often no clear cut Mitch Peterson forms of resolution to satisfactorily address the guests concern. The effective handling of President of Operations these occurrences involves a solid understanding of the not so fine line between principle Torgerson Properties, Inc. and correctness. In many instances the situation seems to be totally irrational and we say to ourselves huh?. When this occurs we have a choice to make. We can choose to ignore their concern and do nothing, or we can accept responsibility for their situation and resolve the issue that in principle, we do not own. As difficult as it may be to accept at the time, these occurrences often turn out to be not only an opportunity to impress our guests, but as you will see are sometimes quite humorous! I again have dug deep into my TPI Opinions.com file to extract some humorous examples of situations where our guests have not only left us speechless, but have allowed us to smile as well. Here are just a few: I called the Staybridge Suites in Bloomington and they told me that the Staybridge van would be there in a couple of minutes and told me where to meet it. I got on the Staybridge Eagan van when it arrived at the airport and it took me to Eagan instead of Bloomington. To make a long story short, I had to take a taxi to Bloomington because it was my fault that I was in the wrong placejust one bad and thoughtless (and costly) experience for me. Humorous note: Got on the Eagan van to go to Bloomington. Upon my check-in I requested a room on the highway side of the hotel where I had parked my trailer in order to keep an eye on it throughout the nightI opened my window, checked on my trailer, and went to sleepthe noise on that side of the building was unbearablethe least the staff could do is to allow the guest an option of getting a room on the non-highway side of the building! Humorous note: The guest requested a room on the highway side. We returned to the hotel after spending the day out and realized that no housekeeping service had taken place in our room. Granted, we had put out the do not disturb sign but, you d think that at least the bed would be made, garbage emptied, and towels replaced. Humorous note: What is the Do not disturb sign for? Initially, we chose your hotel because you accepted pets which was important to us as we were traveling with our dogWhen we checked into our room it was clear that the previous guest was the owner of a dog, how disgusting!Lastly, I cannot believe you allow cats in the hotel. They are not clean animals and they shed all over the room which some future guest will have to deal with! Humorous note: Apparently, cats are not pets. We had a gift certificate for $20.00. We had a bill totaling $15.00 for our evening out. When we went to pay for our bill we were told that there was no money given in change for those gift certificates. If we would have known that was the policy, we would have found other ways to use up the balance (on dessert, appetizer, etc.). Incidentally, the only statement that is clearly identified on the certificate is Certificates must be used in full. Not redeemable for cash, credit or gratuity. Humorous note: Huh?. At Christmas 2001, my wife and I were given $40 in Holiday Inn gift certificates purchased through a local raffle. We used one of the $10 certificates in January but didnt realize that they had an expiration date of June 31, 2001 until we decided to use them on Saturday, July 5thI was astounded that they would even question the validity of these certificates as so little time had passed from the expiration date! Humorous note: The gift certificate in question was redeemed on July 5th, 2004.

...continued on page 6

Torgerson Properties 2004 Hotel Awards

Holiday Inn Austin

Hilton Garden Inn Eagan

Staybridge Suites Bloomington

Sales Achievement Award


In Recognition Of Achieving The Greatest Percentage Of Growth In Revenue

Presidents Award
In Recognition Of Achieving The Greatest Percentage Of Growth In Income Before Fixed

Top Gun Award


In Recognition Of Achieving The Greatest Excess Income Before Fixed, Actual To Budget

Holiday Inn New Ulm

Hampton Inn Shoreview

Hampton Inn Shoreview

Teamwork Award
In Recognition Of Maintaining The Lowest Rate Of Employee Turnover

Chairmans Award
In Recognition Of Achieving The Greatest Percentage Of Growth In Revenue

Closer Award
In Recognition Of Achieving The Most Exceptional Overall Fourth Quarter Performance

Torgerson Properties 2004 Restaurant Awards

Perkins Austin

Green Mill Willmar

Perkins Austin

Sales Achievement Award


In Recognition Of Achieving The Greatest Percentage Of Growth In Revenue

Presidents Award
In Recognition Of Achieving The Greatest Percentage Of Growth In Income Before Fixed

Top Gun Award


In Recognition Of Achieving The Greatest Excess Income Before Fixed, Actual To Budget

Torges Fairmont

Perkins Austin

Green Mill Willmar

Teamwork Award
In Recognition Of Maintaining The Lowest Rate Of Employee Turnover

Chairmans Award
In Recognition Of Achieving The Greatest Percentage Of Growth In Revenue

Closer Award
In Recognition Of Achieving The Most Exceptional Overall Fourth Quarter Performance

Continued from page 3, Mitch Looks at the Lighter Side... This past Friday, my wife and I were having dinner at this particular Green Mill. We were sitting close to the kitchen areawe were about 8-10 feet away from the man making the pizzas. In an effort to impress several children watching him, he kept tossing pizza dough higher and higher. Fine, no problem, have fun at your job. But it becomes a problem when he tosses the pizza over the glass barrier, over all of the children watching, and over the back of our booth and lands on my wife. Now while Im normally a pretty patient guy, when a pizza lands on my wife I tend to get a little p****d off. If Im at McDonald's and a fry comes flying out of somewhere, fine, I can handle that. However, I dont expect pizza dough to hit my wife in the head. Disappointing, to say the least, and I dont know if I can go back there after this experience. Humorous note: Thank goodness there wasnt pizza sauce on it! We could argue that in the vast majority of these situations, in principle we are not responsible for resolving the individual guests concerns. Any court in the land would side with us, but unfortunately no hospitality court exists today!. However, the correct thing for us to do is to work towards finding a way to ultimately satisfy these guests. In most cases a small investment in terms of a resolution, can create a lifetime guest in return. Some of the most loyal guests are created through the process of problem resolution, irregardless of who is at the source of the issue. As a matter of fact, when we help a guest out of a problem that they have created for themselves, without reminding them of that same fact, the potential exists for even greater loyalty. One final note; all of the above guest concerns were handled to the complete satisfaction of the contributing guests. Congratulations to each of the teams that did the whatever it takes. Final Note: Its not about who is right or who is wrong...its about satisfying our guests. Mitch

Presenting... The 2005 TPI Decade Club


Great people are the heart and soul of what makes Torgerson Properties a leader in the hospitality industry. On behalf of the entire TPI organization, we salute each of these 69 individuals for their ten-plus years of loyalty and commitment towards the success of TPI. Fairmont Hotels Cindy Benton 6/12/80 Stacy Hanning 7/25/90 James Kokoruda 4/25/95 Rita Lunz 3/15/93 Regina Nelson 8/01/91 Vicki Wehner 5/04/88 Barb Young 3/06/91 Dave Zellmer 5/24/87 Holiday Inn New Ulm Donna Nichols 8/21/89 Sue Pederson 4/16/88 Debbie Schmidt 8/13/90 Perkins Austin Karen Dion 10/22/90 Ann Jette 9/20/91 Teresa Wilde 10/22/90 Perkins Fairmont Cassie Connelly 5/01/94 Lynette Ellman 10/18/83 Gena Geerdes 8/20/85 Eileen Grefe 10/18/83 Randy Kruse 5/08/94 Tim Rasche 2/05/95 Bruce Thompson 5/22/88 Laura Truslow 2/06/93 Torgerson Properties Mitch Peterson 12/12/88 Dennis Wallenta 8/13/90 Sheryl Walton 1/26/80 Perkins Red Wing Ginny Horstmann 9/12/93 Tammy Mathews 9/12/93 Kim Murphy 9/12/93 Mary Odman 4/25/95 Ronda Swenning 9/12/93 Jen Swenning 3/10/94 Torges Fairmont Brad Bearson 4/29/90 Kari Buntjer 10/16/91 Ron DeBoer 10/21/88 Alison Farrow 8/15/87 Steve Fausch 4/14/06 Angela Garbers 12/18/91 Jerry Goblirsch 12/15/88 Linda Gronewold 11/29/83 Diann Irmiter 7/24/89 Phyllis Kragness 10/20/91 Lynn Marushin 5/01/92 Karie Nelson 3/14/95 Mark Neubauer 5/22/85 Ellen Neubauer 12/10/91 Tena Schultz 9/13/89 Lori Smith 3/07/95 Terry Stade 9/29/87 Austin Hotels Mary Bates 12/04/94 Kristi Bredfelt 2/13/94 Shirley Desart 5/17/89 Carolyn Tindal 7/03/94 Elizabeth Haack 7/14/93 Maynard Wolfe 3/06/90 Ottos New Ulm Lisa Braulick 10/23/91 Green Mill Willmar Anita Beuning 11/24/87 Larry Jorschumb 1/16/93 Norene Medici 4/10/92 Brenda Muller 5/01/83 Inge Wilson 10/31/81 Hampton Inn Shoreview Janet Johnson 3/20/92 Staybridge Suites Maple Grove Todd Roy 7/13/92 Harvest Buffet Austin Terry Coleman 5/20/89 Holiday Inn Willmar Jackie Augustson 4/11/79 Torges Live Austin Jamie Goligowski 11/30/92 Holiday Inn Express Eagan Susan Baldwin 11/13/94 Lois Pollihan 4/18/94 D Vongsaphay 12/02/94 Holiday Inn Express GV Riley Kvam 12/01/91

Torgerson Properties Retirement Savings Plan


Portfolio Rebalancing: An Important Part Of Long-Term Investment Success
Investing in the Torgerson Properties Retirement Savings Plan is a simple and effective way to save for the future. One benefit is that the contributions are deducted from your pay, so there is less temptation to spend now rather than save for later. In fact, it can be easy to forget that you are even putting money away for the future. But this may be one reason many investors fail to make necessary adjustments to their holdings. With fluctuating market conditions and different investments performing better or worse than others over time, your portfolios investment mix may stray from your original intentions. And, while you likely considered which investments best matched your personal objectives and risk tolerance when you first invested in the Torgerson Properties Retirement Savings Plan, you may not have re-examined allocations to ensure they have remained in line with your financial goals. That is where rebalancing can help. This process, in which you sell some of your better performing investments and invest more in those that have fallen behind, is important to a longterm plan. By periodically reviewing your holdings and realigning assets to your initial allocation, you may help reduce the volatility of your portfolio and keep your investment strategy on track.

Unless you have a money tree, it only makes sense to keep your 401-k investment up to date with your financial goals.

And that process can be as simple as making contributions to your account. The Torgerson Properties Retirement Savings Plan allows you to make an election to have your account automatically rebalance on a quarterly basis. If you have not already elected your account to be rebalanced, the process is simple. You can call Alerus Retirement Solutions at 800-433-1685 and request an Account Rebalancing Form to be completed and submitted to your Human Resources office. Once you have done so, you will be reassured that your retirement plan is best allocated to help you realize your savings goals. If you wish to access your account online, you can log on to the following website: www.alerusretirementsolutions.com Click on the Participant Log In and enter your Social Security Number and PIN. If you need to create or reset your PIN, you can call 800-433-1685 and a Service Representative can assist you.

Were Gonna Win Twins!


Austin Campus Hosts The 2005 Minnesota Twins Winter Caravan
The Austin Holiday Inn and Conference Center was the proud host to the Minnesota Twins 2005 winter caravan. Over 300 twins fans from all over southern Minnesota joined in to welcome the Twins and prepare for another exciting season of baseball. Even TC, the Twins bear mascot, made an appearance and was a big hit. Harvest Buffet General Manager Terry Phillips took a moment to join TC in cheering the Twins (lower left). After feasting on a traditional baseball meal including hot dogs, brats, beans and chips, FSN Twins broadcaster Clay Matvick introduced current Twins players Joe Mauer (upper left) and Carlos Silva. Both players spoke to the fans and fielded questions about the upcoming season. Next, three-time American League batting champion Tony Oliva brought down the house as he was introduced. Tony was very gracious and said he was excited about the upcoming Twins season. Before the night was over, everyone in attendance was able to get an autograph from each of the Twins players. It was an exciting evening in Austin, and we look forward to hosting this event again in the future. Now, its time to take me out to the ballpark!.

On The Move With TPI

Tiffany Wimmer recently joined the staff at TPIs Administrations office. She most recently worked at the Comfort Inn of Willmar where she was the Night Auditor. Tiffany is a native of Litchfield, where she currently resides with her fiance, Jeremy. In her spare time she enjoys bowling, sewing and dancing. Of course, right now she is kept busy planning her September wedding. She has been a fantastic addition to the TPI Administrations team. Sheryl Walton says Tiffany has become our resident expert on chemical fertilizer. Welcome aboard Tiffany!

Terry Phillips has joined TPI as General Manager of our newest restaurant concept...Harvest Buffet of Austin. He has an extensive background in buffet-style restaurants through his four-year management experience with Old Country Buffet in the Twin Cities area. In his spare time Terry enjoys fishing on a quiet lake and also collects (and smokes) rare or hard-to-find cigars from all over the world. Terry has been an invaluable asset in developing TPIs first buffet restaurant. Welcome to TPI Terry, were glad to have you on the team.

The Austin Holiday Inn and Conference Center is pleased to introduce Sharon Kaplan as their new Director of Sales. Sharons background includes operating an in-home daycare, administrations with the Austin Public Schools and Marketing with the Xerox company. She and her husband Scott have four children and two grandchildren. Sharon enjoys wildlife oil painting, scrapbooking and reading. Welcome to the Holiday Inn, Sharon. The Austin crew is glad to have you on their team.

Ottos Feierhaus & Bier Stube is pleased to introduce General Manager Marti Bennet. Marti has a great deal of experience in the restaurant/lounge concept, most recently as the Food & Beverage Manager at the Best Western Hotel in Mankato. Marti also owned his own restaurant/lounge in Mankato for many years. He has quickly acclimated to New Ulm, as his first two weeks as General Manager were during Oktoberfest. Marti answered the bell, and has been a strong leader for the entire Ottos team. Welcome to New Ulm Marti.

Springhill Suites Rochester is pleased to introduce Ian Freeburg as their General Manager. Ian started in the hotel business when he was 19 years old as a bellman at the Sheraton Metrodome in Minneapolis. Over time he worked his way up to his most recent position as Front Office Manager at the Marriott of Rochester. Ian says he is married to my best friend and inspiration, Tracy, who has her own morning show on Fox Country 102.5 FM in Rochester. Ian is a huge Twins and Viking fan and enjoys hunting wild turkeys, pheasants and deer. Welcome to TPI Ian.

Another invaluable part of the Harvest Buffet grand opening team is Jean Hoeft. Jean joined TPI as Banquet/Kitchen Manager last fall, and has been a big part of the success of Harvest Buffet. Jean most recently worked as the Banquet Manager at the Red Wing Golf and Country Club. She and her husband Ross have recently purchased a home and relocated to Austin. Starting a new concept is always an adventure, but Jean has been instrumental in building a strong team and making the Harvest Buffet a success. Congratulations Jean.

On The Move With TPI

The Holiday Inn and Super 8 hotels in Fairmont are proud to announce the promotion of Amanda Anderson to Assistant General Manager. Amanda started at the front desk of the Super 8 in December of 2000. She then crossed-trained and learned the desk, at the Holiday Inn, including both audits! She graduated with an associates degree in travel and tourism management from Iowa Lakes College in Emmetsburg, IA. She was promoted to Assistant General Manager in October of 2004 and has been doing a great job. Congratulations Amanda!

The Days Inn and the Holiday Inn and Conference Center of Austin take great pleasure in introducing Melissa Kuttner as their Assistant General Manager. Melissa says she enjoys camping and being able to be outdoors. She is also staying very busy planning for her upcoming wedding this November. Melissa has been a great complement to the Austin management team. Congratulations on your promotion, Melissa!

Perkins Restaurant and Bakery of Red Wing is proud to introduce Kitchen Manager Joe Allers. Joe, who was born and raised in near-by Lake City, MN, joined Torgerson Properties as a line cook while in high school in 2000. He enjoys fishing, hunting and bowling. In addition to his outdoor activities, Joe is a big NASCAR fan, naming #48 Jimmy Johnson as his favorite driver. Joe has been a great addition to the Red Wing management team. Congratulations Joe, and good luck in your Kitchen Manager position.

In July of 2004, Sue Blackstad joined the Perkins Fairmont team as the Kitchen Manager. Sues background includes over twenty years of restaurant experience. She has also worked as a certified athletic trainer for the past six years, most recently for the Fairmont Hockey Association. Sue is a native of New Ulm, MN and has lived in Fairmont for the past five years. She enjoys all sports, especially golf and darts. Sue loves the outdoors and spending time with family, friends and her dog, Bently. Welcome aboard, Sue. You have been a great addition to the Perkins Fairmont team.

The Austin Holiday Inn and Conference center is proud to introduce Molly Kennedy as the new Director of Catering. Molly possesses a great deal of catering experience, most recently as Catering Manager at the Marriott in Rochester. She and her family make their home in St. Ansgar, Iowa. Molly is looking forward to shortening her daily commute by a half hour each way. The entire Kennedy family are huge NASCAR buffs. They enjoy attending races whenever possible. Welcome to Austin Molly, were glad to have you on the TPI team!

The Staybridge Suites of Eagan welcomes John Neuser to their property as Chief Engineer. John has been with Torgerson Properties since 2000, and has worked at all three Eagan hotels. Johns previous position was in the engineering department at the Holiday Inn Express. Congratulations on your promotions, John. We all know you will do a great job!

Whatever It Takes For Outrageous Guest Service...


An e-mail received by Tom Torgerson... I travel 50-75 nights a year for business. I am not easily satisfied. I routinely complain when I am not happy with hotels that I stay at. Your hotel has really been problem free. You have empowered your staff and that seems to make the difference. This last stay we were to come in Wednesday night and leave Sunday morning. We had a nightmarish experience on our flight to Minnesota. We missed our flight and didnt make it back home until early in the morning. We woke up at 5am to try again. I never called to let the hotel staff know that we were delayed. We got into town the next morning. I called the hotel when we arrived. I was told that I would be charged for not fulfilling my commitment of staying the prior night. I explained to the front desk person, Tracy, that we were delayed and that we were at the airport until 2am. I also explained that we wanted to stay Thursday through Sunday. Tracy explained that there would be no charge and the rooms would be held for us. After we got our luggage, we decided to drop it off at the hotel. I knew the rooms would not be ready. When we got there Tracy said, Oh, Mr. Miller, since your rooms were saved you can check in right now. This was done without consulting with her supervisor, and without upsetting me and then relenting and allowing me to win an argument. It is evident that this results from instilling your desire with the staff. I applaud your efforts. Please let Tracy know that I really appreciate her ability to make a decision. Right or wrong, you allowed it. This is so much more refreshing than being told, Ill have to ask my supervisor. Murray Miller Discover Communications

A note received at the SpringHill Suites of Rochester... To the SpringHill Suites: Were thinking of how youve touched our lives. Perhaps youve never realized how your thoughtful, caring ways have made such a difference to others, and how your many small kindnesses have grown into ever-widening circles that have touched so many lives, especially ours. Were thinking of how youve touched our life and hoping that those many kindnesses will be returned to you each day; and remembering all of the things you do that make all of you someone special. Bill and Judy Curtis

A letter received at Hilton World Wide... I just wanted to let you know that the night audit person, Sherry, at the Hampton Inn Shoreview represents the best of what Hilton stands for. She was not only pleasant and extremely courteous at 6:30 am after a long evening on the job; she was absolutely vibrant and genuinely wanted to help me over the phone. She not only saved the day after I was indifferently treated over the phone at another location, but I then later cancelled twelve individual rooms of multiple nights stay at the Holiday Inn of Vadnais Heights and booked them at the Hampton Inn for a meeting I was hosting in town because of Sherrys commitment to her guests. After trying to get a reservation at the other location, I placed a call to your Hampton Inn Shoreview at 6:30am and yielded this chipper voice welcoming in the day to me, inquiring what she could do to assist me. Asking if anything opened up for that evening and letting her know how poorly I was treated by the other locations, Sherry went into action. She explained that she really wanted to help me, but couldnt commit to anything until 8am. She asked if I could call her back then or if I preferred, leave my cell number with her and she would call me back. I explained that I would be in flight at that time. Thats not a problem, as she assured me that I would have a voice mail from her when I landed. True to her word, the voice mail was on the phone confirming a room for that night and requesting that I call to confirm that I received the call. Calling in to the Hampton Inn, someone else answered the phone. I identified myself and was immediately told that they were expecting my call as Sherry alerted them to our conversation. Now thats customer service! When I arrived that evening and identified myself, the attendants response was Mr. Wenzel, welcome, we have been waiting for you. I hope you had a good flight. I had the pleasure of meeting Sherry personally the next morning and told her she was my Hilton Hero. I am pleased to say that I have cancelled my scheduled meeting sleeping rooms and since rebooked everyone at the Hampton Inn. I am confident Sherry will treat my meeting guests with the same warmth, respect and more importantly, with the same Hilton spirit. Again, thank you Sherry. Mr. Wenzel

...You Have The Power!


An e-mail received at TPI Opinions.com concerning the Staybridge Suites Maple Grove... This letter to you is long overdue. I started staying at the Staybridge Suites in Maple Grove shortly after the hotel opened. My mother was in a nursing home and I visited her every two months. The hotel provided me with a safe environment, as many times I had to travel alone. It also provided a home-like setting in which I could have my mother with me during the day if I wished. The staff was always so kind to me and to my family, knowing that many times my visit was not an easy one if a problem arose with my mothers health. I had to change reservations, extend my stay, etc., and they were always very helpful. The staff became like my family away from home, always asking if there was anything I needed, how my mother was doing, and letting me know that there was someone there who cared. Through the years, we had many family gatherings at the hotel when our four children all came with their families and we have many happy memories from those times. Todd is really a wonderful manager and the people that work for him always speak about him with the highest regard. Fran, who is in the food service department of the hotel, is so special. She would always tell me that I should be sure to eat with all that I was going through and always had a smile on her face and a kind word. The hotel was always very clean and the ground were so nice as well. My mother became very ill a little over a year ago. I moved into the hotel and told my mother that I would be with her until the end. Every day I was there during those almost three weeks, the staff couldnt have been more dear to me. I received a phone call in the middle of the night from the nursing home that my mother was critical and I should get there quickly. I didnt return to the hotel until a day and a half later. The room was held for me and there was a sympathy card from the staff with a note telling me that they were there if I needed anything. I stayed there with my family until we left from the town where we had the funeral. I wasnt sure how I would feel about going back to the hotel to stay without my mother being there, but we have been back about three or four times and the staff was so happy to see us and made us feel so welcome, as usual. We have stayed in many hotels in our travels, but this is a special place, and I just thought that you should know. I wish there was some kind of award that they could win for the way they make people feel and I know they treat everyone that way. Sincerely, Patt Bolduc

A letter received at the Hilton Garden Inn of Eagan... We would like to thank you for all of the wonderful service you provided us for our wedding block the weekend of October 22-24. Your hotel was fantastic! We appreciate the professionalism of your staff, as well as all of the accommodations you provided to our guests. We had such a positive response from all of our guests who stayed with you. We also cannot thank you enough for the transportation to and from the reception. You hotel was so considerate, your staff even provided rides for our guests the following morning to go and get their cars from Buck Hill. We are also so thankful that your staff provided one of our ushers a ride to the church Friday night, after his flight arrived late so he could attend the rehearsal. Our guests were able to enjoy their evenings so much more, knowing they did not have to worry about driving. Thanks again for such wonderful service! We have informed Kraemers Catering, Buck Hill of the wonderful services you have provided, and they have recommended your hotel to their clients who are using their facility for weddings, etc. We will definitely be staying at your hotel and other Hilton hotels again! Jami Duncan

A note received by Marriott Guest Relations... I had the occasion to stay at the SpringHill Suites in Rochester, Minnesota and I had to write to tell you how pleased I was. The staff was efficient and friendly. They worked hard to assure our comfort. The premises were kept in excellent condition including the gardens, the lobby and the breakfast area. The manager and his entire staff could not have done more to please us. Ms. Joanellen Walsh

Whatever It Takes For Outrageous Guest Service...


An e-mail received at TPI Opinions.com... I wanted to take the time to applaud the staff at one of your Hilton hotels. I joined a new company approximately a year ago and in this position, I travel extensively. I try to stay at Hilton hotels whenever possible. As such, I have been exposed to a number of different staff members in many different cities. The staff - everyone with whom I came into contact - at the Eagan, Minnesota Hilton were exceptional! I immediately noticed how friendly the woman was who checked us in. You expect some level of friendliness when you first check in, but she was incredibly warm and joyful. She stressed with great conviction, too, that if there was anything she could do for me, just to let her know. She even anticipated needs and questions, such as the need for an area map or a wake-up call. This hospitality, kindness and helpfulness extended to everyone with whom I came into contact, including the evening and night desk staff, the early morning staff and the airport shuttle staff. Each person stood out individually, as I mentioned, and what was even more impressive was that the entire staff as a whole stood out. In these days and times, when customer service and appreciation seems to be waning, it is rare to find a staff like the one in Eagan. I must warn you though, the pressure will be on the other Hiltons to measure up to this one location. Again, I wanted to take the time to commend these individuals and share what a great job they are doing. Congratulations on this staff! Melissa Fryrear Extremely Satisfied Hilton Patron

A letter received at the Staybridge Suites of Eagan... Just a note to applaud your facility and staff. My wife, son and his wife and sick granddaughter stayed last Wednesday through Sunday. We had just helped them move from Ithaca, New York to Minneapolis and chose to stay at the Staybridge Suites in Eagan. While my wife and I cared for our grandchild, our son and his wife made appointments to tour homes and duplexes and traveled about with cell phones. Did the internet come in handy? Did two lines in the room get used? Did having a two-room suite work with a crying, ill child? Did the kitchen come in handy? All I can say is a big Thanks to your staff and your excellent facility for an excellent stay. Larry Debbert and family

A letter received at the Holiday Inn of Fairmont... As you may know, our wedding reception was held at your hotel on February 12, 2005. The reception was held Saturday night, and we had a large number of out-of-town guests staying at the hotel on Friday and Saturday nights. We wanted to let you know what a great job your staff did for our wedding. We were very pleased with the effort made by every department, and we wanted to thank all of you staff members who helped make our day special. I wanted to especially thank the catering staff who worked the reception. They did a great job of taking care of our guests. We had many compliments on the food and the service at the reception. You have a great team, and they worked very hard to take care of the details and make our guests feel welcome. Please pass our thanks to your employees in housekeeping, catering, front desk, guest service and all other departments. Sincerely, Carla Rock

A true story from the Hilton Shoreview... Living in Minnesota has taught all of us that the cold can be a cruel and unwelcome guest during the winter. Unfortunately, sometimes unfamiliar visitors are unaware of just how cold it can be. During a visit this past winter, two gentlemen from Australia were staying at the Hilton of Shoreview and, unbelievably, they were walking almost a mile to their destination in 25 degree below zero temperatures and 40 mile-per-hour winds. To top things off, neither of the guests were wearing a jacket! They were obviously unprepared and not familiar with the weather conditions that we regularly experience here in the ice capital of Torgerson Properties...Shoreview. Sheila Stuart, Director of Catering and Josh Porter, Guest Service Agent, made sure that both guests were picked up by the hotel van and delivered safely to their destination that day, and for the rest of their stay. We hope this service left our Australian friends with a better memory of their trip to Minnesota.

...You Have The Power!


A note received at the Hampton Inn of Maple Grove... During my January 24 check-in, I was greeted by customer service representative Karen Finnestad. Karen was absolutely phenomenal and exuded all the pleasantries that turn random customers into repeat customers. In addition to her courtesy, she detected that I had been overcharged. The HiltonHHonors website booked my stay as a government rate, but charged my per night rate at $109.00 instead of your$94.00 government rate. Her friendliness and concern did not end there. As we later passed in the hallway, Karen referred to me by name, asked if my accommodations were acceptable and if there was anything else she could do to make my stay better. I have viewed Hampton Inn commercials where the level of customer service has been grossly embellished. Karen was a real person providing commercial level customer service to the average guy. It would be an understatement to say that you dont find this type of service every day. I have never found this level of service in my 44 years, that is until January 24. Mr. Maves, Karen is a keeper and would serve as a fine customer service mentor. On a final note, I thank you and look forward to meeting you during my next stay. Don Laney

An e-mail received at the Hilton Garden Inn of Eagan... People will find time to complain, but seldom do they bother to give a compliment. I would be remiss if I did not write in and inform you of a fine experience I had at your Hilton. On September 18th I checked in at the Hilton Garden in of Eagan and was greeted by two pleasant women at the desk. One was just finishing her shift and was about to leave and the other remained on duty and checked me in. After checking in I had to return to the front desk for several other transactions and was again treated in a very friendly manner. I was so impressed that I asked for her card. Her name is Valerie. I am a member of the Hilton Seniors and do a lot of traveling in the US and abroad, always staying at Hiltons whenever possible. I must say that Valerie is a great asset to the Hilton Garden Inn. She leaves customers with a warm feeling of hospitality and greets them with a big smile. I would appreciate it if you would compliment her on behalf of my wife, myself and my niece who also checked in the same day. Seldom do you find such dedicated employees working in this capacity. Richard C. Michaels

TPI Recognizes Its Top Performers


Staybridge Suites Bloomington and Perkins Restaurant & Bakery Austin Take Top Honors

The Staybridge Suites of Bloomington (Hotel of the Year) and Perkins Restaurant & Bakery of Austin (Restaurant of the Year) took top honors at the Torgerson Properties 2004 awards banquet. The Austin Holiday Inn and Conference Center was host to over 100 management-level personnel representing all thirty-two TPI properties as well as the central administrations office. The evening began with a brief social hour, followed by a buffet-style dinner featuring Mexican, Asian, Italian and American Favorites. A chocolate fountain created a unique and very popular dessert option. After dinner, it was on with the show! Nine different properties received awards that recognized their outstanding performance during the past year. Spotlights, a video display and heart-pumping music made for a memorable ceremony. One of the highlights of the evening was the presentation of the new Heart and Soul Award, recognizing the people who create the heart and soul of Torgerson Properties...the hourly associates (see page 14). It was certainly a night to remember, and created great anticipation for the 2005 awards banquet. Congratulations to all of the 2004 Torgerson Properties award recipients.

Two New TPI Project Begin To Take Shape

Construction of TPIs newest hotel, the Courtyard by Marriott, is progressing on schedule with an anticipated grand opening of late summer 2005. The hotel is located across from St. Marys Hospital in Rochester.

Above is the conceptual drawing of TPIs newest project, the Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites of Maple Grove. The hotel, located at the corner of Interstate-494 and Hemlock Lane is scheduled to break ground some time this summer.

The two newest additions to Torgerson Properties are the Courtyard by Marriott in Rochester (upper left) and the Holiday Inn & Suites of Maple Grove (upper right). To say that these new properties are going to be impressive is an understatement. The Courtyard by Marriott broke ground last fall just down the street from TPIs SpringHill Suites in Rochester. Located directly across the street from St Marys Hospital, the Courtyard is well-positioned to cater to the ever-growing demand for hotel rooms around one of the largest private hospitals in the world. This facility will feature 117 rooms built above an enclosed private parking ramp, full-service restaurant, bar, meeting facilities, along with all of the other amenities your would expect from a Courtyard by Marriott. It is sure to be one of the finest hotel facilities in the city of Rochester when it opens some time during late summer of 2005. The Holiday Inn Hotel and Suites, located in the next phase of the Arbor Lakes development in Maple Grove, promises to be an unmatched facility in the Twin Cities area. This Venetian-themed hotel will be situated at the gateway to Arbor Lakes, in the Fountains at Arbor Lakes phase. The architecture incorporates 136 rooms, and will complement the recently completed Shoppes at Arbor located directly across the street. Many of the 34 suites will feature exterior balconies. In addition, the facility will boast a full-sized water park, providing a destination for families from throughout Minnesota. Plans call for a late 2005 ground breaking.

Torgerson Properties Honors Its Heart And Soul


At Torgerson Properties, the heart and soul of our success comes from the hundreds of hourly associates that day in and day out do whatever it takes to make our guests feel special. It is in this spirit that TPI introduced the Heart and Soul Award at the 2004 awards banquet. After receiving dozens of nominations from TPI General Managers, seven very special people were chosen as 2004 Heart and Soul Award nominees. These individuals were invited to attend the awards banquet and be honored for their outstanding performance. Pramela Bharrat and Linda Gronewold were chosen as recipients of the 2004 Heart and Soul award. All of us at Torgerson Properties salute each of these incredible associates for showing us what it takes to be the best. Congratulations gang!

Pramela Bharrat

Linda Gronewold

Fran Daniels

Ade Dowodu

Ron DeBoer

Patti Greseth

Sherry Mueller

Torgerson Properties Blazes A New Trail With The Creation Of Harvest Buffet
On Friday, October 15, 2004, months of planning and anticipation brought a dream to reality with the opening of Harvest Buffet, Torgerson Properties first endeavor into the buffet-style restaurant market. Located in the Austin Holiday Inn and Conference Center, Harvest Buffet has quickly become a destination for those people looking for great food and lots of choices for lunch and dinner. Each day at the Harvest Buffet features a unique menu theme. Guests can enjoy freshly prepared Italian, Mexican, Asian and American entrees, as well as many regular entrees served daily. Over sixteen different entrees and side dishes are available every day. The buffet also includes a salad bar with over a dozen different salad ingredients in addition to a selection of freshly prepared salads. After you have finished your salad and dinner, its time for the dessert bar, featuring hot and cold desserts as well as soft serve ice cream with all the toppings kids love. Recently, a Sunday brunch was added to satisfy the demand for a buffet-style, after-church destination. For one low price, guests at the Harvest Buffet have lots of choices and enjoy a complete, fresh-made meal including salad, dessert and beverage. The buffet concept has been a great addition to the Austin campus, and serves a variety of needs. Whether youre a business person looking for a quick, quiet meal, a group from the office with limited time for lunch, or a family hoping to find something for everyone, Harvest Buffet has just what youre looking for. Tour buses and convention attendees have also found the buffet to be the perfect complement to their functions. The next time youre in the Austin area, stop in and experience the Harvest Buffet. General Manager Terry Phillips, Kitchen/Banquet Manager Jean Hoeft and Assistant General Manager Deb Mason would love to introduce you to Torgerson Properties newest concept...Harvest Buffet.

The Austin team says good-bye to an era as they remove the old Torges Grille sign (left) to make way for the introduction of TPIs newest concept...Harvest Buffet (right).

Steve Fausch Comes To The Rescue


This story goes far beyond just being outrageous. Steve Fausch, a Torges Fairmont Bartender, has been employed with TPI for nearly twenty years. Never has he been more needed than recently, when he saved the life of a child. Steve saw the child laying on the bottom of the pool. He instantly jumped into the water and pulled the child out. After getting the child out of the pool, he began CPR and saved a life. Steve happened to be in the right place at the right time and reacted quickly to avoid catastrophy. Thanks, Steve, for doing much more than whatever it takes!

Hilton Garden Inn Bloomington Goes Greek


The Hilton Garden Inn held nothing back at the 19th annual Bloomington Lodging and Meeting Expo. Over 550 corporate and government meeting planners and executives attended the expo to gather information for future meetings and conventions. The theme of the expo was The Bloomington Games, modeled after the olympics. The Hilton Bloomington team created a Hilton Garden Inn - in Athens, Greece. Belly dancers graced the lobby at check in with Barb and Loretta, while each guest was pampered with a hand held back massager. Brochures, business cards and an invitation to come and tour the Hilton Garden Inn were extended to each planner. After all that work, its no surprise that the Hilton Garden Inn was awarded the Exhibitors Choice Award for their creative and impactful display. Congratulations to Loretta, Dave, Barb and the entire team at the Bloomington Hilton Garden Inn!

Now Hear This!


In response to employee feedback to Julie Johnson, General Manager at the Hilton Garden Inn of Shoreview, a number of employees formed a Care Committee that meets every month to plan staff events, prepare for upcoming birthdays and holidays and provide feedback and ideas for problems and solutions at the hotel. So far they have not offered to take the managers out to dinner, but they have helped to lift employee morale and lead by example. Way to go team! On November 4th, the Harvest Buffet and Holiday Inn of Austin hosted a spaghetti dinner to raise money for flood relief victims in the Austin area from the September flooding. Over $1,400 was raised through their efforts, providing over 100 families with a Christmas gift basket and ornaments. Once again, the TPI family in Austin looked within themselves to see what greater good they could do for those in need. Andrea Balboa was named Employee of the Year at the Country Inn and Suites of Willmar. She brings a smile to work every day and is not happy unless you are. Andrea would also like to introduce the staff that helped win the award; they are as follows...Deb Rivera, Brenda Plowman, Candice Mack, RheAnna Iverson and Butch Swenson. Congratulation to Andrea and her team!
For reservations or information visit Marriott.com or call (888)287-9400

This note on SpringHill Suites stationary was given to the crew at the SpringHill Suites in Rochester. Great job gang, Katie G. may one day be your most frequent guest!

Southern Living magazine recently chose Torgerson Properties Staybridge Suites of Naples, Florida as the best deal for a place to sleep in their annual Guide to Beach Trips on a Budget. Congratulations to the entire Staybridge Suites team for this national recognition.

Whatever It Takes For Outrageous Guest Service...You Have The Power!

At Torgerson Properties, we believe in our associates...

Torgerson Properties, Inc. Waters Edge Professional Building 103 15th Avenue NW Suite 200 P.O. Box 1020 Willmar, MN 56201 Phone: 320-235-7207

Check us out, were on the web! www.torgersonproperties.com