Kirkwood Motor Inn (Ramkota Hotel)
Kirkwood Motor Inn was the original name given to the hotel and banquet facility that is now known as Ramkota Hotel. The Four Seasons Cafe is located within the hotel. The hotel has been affiliated with Best Western for much of its existence. Bill Shalhoob was the long-time manager of the hotel, from inception until at least the early 1990s.
The Wachters developed the hotel for $4.25 million directly across from the family’s newly christened Kirkwood Plaza. It opened in 1974 directly across from Kirkwood Mall. It was the third modern mixed-use hotel facility, after the Holiday Inn and Town House Motor Inn. At the time of opening, it boasted the largest bankquet hall in Bismarck. That, along with its location across from Kirkwood Mall, positioned it the first major competitor to the Holiday Inn.
A $3 million addition commenced in 1976, upgrading to 310 guest rooms and other improvements.
Kirkwood Motor Inn was one of four area hotels to face major financial problems during an economic downturn in the mid-1980s, ending in foreclosure in 1987. The hotel was put up for auction in 1988 and subsequently purchased by Equitable Life Assurance Society in August of that year.
Soon after, it affiliated with Radisson Inn (officially in December 1989) and completed a $3 million renovation and expansion, pursuant to the franchise agreement. The restaurant became the Seasons Cafe at that time, and the bar Nickels Lounge.
Today, it is known as Ramkota Hotel.