Five Questions with Tyler Knutson of Comfort Suites & Worthington Event Center
Facilities opened in community in 2013
Q: What led to the opening of Comfort Suites in Worthington?
A: Choice Hotels, which is the parent company for Comfort Suites and the management company Lighthouse Hospitality Group, looks for areas that have a need for hotels. Worthington was a perfect place! It’s close to a major interstate, and the event center made it the perfect place.
Q: What kinds of amenities does Comfort Suites offer its guests?
A: We offer a hot complimentary breakfast. Things are a little different with COVID-19 but we offer waffles, scrambled eggs, bacon and so much more. We have an indoor pool and hot tub, fitness center, a 24-hour Marketplace that’s like a small convenience store and — best of all we — have a managers reception Monday–Thursday with complimentary beer, wine, soda and an assortment of snacks.
Q: Aren't you manager of both Comfort Suites and the Event Center — and if so, what does managing both entail?
A: Yes, I am. I’ve managed both the hotel and event center since they opened in 2013. In 2017, I took over a more involved role in the event center. I love every minute of it!
It’s a lot of hard work and dedication. I have a great team of managers under me and a very hard working staff. My days can be anything from making beds on a Sunday with housekeeping, bartending a wedding, working a front desk shift or in my office working on paperwork. Every day is different, and that’s what I love most.
Q: What kind of hotel experience did you have before you came to Worthington?
A: I started my hotel career in 2005 at the Kahler Grand Hotel in Rochester at the front desk. Just imagine checking in over 500 people in one day!
From there I moved back home to Owatonna to be the assistant general manager for a Comfort Inn. The hotel sold to a new owner, and I chose to stay with the management company and moved to Spirit Lake, Iowa. I’ve moved to a few other places including Ripon, Wisconsin, Two Harbors and Plymouth. In 2013, I was lucky enough to be hired as the general manager for the Comfort Suites and Worthington Event Center with the management company Lighthouse Hospitality Group.
Q: Hasn't Comfort Suites won multiple awards over the years?
A: Yes, we have. We have won Best of The Globe the past two years for the hotel. We have also won awards in 2015, 2016 and 2017. We ranked each of those years in the top 10% of Comfort Suites hotels. There are estimated to be over 540 Comfort Suites hotels in the United States. It was an honor each year to receive this award.
We have been working hard the past few years to make it to the top again! With only a couple weeks left of the year, we are again in the running for another award. We are excited and can’t wait for the results in early 2021.