My Place ground breaking

Ground was broken at the future site of My Place Hotel Wednesday. The hotel will be located at 200 East 31st Street north of Dunham's Sports.

Dirt was turned Wednesday afternoon during the groundbreaking for the latest hotel to be constructed in Hastings.

The My Place Hotels of America Hastings location is independently owned by DJ&R Investments LLC, and operated by Venerts Hotel Management Inc. It is the first My Place Hotel developed by the DJ&R partnership. Having been a co-owner of the Comfort Inn of Hastings for the last 21 years, Larry Schnase has long been a leader in both market and brand-wide performance.

The city’s community members celebrated the groundbreaking alongside My Place executives, owners and operators at 200 E. 31st St. where construction will soon commence on the three-story, 46-unit hotel. As Hastings’ first extended-stay hotel, My Place will serve the area’s many visitors for short- and long-term stays.

The property sits just east of Rivals Bar and Grill. While it is not officially part of North Park Commons, the 93-acre mixed use property development Hastings Economic Development Corp. project, My Place is just south of there.

“We wanted to build another hotel in Hastings, but we wanted to bring something that’s a little different than what’s here right now,” said David Schnase, son of Larry and partner in DJ&R. “So Harry (Dworak, project manager). helped us look for a different franchise here and we settled on My Place. We’re real excited about the franchise. It’s a fairly new franchise but it’ll bring to Hastings something that’s not here right now.”

The My Place Hotels Hastings location will be one of two hotels in that area. Construction on a Hampton Inn just north, within North Park Commons, is also planned to begin later this year.

He said it was important to the DJ&R team to bring something new into Hastings.

“It’ll be the first (extended sat hotel) designed and built from new here in Hastings,” he said. “You can come and stay for a day, a week, a month or a year. We’re pretty excited about that — bringing something new to the town, something different.”

One of the things Schnase said he likes best about My Place as a hotel chain is the willingness to allow franchise owners to build their locations the way they want them.

In the case of the Hastings hotel, he said, that includes bigger parking spaces, areas for trucks and outdoor plug-ins.

“The people that are going to come stay here, if you’re bringing your families or big vehicles we want everybody to be comfortable,” Schnase said. “When you talk to these guys they’re like, ‘Yeah, make the hotel what you want it to be.’ ”

It will also be a pet-friendly hotel and be well connected with internet service.

Mayor Corey Stutte welcomed the My Place family to Hastings.

“The North Park Commons project is something that is a very positive thing for the city of Hastings,” he said. “You look at what HEDC has been able to do as well as some other developers in town. We’re very excited to have this project in the city of Hastings. We look forward to seeing what happens. We’d really like to welcome the Schnase family and their reinvestment in Hastings as well as the My Place family.”

Ryan Rivett, President and CEO of My Place Hotels, said it has been a pleasure working with the Schnases and Dworak.

His partner in My Place, his grandfather Ron Rivett, helped found Super 8 Motels in 1974. The family continued in hotel development.

“Our experience, and the roots of My Place, run very deep,” he said.

My Place has properties throughout North and South Dakota, Wyoming and Nebraska.

“We’re excited to make more of an impact on the communities in Nebraska,” Rivett said.

Hastings is the second Nebraska community to get a My Place Hotel, following La Vista.

“My Place is a very high-quality product that’s built efficiently and ran efficiently with the objective of providing as reasonable of a price to every guest that stays with us,” Rivett said.

The first My Place property opened in North Dakota in 2012. Franchise sales began in 2014.

Since then, over 50 franchises are under way with 39 open so far. He said the next 30 days will see the 60th location “come through the doors.”

“As we work with each one of those franchisees, we find it great that we’re able to connect the dots between different communities,” Rivett said.