Best Western - Celebrating 75 Years of Hometown Hospitality

Best Western - Celebrating 75 Years of Hometown Hospitality

Best Western Hotels & Resorts is an award-winning global family of hotels that offers accommodations for all types of travelers. Whether you’re traveling for business or planning an affordable family vacation, with 26 hotels throughout Minnesota, Best Western has a hotel for you.

Meet the People Behind the Properties

As a membership association, Best Western’s hotels are independently owned and locally operated. Their hoteliers’ dedication to caring for their guests and active participation in their communities are reflected in the guests’ experience and in the impressive number of industry accolades for the hotel properties and the people behind them.

Best Western hotel pool

How did you come to own the hotel?

In 2000, I acquired Best Western Plus White Bear Country Inn more conventionally. I have worked in hotels since I was in college. I took a quarter off to work at a resort property in Carefree, Arizona — the quarter ended up being eight years, with me managing the Carefree Inn and Resort until it was sold. I returned to Minnesota and became manager of a large downtown Minneapolis hotel. A wonderful mentor of mine said, “Bill, you need to own your own hotel.” He guided me into acquiring the Best Western Americana Inn in St. Cloud, Minnesota.

– Bill Foussard, White Bear Lake  

Best Western lobby hotel

How long have you owned your Best Western hotel?

We have owned and operated our Best Western Plus at La Crescent Area Event Center since June 2019. Our entrance into the hotel business actually began with the planning and building of our La Crescent Area Event Center, which is a nonprofit. The need for an event center grew with the closing of the American Legion Club, which had served our small community of 5,000 for many years. Along with that need was the need for a hotel, as La Crescent had gone a long time without one. Visitors to our beautiful area would travel across the river to La Crosse, Wisconsin, for their lodging and also for their events.

– Sheila & Dick Wieser, La Crescent 

How are you/the hotel active in your local community?

We are very involved with our local community. My general manager, Perry Sloneker, has been with me for 22 years! He served on our local Chamber of Commerce board for many years. I, too, served on that board prior to his time. We both are actively involved in our Rotary Club. He is involved with his church community and I am involved with our local senior organization, etc. We are blessed to live and work in such a wonderful community!

– Marianna Khauv, Monticello

Best Western outdoor space

What do you enjoy most about the hospitality industry?

I love people! And understanding their hospitality needs and exceeding their expectations. We have an incredible team, so it is fun coming to work every day. I believe we all have to work, but let’s have fun along the way. Being of service is a way of life! We are creating memories every day with our guests, whether it is a wedding celebration, a special dinner at Rudy’s or a celebration of life, and everything in between! Our goal is to deliver an incredible guest experience. With that in mind, I treasure meeting other hospitality leaders and learning from their experiences. Hospitality people are fun, happy, creative and energetic.

– Bill Foussard, White Bear Lake 

Best Western hotel food

What is your favorite thing about Minnesota?

It is a great place to experience all four seasons of the year. Sometimes, you even get to experience all four seasons in one day. :) As an immigrant from Taiwan, I call Minnesota my home, where I met my husband and raised our three daughters. People are friendly and we truly embrace the “Minnesota Nice” culture.

– Marianna Khauv, Monticello

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Read more of our stories in Issue 23 of Lake and Company.