The Holiday Inn in Burnsville is now officially the Nicollet Inn.

And by the time it is done with its massive renovation, it could be the first Best Western Premier hotel in the state.

The hotel changed its name to the Nicollet Inn on the first of the month.

Located at 14201 Nicollet Av. S., the hotel was in serious need of a facelift, said Nathan Kremer, director of sales and marketing for the Nicollet.

"The second floor looked like it was still in 1990," Kremer said of the hotel, which is more than 25 years old.

Blithe Hotels Group, which owns and manages the Nicollet Inn, is spending upwards of $3 million to upgrade the site, he said. The renovation includes room upgrades such as free wireless Internet, refrigerators, microwaves and flat-screen televisions in every room. Guest rooms also are receiving new beds, new carpet and bathroom updates.

The renovations are occurring floor by floor. Currently, the second floor has been gutted and some of its furniture donated to a local church, Kremer said.

By April, the hotel could get another update and put "Best Western Premier" in front of its name if it meets certain criteria, Kremer said. Premier hotels are advertised as having plush amenities that are more upscale in style.

To be able to make the cut, the Nicollet Inn will have to impress guests with its renovated accommodations. When Blithe purchased the hotel in July, the rooms were really dated, Kremer said.

"A lot of times what happens in these places is that they renovate those places that are public ... but not take care of the reason why people are there, which is to stay in the rooms," he said.

While the renovation focuses on the individual guest rooms, some amenities will be added. The number of rooms is being reduced from 144 to 131 to make space for meeting rooms, a business center and an office, Kremer said.

In addition to new landscaping and a new parking lot, a bar and restaurant formely known as the Dakota County Steakhouse at the hotel is also being spruced up. It should open in March, Kremer said.

To follow the renovation, visit Nicollet Inn's Facebook page at

Greg's Barbershop open in Mendota

If you want to get your ears lowered in Mendota, Greg's Barbershop is the best place in town -- well, actually it's the only place in town.

Greg's is located at 1310 Hwy. 13 in the Post Office building. The shop has been open since Tuesday.

Owner Greg Barnholdt moved his barbershop to the small historic town from up the road in Lilydale, where it had been located next to the Moose Country restaurant.

"I needed something close where my customers could follow," he said. "And the rent is right, and it's a nice building."

Barnholdt, 63, has been a barber for 30 years. "I just enjoy cutting hair," he said.

In the months leading up to the opening, people would stop by often to see when he would be ready for business. So far, Barnholdt said residents' response has been good.

"It's been terrific," he said.

Greg's is open Tuesday through Saturday.

Las Tortillas Mexican Restaurant planned for Rosemount

A "mom and pop" Mexican restaurant is slated to open in April in Rosemount.

Las Tortillas Mexican Restaurant will be located at 15051 Crestone Av., taking over the former Butterfly Life site.

Last week, the restaurant was approved for an on-site liquor license and special Sunday liquor license by the Rosemount City Council.

Ryan McGunnigle, a local chef and one of the officers of Las Tortillas Mexican Restaurant Inc., said that he was excited to do business in Rosemount.

"We're glad to be in Rosemount," he said. "We're looking to do fresh tortillas made in house, handmade margaritas, traditional Mexican fare, as well as the more standard American-Mexican style."

The restaurant will be open six days a week, not including Mondays, McGunnigle said.

"I was so excited about this restaurant," said Council Member Kim Shoe-Corrigan, "I tried to go over the holiday break."

Nicole Norfleet • 952-707-9995