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Rebound Enterprises Signs Letter of Intent to Purchase Historic Decorah, Iowa Inn

NORTHFIELD, MINN – Rebound Enterprises has entered into a letter of intent to purchase the historic Hotel Winneshiek and Steyer Opera House and Conference Center in downtown Decorah, Iowa. Upon the completion of the sale, the hotel will be operated by Rebound Hospitality, a division of Rebound Enterprises that also operates the Archer House in Northfield, Minn. It is anticipated that the sale will close before the end of the year.

“We are very excited,” said Reese, managing principal of Rebound Enterprises. “The prospect of taking ownership of Hotel Winneshiek is a great opportunity for us as we look to expand the hospitality wing of our business. Our goal is to build a portfolio of historic boutique inns that – much like the Archer House here in Northfield – enjoy proximity to vibrant downtowns and thriving college communities. The Hotel Winneshiek fits that bill perfectly.”

Art Wittmack, CEO of Neumann Brothers, Inc., who currently owns and manages the property, said, “I am delighted that Brett and his team at Rebound Enterprises have stepped forward to guide the future of Hotel Winneshiek and Steyer Opera House and Conference Center. For us it was vital to spend the time necessary to find the right owner. Nothing pleases us more than Rebound Enterprises – with its experience in the hospitality industry and strong commitment to community building – taking ownership.”

Neumann Brothers and architectural firm RDG Bussard Dikis were responsible for executing a major two-phase renovation to the Hotel Winneshiek and adjoining Steyer Opera House that was completed in 2003. The impetus for the renovations, however, came from former owner Helen Basler, a native of Decorah.

Reese said, “It was important that I invest time with Art Wittmack and meet personally with Helen Basler, who brought the hotel back to life in 2000, to gain a better understanding of what has become an institution in downtown Decorah. We intend to build upon her vision of what a great hotel can do for a community.”

He continued: “Strong, vibrant downtowns don’t happen by themselves. It takes what Helen Basler and Art Wittmack did. It takes solid downtown business leadership. We have been impressed with the Decorah Chamber of Commerce, the Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, the City of Decorah and others involved in the promotion of economic development in this area.”

Besides Brett Reese and his wife Michele Wylder Reese, both Luther College graduates from the class of 1981, anticipated investors in the Hotel Winneshiek include Brett Reese’s father Burt Reese – who is also a Luther graduate – and Rebound Enterprise partners, among others.

Todd Byhre, general manager of the Archer House and “champion” of Rebound Hospitality, said, “I feel terrific about this opportunity. Our visits to Decorah have been very fruitful, and I enjoy the process of getting to know the community. Hotels can help lead a community forward, which is what we want them to do.”

Reese said he expects the transition to be virtually seamless. “All hotel events and reservations will be honored and the day-to-day operation will bring the same high level of quality that guests have come to expect,” he said. What will change is a new lodging collaboration with the Archer House. There are marketing synergies that can be utilized between the two properties, Reese said.

In addition to its existing portfolio of companies, Rebound Enterprises provides investment and strategic advisory services to a range of clients with focuses in the hospitality, real estate, manufacturing and financial services industries. The company and its management team seek to acquire and assist companies with their growth or turnaround strategies where there is a synergy of philosophy and operations.