Torgerson Properties’ Business History
1930 – Ray Torgerson Opens a Clothing Store
Ray E. Torgerson was the first generation of the Torgerson family entrepreneurs. After years of working in the men’s clothing business in Alexandria, MN Ray moved to Kerkhoven, MN and opened his own clothing store in 1930.
1933 – Torgerson’s First Business in Willmar, MN
A few years later Ray moved the store to the nearby city of Willmar, MN. Ray was a hard working, honest man who prided himself on building relationships and helping people in need. He was very kind and giving person whose attitude and work ethic passed on to future Torgerson generations.
1957 – A Second Generation of Torgerson Entrepreneurs Begins
Due to illness, Ray turned over management of the store to his son, Tom B. Torgerson, in 1957. Tom moved back to Willmar and through aggressive expansion, he opened several more stores and added women’s retail boutiques.
1964 – Expansion into the Banking Industry Tom
Expanded the business beyond retail clothing to include banking in 1964 when he and a group of partners received a national charter to start Citizens State Bank in Willmar. They later purchased the 1st State Bank of Lake Lillian.
1970 – Along with three common partners from the Willmar bank group, they purchased a small state bank in Lake Lillian, MN. They quickly built up a good banking business, real estate office and insurance business. In 1976, they ventured into processing coupons for food giants like Kelloggs and General Mills. Within two years this part of the business was producing profits in excess of the entire balance of the bank. The bank was sold in 1979.
1972 – The First Hotel – Holiday Inn Willmar, MN
A comment at a bank directors’ meeting sparked TOm’s interest in the hospitality industry when it was mentioned that Willmar could use a first rate hotel. Tom shortly thereafter obtained the Holiday Inn Franchise for Willmar and opened the hotel in 1972. Tom expanded his interest in hospitality to include several hotels and restaurants throughout the state of Minnesota in the cities of Willmar, Fairmont and Austin.
1973 - Developed a 100-unit Holiday Inn in Willmar, MN. In 1976 added 60 units to this property (which were converted to a Comfort Inn in 1996). In 1986 built a second dining room and quadrupled the size of the lounge. In 1988 doubled the size of the kitchen. In 1989 built a 20,000 square foot Conference Center addition. In 1994 built a 4,000 square foot office addition for the Chamber, CVB, Development Authority, etc.
Along with one partner purchased approximately 250 acres of agricultural land within the City of Willmar. Property sales include several condominium, apartments, a 9-hole golf course, Holiday Inn, Happy Chef, Office Complex, Convenience Store and Gas Station, many 4-plexes, approximately 150 residences and a City Park.
1977 – Along with a partner purchased approximately 25 acres of commercial land in Fairmont, MN on the junction of Highway 15 and soon to be Interstate 90. Made sales to Happy Chef, Holiday Inn, Super 8 and Perkins.
1978 – Developed a 107 Unit Holiday Inn in Fairmont, MN
1979 – Tom Torgerson, Jr. Joins the Family Business
Tom joined the family business in 1979 while home on holiday break from the University of Minnesota. At that time, his parents called a meeting with him and explained their desire to retire and sell the business at that time. The following morning at the age of 21 and fresh out of his senior year of college, Tom was announces as the new General Manager of Holiday Inn in Fairmont, MN.
1982 – Developed a 47-unit Super 8 Motel in Fairmont, MN
Through hard work and associate support, the business grew very profitable and Tom became the Operations President of the family business in 1982
1983 – Developed a Perkins Family Restaurant and Bakery in Fairmont, MN.
1984 – David B. Torgerson Joins the Family Business
David B. Torgerson joined the family business in 1984 and moved up through the ranks becoming the General Manager of the Holiday Inn in Willmar and then VP and Directory of Sales and Marketing.
1988 – Developed a 121-unit Holiday Inn, Holidome and Conference Center in Austin, MN
1989 – Developed a 59-unit Days Inn Motel in Austin, MN
1990 – Developed a 59-Unit Days Inn Motel in Willmar, MN
Developed a Perkins Family Restaurant and Bakery in Austin, MN
1991 – Torgerson Properties, Inc. (TPI) is Formed
In 1991, Torgerson Properties, Inc. (TPI) became registered entity with the third generation of the Torgerson family. Thomas R. Torgerson and David B. Torgerson purchased three of the hospitality assets (Holiday Inns of Willmar and Austin, and Days Inn Willmar) from Sue Torgerson and formed TPI. Additionally, at this time TPI contracted to manage the remaining hospitality interests that Sue retained.
Developed a 101-unit Holiday Inn Express in Hinckley, MN.
1992 – Developed a 101-unit Holiday Inn Express in Hinckley, MN
1993 – Developed a Perkins Family Restaurant and Bakery in Red Wing, MN
1994 – developed a 120-unit Holiday inn Express & Suites in Eagan, MN
Developed a 120-unit Hampton Inn in Shoreview, MN
1995 – Developed a Green Mill Restaurant in Shoreview, MN
Developed a 40-unit Comfort Inn Motel in Fairmont, MN
Developed a 109-unit Holiday Inn Express & Suites in Golden Valley, MN
1996 – Developed a 60-unit Comfort Inn Motel in Willmar, MN
Developed a Green Mill Restaurant in Eagan, MN.
1997 – Developed a 120-unit Hampton Inn in Maple Grove, MN
1998 – Developed a 100-unit Hilton in Eagan, MN
Developed a 86-unit Springhill suites by Mariott in Rochester, MN
Developed a Green Mill Restaurant in Willmar, MN
Developed a 66-unit Super 8 Motel in Arden Hills, MN
Tom purchased David’s interest in TPI in 1998 which was one of several steps moving TPI out of the family business realm.
1999 – Acquired a 126-unit Holiday Inn in New Ulm, MN
Developed a 100-unit Hilton Garden Inn in Shoreview, MN
Developed a 89-unit Staybridge Suites in Eagan, MN
Developed a 119-unit Staybridge Suites in Maple Grove, MN
2000 – Acquired a 122-unit Staybridge Suites in Naples, FL
Sold the Holiday Inn Express in Hinckley, MN
2001 – Developed a 127-unit Staybridge Suites in Bloomington, MN
2002 – Developed a 108-unit Hilton Garden Inn in Bloomington, MN
Sold the Super 8 in Arden Hills, MN
2004 – Developed a 50-unit Country Inn & Suites in Willmar, MN
2005 – Developed a 117-unit Courtyard by Marriott in Rochester, MN
2006 – Developed a 136-unit Holiday Inn & Water Park in Maple Grove, MN
2007 – Developed a 118-unit Courtyard by Marriott in Maple Grove, MN
2008 – Developed a 52-unit Hampton Inn in Fairmont, MN
2009 – Developed a 124-unit Homewood Suites in New Brighton, MN
Developed a 125-unit Homewood Suites in St. Louis Park, MN