Altru Health Foundation's Sunshine Hospitality Home to close during pandemic

Guests will be transferred to Grand Forks hotels.

The Sunshine Hospitality Home, which opened July 9, 2018, will provide accommodations for people who come to the area for medical appointments or to be close to family members who are hospitalized. Nick Nelson / Grand Forks Herald

A guest home operated by the Altru Health Foundation is closing as a precaution during the coronavirus pandemic, but current guests will be aided by the foundation and future guests will be able to stay at local hotels at reduced rates.

Sunshine Hospitality Home will close at the end of the day Friday, April 10.

The home provides accommodations for people who come to Grand Forks for medical appointments or to be close to family members who are hospitalized. The facility is located on 11th Avenue, near the hospital.

"The decision was made with the safety of our guests and their families in mind," said Annie Bonzer, marketing and communications manager at Altru.

Bonzer said guests currently staying at the facility will be moved to a local hotel, with costs to be covered by the foundation. Beyond that, low hotel rates have been secured for those who typically would use the Sunshine Home.


"Moving forward, we have negotiated reduced rates with local hotels, currently AmericInn and LaQuinta Inn, for families of Altru patients," she said.

The move to close Sunshine Hospitality Home is among various Altru initiatives to reduce traffic in the system's facilities and adhere to social distancing standards, Bonzer said.

The 18,000-square-foot building opened in 2018, offering sleeping accommodations along with a kitchen, laundry facilities and computer access. It also has day rooms that provide guests with a place to be between multiple same-day appointments.

It has 14 sleeping rooms and can accommodate up to 64 guests per evening.

Guests pay a fee – it was $40 per night for sleeping rooms when it opened in 2018, according to a Herald report from the time – but financial assistance is available to those who need it.

Korrie Wenzel has been publisher of the Grand Forks Herald and Prairie Business Magazine since 2014.

Over time, he has been a board member of the Grand Forks Region Economic Development Corp., Junior Achievement, the South Dakota Historical Society Foundation, United Way, Empire Arts Center, Cornerstones Career Learning Center and Crimestoppers.

As publisher, Wenzel oversees news, advertising and business operations at the Herald, as well as the newspaper's opinion content.

In the past, Wenzel was sports editor for 14 years at The Daily Republic of Mitchell, S.D., before becoming editor and, eventually, publisher.

Wenzel can be reached at 701-780-1103.
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