ALGONA - For a community of just a bit more than 6,000 people, Algona has continued to be a regional retail center for all of Kossuth County and beyond.
"We really do have a unique drawing area," said Vicki Mallory, executive director of the Algona Chamber of Commerce. "We are the largest community in Kossuth County and one of the larger in the area."
Mallory said that within the past year, a new dance studio, chiropractic clinic, several hair salons, and specialty shops have opened throughout the community.
-Messenger photo by Emilie Nelson-Jenson
The 18-room addition at the AmericInn Lodge & Suites in Algona is nearing completion. The hotel will undergo a full renovation and updates this year.
"Those are just to name a few," said Mallory. "Business-wise we had a great year."
Industry remains strong in Algona as it is home to several large employers, including Snap-on Tools, Hormel Foods and AGP Biodiesel.
"We do have several major industries here," Mallory said. "They employ a lot of people. Snap-on just finished adding on to their plant, AGP opened last year. We are very fortunate to have them in our community. We've had lots of growth in all sectors of the community this year."
One of the city's two major hotels, AmericInn, is undergoing a renovation and addition of new rooms.
"We're adding 18 more rooms," said Seth Pompe, assistant manager of AmericInn of Algona. "When we're finished, we will have 59 guest rooms."
Pompe said the hotel is keeping up with the AmericInn franchise with plans to update the existing rooms with new beds, decor, furniture and flat-screen televisions.
"The whole AmericInn brand is updating," said Pompe. "Someday we'd even like to have a small bar near the pool here like the Fort Dodge AmericInn."
Algona's primary medical care facility, Kossuth Regional Health Center, is constantly updating and adding new features to better serve its patients, staff and visitors.
The 24-bed medical center opened an $11 million addition in 2011 and has since been in the process of updating its laboratory and emergency room facilities.
"We're doing a full renovation of our lab and ER," said Scott Curtis, administrator and chief executive officer at KRHC.
The new lab offers spacious private draw rooms and a medical laboratory with state-of-the-art testing equipment.
"What we had before just wasn't the most patient-friendly environment," said Curtis. "It wasn't good for privacy or traffic flow."
The emergency room is in the process of being updated with new exam rooms and two trauma bays.
"What we had before was only separated by curtains," said Curtis. "It wasn't good for care. You could have a full trauma come in on one bed and have someone with a broken arm in the next and they'd have to see and hear everything that was going on."
The trauma rooms have equipment attached to the ceiling to allow for ease of access to the patient by the medical team, fully enclosed walls and doors for privacy. The next phase of the updates will include three new exam rooms.
"We are very excited for this project," said Curtis. "Technology and expectations are always changing."
The hospital recently acquired a former law office building at 215 W. Call St. which it plans to renovate and open as a new dialysis center.
"We've always had dialysis offered through Mercy Medical Center," said Curtis. "We have been on-site with five chairs, but a new location downtown will let us have eight chairs to better serve our patients."
As the hospital continues to update, Curtis said the patient load continues to increase at KRHC.
"We are seeing larger patient loads," he said. We continue to draw from all parts of the county; there is a need for our services."