“There is only one boss. The customer. And he can fire everybody in the company from the
chairman on down, simply by spending his money somewhere else.”

~ Sam Walton

 

Larson Companies is a family business. Richard D. Larson was born and raised in Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Larson invested in his roots when he began his first company in 1963, Northwest Fabrics, in Eau Claire, WI. Larson later sold Northwest Fabrics to Peavey Company. The earnings from the sale were in part the foundation to build Larson Companies to what it has been, what it is
today, and what it will be in the future.

Richard’s son Thomas now leads the company with a vision and passion for the hospitality sector. Thomas has developed a Guest philosophy which defines and differentiates Larson Companies
from others within the hospitality sector. Thomas states, “Our Guests are the reason we exist. Our mission and vision provide a focus for us to exceed our Guests’
expectations each time they visit one of our facilities. As a way to honor them, you will see Guests proudly and intentionally capitalized throughout company documents.”

The principals believe deeply in giving back to the communities which have invested so generously in them. Below is a timeline
that shares some of the history and accomplishments. It is not exhaustive, rather it includes a few highlights and accomplishments over the years.

  • Richard Larson, founder, opens the first Northwest Fabrics store in Eau Claire, WI.
  • Under Larson’s leadership Northwest Fabrics expands to 35 stores before merging with Peavey Company in Minneapolis, MN.
  • Larson serves as Corporate Vice President of Peavey Company through 1978 and Northwest Fabrics grows to a 120 store system.

1963

  • Richard Larson purchases Bullis Farm, a 900 acre plot of land on the south side of Eau Claire, WI.
  • Keystone Corporation is formed with Larson Companies and Ayres Associates.
  • The partnership continues today developing and managing numerous properties in the Chippewa Valley.
  • Keystone Corporation begins development of the Bullis Farm property with key assets including Oakwood Hills Mall, national and regional corporate offices, several strip malls, and extensive home real estate lots.

1978

  • Richard and Thomas Larson form Larson Management, Inc.
  • Larson Companies strategically moves into the hospitality sector by purchasing multiple properties out of foreclosure and auction. The properties are renovated and repositioned.
  • Larson Companies purchases the Civic Center Inn and Ray Wachs Civic Center in Eau Claire, WI.
  • The Civic Center Inn is converted to Holiday Inn Convention Center.
  • Larson Properties is awarded The Greater Eau Claire Chamber of Commerce’s Community Development Award.

1991 - 1992

  • Thomas Larson is named President of Larson Companies, LLC.
  • After significant renovation’s, Holiday Inn Convention Center reopens.
  • Days Inn South in Eau Claire, WI converts to Holiday Inn Campus Area.
  • TallyHo Restaurant and Bar opens serving the community and the Days Inn South property.
  • TallyHo Restaurant and Bar is converted to Colby’s Grill.
  • Holiday Inn Express Onalaska opens in Onalaska, WI.
  • Holiday Inn Express Onalaska is awarded IHG® Newcomer Award.

1993-1996

  • Wisconsin Bistros is formed.
  • Larson Companies becomes the Charter Franchisee of the Microtel Brand.
  • Microtel Inn and Suites are opened in Onalaska, WI and Rochester, MN.
  • Holiday Inn Convention Center is converted to Ramada Inn Convention Center.
  • Microtel Inn and Suites are opened in Eagan, MN and Bloomington, MN.
  • Thomas Larson is awarded Microtel Inn & Suites Franchisee of the Year.
  • Days Inn Eau Claire receives Chairman’s Award for Quality.

1997-1999

  • Colby’s Grill in Eau Claire, WI is converted to Green Mill Restaurant and Bar.
  • Holiday Inn Campus Area receives the Six Continents Hotels
    Renovation Award.
  • Microtel Inns and Suites receives J.D. Power Highest Guest
    Satisfaction Award.
  • Thomas Larson is awarded Microtel Inn & Suites Franchisee and Developer of the Year Awards.
  • Microtel Inns and Suites receives J.D. Power Highest Guest
    Satisfaction Award.
  • Microtel Inns and Suites receives J.D. Power Highest Guest
    Satisfaction Award.
  • Holiday Inn Campus receives IHG® Community Affairs Award.

2000-2004

  • Holiday Inn Express and Suites North opens in Chippewa Falls, WI.
  • Full Cheese Ahead is formed.
  • Larson Companies opens the first Chedd’s Gourmet Grilled Cheese.

2007-2011

  • Holiday Inn South opens in Eau Claire, WI.
  • Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse opens in Eau Claire, WI.
  • Holiday Inn Campus converted to Clarion Hotel in Eau Claire, WI.
  • Holiday Inn South receives IHG® Newcomer Award.
  • Larson Companies formally exits the TGI Fridays® businesses.

2013-2015

  • Staybridge Suites opens in Altoona, WI.
  • The Lakely Restaurant opens in Eau Claire, WI.
  • The Oxbow Hotel opens in Eau Claire, WI.
  • Holiday Inn South receives IHG® Torchbearer Award.
  • Staybridge Suites receives IHG® New Development Design Award.
  • Staybridge Suites receives IHG® 5 of 5 Winning Metrics Award.
  • Cowboy Jack’s opens in Altoona, WI.
  • Holiday Inn Express & Suites Rice Lake opens in Rice Lake, WI.
  • Holiday Inn South receives IHG® Quality of Excellence Award.

2016-2017

  • Candlewood Suites opens in Eau Claire, WI
  • Holiday Inn South receives IHG® Quality of Excellence Award.
  • Staybridge Suites receives IHG® Quality of Excellence Award.
  • Staybridge Suites receives JD Power Highest Guest Satisfaction for Upper Extended Stay.
  • Holiday Inn Express and Suites Rice Lake receives IHG® Newcomer Award.
  • The Lakely receives Volume One’s Best: Place for Cocktails, Brunch, Chef, New Restaurant, Outdoor Dining and Most Inspired/Interesting Atmosphere.
  • Johnny’s Italian Restaurant receives Volume One’s Best: Steak and Most Inspired/Interesting Atmosphere.

2018

  • Holiday Inn South receives IHG® Torchbearer Award.
  • Staybridge Suites receives IHG® Quality of Excellence Award.
  • Holiday Inn Express and Suites North receives IHG® Quality of
    Excellence Award.
  • Holiday Inn Express and Suites Rice Lake receives IHG® Torchbearer Award.
  • Candlewood Suites receives IHG® Newcomer Award.
  • Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse receives Volume One’s Best: Steak and
    Upscale Dining.
  • The Lakely receives Volume One’s Best: Chef, Outdoor Dining, Most Inspired/Interesting Atmosphere and Cocktail.
  • The Clarion Hotel in Eau Claire, WI is demolished. Larson Companies gives back to the community by permitting the Eau Claire Police Department to use the property for breach training and donating retired bedding, furniture, and equipment to several local nonprofit organizations.

2019

  • The Lakely receives Volume One’s Best: Whiskey Selection, Cocktail, Place for Cocktails, Brunch, Outdoor Dining and Most Inspired/Interesting Atmosphere.
  • Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse receives Volume One’s Best: Chef, Stack, Upscale Dining, In Eau Claire, Wait Staff, Italian Food and Dessert.
  • Larson Companies, Indianhead Foodservice Distributor (IFD) and Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse partner to thank essential workers during COVID by creating and delivering over 400 meals to semi-drivers. The program is titled
    Meals for 18 Wheelers.
  • Holiday Inn Express and Suites West opens in Eau Claire, WI.
  • Johnny’s Italian Steakhouse is awarded the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence for the third consecutive year.

2020