The Benzie and Grand Traverse economies will get a kick out of two major renovations expected to be completed this summer.
On June 30, the Days Inn & Suites at 420 Munson Ave. will become a Country Inn & Suites by Carlson following a $1.5 million renovation.
“It’s an upgrade all the way around,” Days Inn GM Bryan Dickey tells The Ticker.
The changeover at the 33-year-old hotel is happening for several reasons, he says: The Club Carlson reward program is one of the top programs in the industry, the name will bring an upgraded clientele and it’ll attract more corporate business.
“It will bring more business out of Grand Rapids, Detroit, etc.” Dickey says. “We’ve already booked a lot of business based on the name and rewards program.”
Clients will find more amenities, including a new state-of-the-art fitness center, a new breakfast area serving two meals a day, updated guestrooms, vanities and corridors, new artwork and possible room service in the future.
“It’ll be very service-oriented,” Dickey adds, noting the hotel is already the most award-winning Days Inn in the country thanks to its current staff.
The Country Inns brand operates 483 hotels worldwide and will add 250 hotels by 2015.
Benzie County to get Brewpub
Brewing enthusiasts Rick Schmitt, Brian Confer and Jim Kunz are counting on high foot traffic to buoy a new brewpub they’re bringing to downtown Frankfort this summer.
Stormcloud Brewing Co. will be located at 303 Main St. in space that formerly housed the Caddyshack Golf & Resort Shop and the 7 Spot Lounge & Restaurant before that. The shop is being renovated into the pub, while a new brewery and outdoor patio is being built in an empty lot next door.
The brewpub will be adjacent to the Garden Theater, which Schmitt and his wife, Jennie, have owned along with another couple since 2009.
“We’ve gotten incredible feedback and have been very collaborative with the planning commission and the city,” Schmitt says. “We’re not building something that will directly compete with others; we’ll be bringing new people to Frankfort.”
Schmitt is vice president of sales and marketing for Crystal Mountain Resort and has been with the Resort since 1996. He’ll be leaving at the end of February. Confer, an area photographer who’s been brewing for 10 years, will serve as brewmaster. Real estate partner Kunz, also of Frankfort, is investing in the brewery operation.
There will be 12-16 Belgian-style brews on tap (“Our tagline is Belgian-inspired, Michigan-made,” Schmitt says) along with European-style fare that complements beer.
They intend to keep the brewpub open year-round and will look for opportunities for distribution during the shoulder seasons.