Lakeshore, Real Estate, and Travel & Tourism

Luxury hotel alive and well at Harbor Shores

Resort overcomes nasty winter construction schedule to open on time.

October 10, 2014
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Just over a year ago, the Business Journal reported on a planned resort-style hotel in St. Joseph, near the Whirlpool corporate campus.

Since then, that hotel has come to life in the form of The Inn at Harbor Shores, 800 Whitwam Drive, St. Joseph — only about “90 highway miles from Chicago,” according to its website.

Ground broke on the luxurious hotel in April 2013, and the hotel opened its doors early this May, just in time for the Senior PGA Championship, said Ron Smith, associate broker with St. Joseph-based Edgewater Realty LLC.

“It was not the best year to build a hotel in the winter time — one of the worst winters any of us remember — but we pulled it off,” he said. “We were under pressure to deliver in time for the Senior PGA Championship. … We made it in time.”

According to Smith, the $25 million hotel’s first floor features a lobby and a “rave-reviewed” restaurant named Plank’s Tavern after hotelier John Oliver Plank. The second floor features two break-out rooms, each about 750 square feet, and a ballroom that is approximately 4,400 square feet.

The hotel, which includes a fitness center, is also constructing a full-service spa that will be a little more than 2,000 square feet on the second floor, Smith said.

Floors three through six contain about 92 guest rooms, each approximately 400 square feet, Smith said. Floors seven and eight contain 14 condominiums, 12 of which are 1,230 square feet with two bedrooms, and two of which are 2,500-square-foot penthouses. The condominiums can be joined to the rental management program, with the unit being added to the hotel inventory, he said.

The hotel also has a roof deck for parties, he said.

The Inn at Harbor Shores is owned by Harbor Village at Harbor Shores LLC, which is associated with Ron Schults, CEO of Edgewater Resources, Smith said.

The hotel, which was designed after Lake Michigan’s coastal hotels of the late 19th century, was designed by Michelle Rumsa, an architect with Edgewater Resources.

Hudsonville’s now bankrupt Lamar Construction, performing one of its last projects, served as the hotel’s contractor. Smith called the Lamar crew “some of the best people we’ve ever worked with.”

“They did a great job. They’re great people. It was literally a shock when we got the call that they had declared bankruptcy,” he said. “Fortunately for us, they had finished the hotel. Had they gone under in March, we would have been toast.”

The hotel already has hosted a number of star-studded guests. The first guest to stay in the condominiums was Miss America, Nina Davuluri, Smith said. Golf champion Tom Watson was the second. Model Kate Upton also has stayed there.

“We’re actually over-performing,” Smith said. “Of course, the summer season you do well, but it’s operating at or above what we projected, and so are food and beverages.”

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