Historic family resort names GM
An experienced hospitality professional wants to create a “buzz” along the lakeshore.
Buzz’s Lakeside Inn, a historic family resort and restaurant located in Whitehall on White Lake, is under new management as hospitality veteran Paul Toepp assumed the role of general manager last month.
As the general manager, Toepp will manage daily resort operations such as the physical plant of the property, staffing, dining, lodging, community relations and marketing. He also will be involved with weddings, special events and catering at the Lakeside Inn.
“As the general manager, I wear a lot of hats, ergo the title ‘general,’” said Toepp. “On any given day, I have several balls up in the air. I’ve been there a month and I’m kind of getting know how it lives and breathes as a 100-plus-year-old entity.”
Buzz Kaehler, co-owner with his wife Nan of the Lakeside Inn, said they are excited to welcome Toepp and his “considerable expertise.”
“He’s a great fit for the friendly, customer-focused experience that Buzz’s Lakeside Inn is known for,” said Kaehler.
Background and experience
Toepp has nearly 25 years of experience in the hospitality industry and most recently managed the food and beverage operations for a private golf club in Bloomfield Hills called the Heathers Club.
“I’ve always been in the hospitality industry and I’ve managed properties the size of Buzz’s to a little bit bigger. I’ve been involved in management of properties that are up to 300 rooms and budgets up to $10 million,” said Toepp. “What I bring, I hope, is sort of a broad, expansive background.”
He has served as general manager of Mackinac Island’s Stonecliffe Inn, managed the Harbor Springs-based New York restaurant, and has directed operations along the East Coast such as Galley Beach/Cliffside Beach Club & Hotel on Nantucket and the Harbor View Hotel & Restaurant on Martha’s Vineyard.
“I’ve worked in some pretty cool places. I started to think about what my next adventure was going to be and I wanted to be in Michigan,” said Toepp. “I wanted to find the right opportunity and I’m thrilled to be at Lakeside Inn.”
Lakeside Inn was built in the late 1800s and recently renovated when Buzz and Nan Kaehler purchased the property in 2013. Toepp said the new owners have a goal to cross over generationally to attract young families and millennials in addition to families who have been visiting the resort for years.
“It is a historical property and generations of families have stayed here and experienced it,” said Toepp. “We are promoting the property so more people want to experience the Lakeside Inn.”
Buzz’s Lakeside Inn is located at 5700 N. Scenic Drive in Whitehall along 365 feet of White Lake shoreline. The five-acre property features a main lodge, cottage, and apartment accommodations; a restaurant; heated pool; outdoor patio; new dock; and golf privileges at White Lake Golf Club.
Toepp said Lakeside Inn will open on Mother’s Day with off-season rates to “entice and attract” people who have come for generations and to appeal to a new audience.
“I’m very passionate about what I do, have very high expectations of myself and the property,” said Toepp. “We just really want people to reacquaint themselves with what we have at Buzz’s Lakeside Inn.”