New bed & breakfast opening as SWMI economy holds strong

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BARODA, Mich. -- Southwest Michigan experienced a dip in tourism this summer, but the region – and its residents – are proving to be resilient.

Angie and Dave Seger started reimagining a 20th century Baroda school house and church in 2018 and even with the delays and doubts the pandemic has brought, they never gave up on seeing this through.

“It’s just a unique property given the historic nature of it so we’ve tried to take care of all of those details, we want to be known as a place you can come and completely unplug and relax,” said Angie.

Now, they’re just about ready to open Ambrose Bed & Breakfast and give visitors a safe, Southwest Michigan experience.

“I think a lot of people are attracted to these boutique type stays, we definitely have in place extra cleaning so it will be a very safe place to stay,” said Angie.

While the idea of new business ventures right now might scare some, the Southwest Michigan Regional Chamber says the area is recovering from COVID-19 shutdowns.

“Summer exceeded a lot of expectations, originally estimates were projecting tourism would be down significantly and while we saw a slight drop, we actually had a really good summer,” said Arthur Havlicek, President & CEO of the Southwest Michigan Regional Chamber.

Havlicek attributed much of this to the new interest the pandemic’s brought in living in these smaller towns.

“We’re finding that a lot of people are choosing to make Berrien County their permanent residence and they’re fleeing larger metropolitan areas, which I think is great,” said Havlicek.

However, as the weather gets colder and things slow down in the region, these next few months will tell small business owners a lot.

“They’re in a very crucial period where they’re going to have to make some money heading into everyone’s slow season, which is the winter,” said Havlicek. “And that’s something we’re working on, solutions to help businesses through that.”

As for Ambrose Bed & Breakfast, they’re now accepting reservations and expecting their first guest in November.

To book: https://ambrosebedbreakfast.com

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