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The city of Bridgman wants a hotel

BRIDGMAN, Mich. -

Could a hotel be headed to Bridgman? The Berrien County beach community has a new study saying it can support a standard hotel.

“The community has always been very interested and very much in demand of having a hotel property in the area,” said Calli Berg, the executive director of the Greater Bridgman Area Chamber and Growth Alliance.

The fact that Bridgman – with its growing downtown and nearby beaches and state park – is still without a hotel in 2017 is a bit baffling to Berg.

“We have the Cook Nuclear Plant in our backyard,” she said. “They are obviously our biggest employer and they have strong need. And it goes from there. Our smaller manufacturers, many of them have customers and vendors who come from all over the country, and they don’t really have a place to put them up. And then, of course, we are a strong tourism-based community as well, and we don’t have a place for the people who come to play here.”

That’s why Berg recently asked for a study to be done – to prove to potential developers that Bridgman is the place to build.

The results show the city of 2,300 people can support a 65 to 85-room hotel with all the expected bells and whistles; including an indoor pool, gym, breakfast area and more.

It would also mean at least 25 new jobs in the community.

The study cost $10,000.

Half of it was paid by Indiana Michigan Power, which is partnering with the chamber and growth alliance.

Berg said it’s a worthy investment because though a developer will commission their own study if they’re interested in a property, this puts Bridgman on the map.

“It’s a way to open that door,” said Berg. “And if we don’t have the study, we’re not demonstrating that we are clearly serious about our desire to entice a hotel development in the community.”

Haymarket Taproom is one of three breweries now in Bridgman.

Ayla Batton is the general manager, and she said she likes the idea.

“I think having a hotel would be a great thing,” said Batton. “I mean, if it gives people a place to stay, another reason to come visit us, I’d live to have that.”

The study focused on a piece of land along Red Arrow Highway that is currently up for sale.

Berg said there are several properties available in town right now – that meet the study’s requirements – if a developer is interested.

Berg hopes a hotel will be built and open for business in Bridgman in 2018. 

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