The National Park Service is scrapping plans to lease out the historic Sleeping Bear Inn in Glen Haven. The two-story inn was built in 1857 and has not been unoccupied since the 1970's.
In 2013, the park service offered to lease the inn to anyone willing to pay for renovations estimated at $1.3 million.
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore Chief Ranger Phil Akers says two offers were considered but were rejected by the park service because of uncertain financing. Akers says the inn needs extensive work.
“Somebody would have to invest in all the utilities - from natural gas to electricity to some type of sewer system,” he says. Renovations would be complicated by the need to follow historical guidelines laid out by the U.S. Department of Interior.
The park is now reconsidering the inn’s future.
“We might start working on the inn ourselves," says Akers. "We’ll try to lower the capital investment required by someone to lease the building. It might take a couple of years.”
Akers says funding for renovations could come from increased fees at Sleeping Bear Dunes. The park service says fees will go up 25 percent beginning next year.
Last year, the park attracted 1.7 million visitors.