Short’s Brewing buys motel to help tackle housing issues for summer workers

(WXYZ) – Short’s Brewing Co. has purchased a motel in northern Michigan to help workers find a place to stay for the summer season.

According to the brewery, they have struggled to find workers each summer, but this year is worse than ever due to a lack of rental inventory and house prices at an all-time high.

The 26-unit Bellaire Inn came on the market, and Short’s moved quickly to purchase the motel, with plans to convert and update the units for short-term transitional housing.

Short’s is looking to hire up to 20 additional staff for its kitchen and front-of-house operations, with other openings on the Elk Rapids campus.

“We’ve missed (non-local) applicants because they can’t find housing, and we’ve seen employees leave the state due to lack of affordable workforce housing.” Short’s CEO Scott Newman-Bale said in a statement. “We are working to prepare some housing projects, but that is not helping us this season.”

Short plans to reserve space in the motel for future hires and will offer local businesses the option of using the remaining units to house staff.

The updated rooms will be fully furnished with bathrooms, refrigerators and microwaves. All utilities are included.

“It’s not about long-term solutions, but rather a place for summer help and new full-time staff to land while they find accommodation in the area.” says Newman-Bale. “There is still a major need for workforce housing in Northern Michigan.”

Short’s also has a plan to develop The Bellaire Marketplace, a three-storey building opposite their pub, to include a shopping center on the ground floor and two floors of housing above.

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