TRAVERSE CITY — Visitors to the West Bay Beach resort will notice lots of changes this summer.
The beachfront of the hotel, known to many by its former name Holiday Inn, will feature cabanas, live music and a food menu with new healthy options like salads, wraps and smoothies. The fresh environment represents the final touches on a multi-million dollar renovation to the mainstay property on Grand Traverse Bay.
“The (new owners) always felt this hotel had much more potential than what it was leading on in the market,” said Colin Walsh, general manager of West Bay Beach. “They saw it as a real estate investment opportunity, and also an opportunity to show the Traverse City market what this property is capable of.”
VS Traverse City Hotel LLC purchased the property from Ohio-based TC Hotel LLC in 2012. Changes at the four-story, 179-room structure at 615 E. Front St. range from the simple — like new art on the walls — to a new name. The property is now West Bay Beach a Holiday Inn resort. The rebranding signifies ownership’s intent to develop the property as a resort destination.
“The building for a very long time was considered Holiday Inn West Bay,” Walsh said. “We recognize the experience that had in the market, but at the same time felt that truly becoming a resort-branded property holds big potential. We are lucky enough and privileged enough to be co-branded. Our first brand is West Bay Beach, but we happen to be a Holiday Inn resort.”
Infrastructure upgrades include improved safety control, fire panels, fire suppression and new mechanical systems. Rooms were remodeled, too, with all new bedding packages, flat panel high definition televisions and artwork.
“Really the whole nine yards,” Walsh said. “The public space was all touched. There really wasn’t an area of the building that went untouched.”