MACKINAC ISLAND (AP) — R.D. “Dan” Musser Jr., owner of Michigan’s most famous summer resort, the Grand Hotel, died Saturday. He was 80.
Musser died of congestive heart failure at a Lansing hospital, according to a statement from the Mackinac Island hotel.
The elegant hotel, with nearly 400 rooms and a 660-foot-long porch, has been in Musser’s family for 80 years. It offers extraordinary views of lakes Huron and Michigan, from May through October, and has been host to at least five U.S. presidents.
Musser started working at the hotel when he was in college in 1951. It was owned at the time by his uncle, W. Stewart Woodfill. He became president in 1960 and purchased the hotel, with wife Amelia, in 1979.
Musser was chairman emeritus at the time of his death. His son R.D. “Dan” Musser III has been hotel president since 1989.
“Dan Musser was a pillar of great strength on Mackinac Island,” former Gov. William Milliken said. “He will be greatly missed, not only on the island but also among those across the state who value what he did to assure the excellence of the Grand Hotel and that he so long did to promote the state.”
Besides owning the hotel, Musser was chairman of Mackinac Island’s Public Works Commission for more than 30 years. The hotel said he had a key role in development of the island’s water supply and a 1991 decision to cap the landfill. Waste now goes to a landfill off the island.
Besides his wife and son, Musser, a native of Circleville, Ohio, is survived by daughters Robin Agnew and Margaret “Mimi” Cunningham and grandchildren.
A funeral will be held Wednesday at All Saints Episcopal Church in East Lansing, with burial at a later date on Mackinac Island.