GLEN HAVEN — The National Park Service has issued a letter of intent for the development of a lease for the historic Sleeping Bear Inn and Garage.
The group Balancing Environment and Rehabilitation (BEAR), a nonprofit formed in 2018 to help preserve structures in Glen Haven, will lease the property, according to a release from the National Park Service.
The two-story inn is in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, kitty-corner from the iconic red Glen Haven Canning Co. building. Originally built between 1865 and 1867, the inn served as a frontier hotel for business travelers and local workers.
“We have been looking for someone willing to invest in the inn, and we feel we have an excellent match with BEAR,” park Superintendent Scott Tucker said in the release.
“The lease will preserve the two buildings and allow greater visitor experience in the historic Glen Haven Village.”
An appraisal of the buildings will be completed this year, before the lease is finalized, to determine fair-market-value rent. BEAR will make substantial investments to rehabilitate the buildings: extensive interior work, utility upgrades and the addition of a fire suppression system.
BEAR’s co-founder and executive director, Maggie Kato, worked for 15 years as executive director of Genesee County Habitat for Humanity. She retired 2020. Her husband, BEAR co-founder Jeff Kato, has extensive restaurant management experience.