Inn at Harbor Shores ready to hire staff

The hiring process has started in Benton Harbor where 180 new jobs are opening up at the Inn at Harbor Shores.

The inn is the next big thing in the Harbor Shores Development that began with the construction of a Jack Nicklaus signature golf course.

The Inn at Harbor Shores stands nine stories tall and carries a price tag of $30 million. “If you look at the market for hotel rooms, I think the market here is radically underserved. That was our conclusion and we actually started talking about a 50 room hotel, then it went to 70 rooms, not it’s at 92 plus condominium suites on the top,” said Ronald Smith of Edgewater Realty.

The hotel will feature indoor and outdoor pools and a ballroom than can host everything from wedding receptions to conventions.

The restaurant will have plenty of outdoor seating, including some chairs on the ninth floor observation deck that overlooks Lake Michigan.

While the Inn at Harbor Shores will have a marina, “It’s completely leased for 2014, 100 percent with a waiting list,” said Ron Smith.

Over the past two days, about 300 people have interviewed for jobs at the inn. A two day job fair wrapped up this afternoon at the Michigan Works office.

“We have about 180 positions to fill all throughout the hotel and that is during peak season. And when summer is over it'll be more like 60 or 70,” said Business Manager for the Inn at Harbor Shores, Patti Kutz.

On the project site today, some 80 construction workers struggled to make up for time lost to a harsh winter, although officials were confident that the community’s new asset would be ready to serve when the time came.

“St. Joe needs this kind of facility, it’s ready for it,” said Ron Smith. “It’s that next little piece of the puzzle. The Wineries, the breweries, the beaches, the charming downtown…So now that we’ve got all this going, where do we stay?”

The hotel will serve its first guests in May, when Rotary holds its statewide convention there. Later that month, the facility is booked during the Senior PGA Championship.

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