BENTON HARBOR Visitors to Southwest Michigan can enjoy a new piece of the Harbor Shores development plan. A 9-story waterfront hotel opened to two private groups on Thursday. In time for the Senior PGA Championship, the Inn at Harbor Shores will welcome thousands more to its facility.
The Inn is full of state-of-the-art amenities like a spa, two pools, a marina, ballroom and restaurant. Each of the 92 guestrooms overlooks either the Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course or the harbor.
Perhaps more important than the technology and amenities, though, is the detail and design that went into the construction. Although the building is brand new, a rich history is already rooted in the walls.
"From the very beginning, artists and artwork has been layered in to the vision of the Inn at Harbor Shores," said Susan Wilczak, the art consultant.
"Keeping the 'Pure Michigan' campaign in mind, we have dedicated [our walls] to showing Michigan artists."
Twelve artists are featured throughout the hotel. Each floor is designated to a specific theme, including farmland, vineyards, golf and Lake Michigan. There is also a second-floor gallery, where Wilczak will rotate Michigan artwork displays several times throughout the year.
In addition to an extensive art collection, the hotel is filled with historic references.
"I think people like uniqueness," said Ron Smith, part of the Development team at Harbor Shores.
"They like to attach the reasons why it's here, how did this happen, and the story. Part of hospitality is having a story to tell."
The name of the restaurant and pool deck is a tribute to an original resort from the 1800's. Many of the photographs on the first floor also pay homage to John Oliver Plank, who devloped the Plank Tavern in 1888.
"If you go back to over about 125-30 years ago, the area was known as a resort area, it wasn't industrial, which it became in later decades," said Smith.
"As time went on it became an industrial area, now it is recycled back to its roots, and I think much more sustainable roots."
You can find more information about the Inn at Harbor Shores on the webpage.