Room at the Roam Inn
MUNISING – The building at 815 W. Munising Ave. has gone through several owners since its original use as a home for a lumber baron in the late 19th century.
However, developers of its latest reincarnation – the Roam Inn – hope to give it more of that vintage feel.
Tom Dolaskie IV of Munising, his wife Ana, and Dallas-based business partner Darrin Hubbard are renovating the former Superior Health Haven, an assisted living facility, into the Roam Inn, a 19-room “boutique hotel,” that will have an adventure-based theme promoting an outdoor relationship with the Munising area, according to Dolaskie.
He said half the rooms will be suites while the rest will be single rooms.
“They are very large rooms, which are kind of cool,” Dolaskie said.
A restaurant will be included and called Tracey’s, after a retired photographer with whom Dolaskie said he was was acquainted with and who also was “an amazing cook.” Dolaskie said he wanted to honor that friendship.
He said the building was constructed in 1896 by lumber baron George Burtis – who owned lumber mills throughout the Upper Peninsula and Canada – as his personal home. The building later became a hospital, and then the assisted living facility.
The building is empty while being renovated.
Dolaskie said he wants to save as many of the older details, such as the original hardwood floors and wood walls, as possible.
“I think it lost a lot of its originality when it was converted into a hospital and the assisted living facility,” said Dolaskie, who wants to give the Roam Inn a sense of history.
They also aim to have the outside facade be as original as possible.
“I found some of the original walls during demo, and they were a green stucco, so we’re going to a green stucco with white trim,” Dolaskie said.
His wife is helping with the food and beverage program, he said, while Hubbard will help with the technology.
Dolaskie said he and Hubbard build luxury hotels throughout the world together, but thought it was time to change their course.
“We’ve opened so many hotels for other people, it’s time to do one for themselves,” Dolaskie said.
He said the cost is estimated at $1.25 million, with the opening date targeted for mid- to late June. The project is expected to create 10 to 12 full-time jobs.
The restaurant will feature a classic menu, Dolaskie said, but have a “nautical and lake” approach.
“We’re not really trying to reinvent the menu experience,” he said. “We want good, classic American food.”
Dolaskie said he believes there will be a big market for the Roam Inn, which will be open year-round, considering the influx of tourists in 2015.
“We saw over a million into the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore and Grand Island National (Recreation) Area, and we’re expecting even more this year,” he said.