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Short's Brewing purchases motel to help combat housing problems for summer workers

Posted at 11:41 AM, Apr 22, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-24 14:01:53-04

(WXYZ) — Short's Brewing Co. has purchased a motel in Northern Michigan to help workers have a place to stay for the summer season.

According to the brewery, they have struggled to find workers every summer, but this year is worse than ever due to a lack of rental inventory and housing prices at an all-time high.

The 26-unit Bellaire Inn came on the market and Short's moved quickly to purchase the motel, with plans to convert and update the units for short-term, transitional housing.

Short's is looking to hire up to 20 additional staff members for their kitchen and front-of-the-house operations, with other openings at the Elk Rapids campus.

“We’ve missed out on (non-local) candidates because they can’t find a place to live, and we’ve had employees move out of state because of the lack of affordable, workforce housing.” Short's CEO Scott Newman-Bale said in a release. “We’re working to get some housing projects shovel ready, but that doesn’t help us out this season.”

Short's plans to hold space in the motel for upcoming hires, and will offer local businesses an opportunity to use the remaining units to house staff.

The updated rooms will be fully furnished with bathrooms, a refrigerator and a microwave. All utilities are included.

“These aren’t intended to be long term solutions, rather a spot for summer help and full-time new hires to land while they find housing in the area.” Newman-Bale said. “There is still a major need for workforce housing throughout Northern Michigan.”

Short's also has a plan to develop The Bellaire Marketplace, a three-story building across from their pub, to include a commerce center on the main floor and two stories of housing above it.