When the Ware family acquired Mission Point Resort on Mackinac Island in 2015, they knew it was a bit of a fixer-upper. Since then, they’ve spent $10 million to renovate the rooms in the resort’s two lodges, including $5 million this past off-season to upgrade the 133-room Straits Lodge.
“It’s safe to say the renovation we did this winter alone is probably the largest single renovation project that’s happened on the island,” says Liz Ware, vice president of sales and marketing for Mission Point. “We knew when we purchased Mission Point that it wasn’t at its full potential.
“Our first goal was to address life safety issues,” she continues. “Those were done immediately. Now we’re starting to do the really fun stuff that makes a difference with our guests, so the room renovations were really exciting for us.”
During the winters of 2016 and 2017, the Wares renovated 108 rooms in Mission Point’s Main Lodge. Improvements made over the last three years include updating utilities, air conditioning, and fire suppression. There’s also new bedding, furniture, amenities, and a lighter, softer décor, much of which was done in partnership with Michigan companies.
For example, Detroit Denim in Detroit custom-designed curtains for the closets and drapes, and created a Mission Point souvenir patch. A collection of Michigan-based artists worked on other elements of the décor, while Detroit Bikes produced a fleet of branded Mission Point bicycles that will be available for rental.
“We’re in this for the long haul, and Michigan is a state full of very creative and talented people, so it was an easy decision to do as much as we can locally and support our own economy,” Ware says.
There’s more investment on the horizon. “The care and stewardship of Mission Point is an ongoing project,” she adds. “We’ll be continuing renovations over the next several years, and then at about that time, it’ll be time to start over.”
Next up, Ware says the family will invest up to $5 million to improve the resort’s conference center and restaurants, which haven’t been renovated since the 1980s.