Leelanau County Hotel, Marina Project Moves Forward After Site Approval

Developers want to transform the former Zephyr Oil Tank Farm in Leelanau County into a hotel by next summer.

It’s part of the $20 million West Shore Hotel and Marina Project.

Elmwood Township’s Planning Commission just approved the hotel’s site plan Tuesday night.

The hotel would go on the west side of M-22 where the Dockside Plaza used to be.

The marina would go across the street.      

Megan Woods has more details on the project moving forward.

“I think this is going to be a jump start for this whole corridor.”

West Shore Hotel and Marina has been a dream of Ron Walters’ since 2006 when he first bought the property. The recession proved to be a setback and he bought the property again this year.

He says, “There’s been a lot of discussion on becoming a marina hotel, restaurant corridor, problem is that in Elmwood Township besides the township marina there are no marinas, there are no hotels, there are some restaurants though so this would be that component that would start the development in this area.”

More than 100 luxury suites including two beds, bathrooms, one kitchen and a washer and dryer. It’s development many like Elmwood Township Marina Harbormaster Pete Moon have been waiting on.

“There’s so much to offer here, this used to be the utility corridor where the coal got dropped off in the coal dock the gasoline got dropped off on the gas dock and so this is just virgin territory for very nice seasonal use and year round use.”

An additional marina with large boat slips could be a game changer too.

Moon says, “To have another marina in the area would be good we have 150 people on a wait list anywhere from two to five years here at Elmwood township we welcome more because they’re not competition.”

This site plan approval is just the beginning for this project.

Ron Walters says, “The marina side because it’s a conditional use you have to have an introductory meeting and then a public hearing, last night was the introductory meeting and the public hearing is scheduled for June.”

They will also need several permits for the hotel before construction.  They hope to have the marina and at least 60 suites up by summer 2018.

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