Originally built from 1864-1867, the inn was part of the 13 acres Glen Haven Village Historic District and served as a frontier hotel providing shelter to business travelers and renting rooms to local workers. Fast forward to 1928, Sleeping Bear Inn was enlarged, modernized, and the front porch was enclosed. In addition, a two-story, six-bay garage with sleeping quarters on the second floor was built. On September 6, 1979, Sleeping Bear Inn and Garage were individually listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Starting in 2018, Balancing Environment And Rehabilitation (BEAR) non-profit was formed to begin the restoration of the property to eventually return the property to its glory and operate it as a premier bed and breakfast. Proceeds from this operation will then be re-invested throughout Glen Haven Village Historic District to restore its 1925-1931 integrity and enrich the feeling of the historic landscape for all visitors.
Over the years, the property has been carefully and responsibly preserved and the original design of the Inn and subsequent additions have stood the test of time being as relevant today as they were decades ago.
Visitors today will be greeted with wonderful assets such as a spacious and functional kitchen and eight beautifully restored sleeping rooms with private baths throughout the main building. The original wood floors throughout the Inn will be exquisite when fully restored and the parlor and two dining room layouts are perfectly suited for foodservice and gathering.
Our Renovation Phases Beginning Spring 2021
Phase One Completed
Phase one consisted of working through pre-development requirements which included working closely with the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore Historic Architect, our architect Shannon White and the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) to ensure the historical integrity of Sleeping Bear Inn. On January 8, 2021 Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore posted a news release which resulted in media coverage featuring BEAR.
Please see the news release here: National Park Service
On Wednesday March 23, 2022 Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore issued a 40-year lease to BEAR for Sleeping Bear Inn and Garage. The lease triggered the beginning of the physical renovation of the Inn and Garage. Starting with infrastructure, ending with guest room set up and with all the work in between, we anticipate this phase will be completed by late Spring 2023.
During phase three, Sleeping Bear Inn will be fully operating and contributing to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore visitor satisfaction while a more robust breakfast and lunch offering will be made available to Glen Haven visitors. The renovation of the remaining Glen Haven residential structures will begin with our staff and interns.
By phase four, Sleeping Bear Inn and Garage suites will be running year-round with the industry's expected occupancy. We will continue to work closely with NPS to improve and maintain all Glen Haven residential structures and to continue to use structures for workforce/intern housing. Glen Haven will continue to grow in popularity and is an asset to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.