Traverse City News and Events

Short's Brewing Buys Bellaire Inn To House Workers

By Beth Milligan | April 22, 2022

Short's Brewing Company has purchased the 26-unit Bellaire Inn with the goal of using rooms for housing for employees.

Short's announced the purchase Friday in a release, saying the company was "working fast to convert and update units for short-term, transitional housing." The Short's Bellaire Pub is looking to hire up to 20 additional staff for kitchen and front-of-house operations this summer. Short's also has several open positions at the Elk Rapids campus. "The worker shortage has been a challenge for Short’s Brewing every summer since they can remember, but this year seems worse than ever - housing prices are at all time highs and there is a severe lack of rental inventory," the company said in the release. Accordingly, when the Bellaire Inn hit the market, Short's "moved quickly to seal the deal" and purchase the property.

Short’s will hold space in the inn for upcoming hires, and plans to offer local businesses first dibs on remaining units to house their incoming staff. The 26 rooms will come fully furnished, with bathrooms, a fridge, and a microwave. All utilities are included as well. In order to keep costs as low as possible for workers, Short’s plans to operate part of the inn as a traditional motel and is currently seeking a full time, on-site inn keeper, according to the release.

"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," said Short's CEO Scott Newman-Bale in a statement. "We’re working to get some housing projects shovel ready, but that doesn’t help us out this season...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."

Short's has other housing projects in the works besides the Bellaire Inn. The company is also planning a project called The Bellaire Marketplace, a three-story development across from the Bellaire Pub with a commerce center on the main floor and two stories of housing above. Short's in "also in talks with area residents attempting to secure land contracts for additional market-rate and workforce housing," according to the release.

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