STURGIS | A Sturgis businessman plans to transform a historic building into a trendy boutique hotel in the heart of downtown Sturgis.
Rod Bradley already owns Bradley Storage and the Oasis Bar & Lounge downtown. Now he hopes to begin renovation of the old Benevolent Hall, across the street from the bar, as soon as early December, with the hope of welcoming the first guests to The Hotel Sturgis by next May.
And he hopes the year-round success of the hotel will spread up and down “Legendary Main Street” of Sturgis Motorcycle Rally fame, and beyond.
“We’re hoping it might turn out to be a catalyst, not only for downtown, but all of Sturgis,” said Bradley.
Bradley recently completed purchase of the building from Connie Meyer, who is in the process of liquidating a first-floor storefront antique and motorcycle collectible business called C & D Sales.
Bradley’s vision for The Hotel Sturgis includes 22 guest rooms, nine on the first floor and 13 on the second floor.
The second-floor rooms will feature outdoor balconies and additional loft sleeping spaces. Also planned for the first floor is a coffee shop.
But the first task is demolition of the interior of the building, which dates as far back as 1892, according to a cornerstone engraved date. For years, the building housed a J.C. Penney department store.
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“Anytime you open up a building of that age, it’s an unknown,” Bradley said.
Unknowns aside, Bradley is optimistic the hotel can be up and running in time for next year’s summer tourism season, and the 79th Sturgis motorcycle rally in August.
And he hopes the hotel will fit into a year-round niche for a downtown that is most vibrant during the motorcycle rally, but with many storefronts closed the rest of the year.
Pat Kurtenbach, outgoing president of the Sturgis Economic Development Corporation, said the planned hotel continues a rejuvenation of the downtown area, including completion of the Harley-Davidson Rally Point (Main Street Square), and a rebuild of four blocks of Main Street finished in 2017.
“We’ve talked for years about having a boutique hotel downtown and it seems that building would be ideal for that,” Kurtenbach said.
“We applaud Rod Bradley for having the vision to take this to the next level, because this is going to continue to transform our downtown community,” she said.
Kurtenbach said the hotel will increase the walking traffic in the relatively compact small-town downtown area, with the prospect of bringing jewelry, clothing, antique and other unique shops with it.
“We have a small downtown area and it’s all within walking area," she said. “The more foot traffic we have, the more that’s going to attract like-minded entrepreneurs to set up.”