STURGIS | The Hotel Sturgis is open. Not as open as owner Rod Bradley would like, but open.

Just nine of the 22 rooms are ready for guests on the first floor of the renovated Benevolent Hall, a historic brick and stone building at the corner of Main Street and Harley-Davidson Way in downtown Sturgis.

The hotel, under major remodeling inside and out since last fall, passed its health inspection at 5:45 p.m. on June 13 and accepted its first reservations that night, Bradley said.

A lobby coffee shop began serving last Friday, with a grand opening and ribbon-cutting at 3 p.m. that day.

“That was a big hump to get over last Friday for the ribbon-cutting,” said Bradley, taking a break from ongoing construction on Tuesday afternoon.

Second-floor rooms, including two suites overlooking Sturgis’ Main Street and the Harley-Davidson Rally Point across the intersection with Harley-Davidson Way (Second Street) to the west, remain to be completed.

“But now we just have to keep pressing and push through the top,” he said.

Weather and other factors have kept Bradley from meeting his initial goal of opening in time for the Memorial Day weekend.

Removing and replacing the sidewalk on the west side of the building resulted in water in the basement after a rainstorm last week, he said.

“It’s not anything anyone else in the construction world doesn’t run into,” he said.

Bradley said he’s heard plenty of buzz about his hotel, which was most recently a retail shop, and known historically as the home of Sturgis’ J.C. Penney store.

Words like “gamechanger” and “renaissance” are being used in connection with the hotel project.

“Whether that comes to fruition or not, time will tell,” he said. “I think it has the potential to be the catalyst for that.”

He said completion of the Rally Point and a million-dollar reconstruction of Main Street have made major contributions to the atmosphere of progress in town.

“We’ve got momentum in Sturgis. There’s building and growth,” he said.

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