New motel fills need for mid-priced rooms

BELLAIRE – The first guests at the Bellaire Inn checked in the first week of July.

Owned by Tracy Honeycutt and his partners William Mandt, Chris Dewey and Allen Pease, the motel at 728 E. Cayuga is on the same five-acre parcel as their other business, Cafe Bellaire.

“I wanted the business to be community-oriented,” Honeycutt said. “That’s why I used Bellaire in the name for the restaurant and the motel.”

In analyzing the Bellaire market, he determined there was a strong need for a motel in the mid-price range. There is only one other small motel in town, as well as two B&Bs and, of course, Shanty Creek Resort.

Honeycutt put his years of experience as an architect to good work in designing the motel from the ground up.

“I tried to fit the building into the landscape and make more interesting roof lines,” he explained. “The exterior also matches the restaurant. I had fun with the interior, giving it a warm, contemporary feel.”

The motel is a two-story building with 24 rooms, a gift shop, small meeting room and, a greenhouse room, complete with a 12-person Jacuzzi, steam room and sauna that look out over a wooded landscape. There also are plans to rent space for a massage therapist.

A great deal of thought went into providing amenities for customers; there are two barrier-free rooms on the first floor, two rooms with private Jacuzzis and each room is decked out with pine furniture, custom bedspreads and coordinating window treatments. An added bonus is that Cafe Bellaire is on the same property, allowing motel customers to order room service and put restaurant charges on their room bill.

When the partners took over the cafe (formerly Mrs. Pete’s Place) in 1997, they expanded the dining room and added a deck, facilities for the disabled, and landscaping. They also expanded the menu, which offers 14 different omelettes for breakfast, a wide array of specialty sandwiches, salads, and hamburgers for lunch, prime rib on Saturdays and chicken and dumplings on Wednesdays.

The restaurant and motel are just part of the grand plan Honeycutt, Mandt, Dewey and Pease have for their site.

“Depending on how well the motel goes,” Honeycutt cautiously noted, “we have plans for a phase two–to add on 24 more motel rooms. Next year we hope to add a four-unit retail building next to the restaurant and a banquet building behind the restaurant. There is a real need in the community for a banquet facility and we hope to have one that can seat 200. In September, we plan to open a deli/pizza/bakery store in Williamsburg in the old gas station at the corner of old 72 and Elk Lake roads.”

You can reach the Bellaire Inn at (231) 533-7777. BIZNEWS