Hospitality V Michigan

Selling a slice of Northern Michigan: A challenge, but a rewarding one

  

The Drummond Island Resort and Conference Center is a property like no other. It’s located on Drummond Island in Northern Michigan. Its biggest selling point? It offers 7,800 square feet of frontage on the waters of Lake Huron. The views, then, are amazing. But there’s a challenge when selling a property that is unlike any other: How do you know who the buyer will be?

That’s the task facing Franklin Property Corporation, which has been hired by Princeton Enterprises to sell the 1,500-acre resort property.

Whitney Findlay, managing director of Franklin Property Corporation, said that because the resort contains so many elements – everything from a lodge to a marina to a golf course – her company has to market with as wide a net as possible to capture every potential user.

“You don’t know who your buyers are going to be on this,” Findlay said. “It can really be anybody, wealthy individuals, large corporations, a university or alumni group. It could be conservation groups or the state of Michigan. That is the excitement and the challenge.”

To meet this challenge, Franklin Property Group is spending plenty of time researching the resort, its history and this slice of Northern Michigan. Findlay and her fellow brokers are reaching out to their personal contacts. They’re relying on online media to spread the word.

And they’re sending out press releases to different media – including Midwest Real Estate News – to encourage editors to write stories about the sprawling resort and its rare appearnce on the “For Sale” list.

“The media sources are huge,” Findlay said. “We’ve had stories about this resort published in local and regional magazines and newspapers. That gets to an audience I might not have access to. We are taking advantage of the media’s interest in a property like this to hit potential buyers that I’d have no idea were even out there. We are being as strategic with marketing this property as we can be, but, again, you really don’t know who the perfect buyer is for this property. That’s why all the media coverage is so important.”

The Drummond Island Resort and Conference Center includes that 7,800 square feet of Lake Huron shoreline, but it also comes with a 40-unit condominium hotel; 18-hole golf course; private hunt club that includes a sporting clays and skeet course; private marina; and private airplane hangar.

There are also several dining facilities, miles of trails and individual cabins and cottages sprinkled throughout the property.

It’s also one of the few properties in the country that is accessible by either car, boat or plane.

Andrew Milia, president of Franklin Property Corporation, said that he expects a wide range of potential buyers to explore the property.

“Based on the assets as well as the charm and the beauty of the island itself, we expect interest from a number of different types of investors or groups,” Milia said.

The resort was originally developed by Tom Monahan, the founder of Domino’s Pizza. Franklin Property Corporation said that Monahan reportedly invested more than $30 million into the development before selling it. Princeton, since purchasing the resort, has made several improvements to the golf course and other areas of the property.

“The frontage on Lake Huron is such a selling point,” Findlay said. “The property itself along with that 7,800 square feet of frontage is absolutely stunning. It is peaceful and gorgeous and breathtaking. There is just something about Northern Michigan. If you’re up there in the fall with all the changing colors, the trees, it’s just beautiful and so relaxing. There is the beauty of the natural assets and then the man-made assets add to it. It is unique, but it is truly something to see.”