Marquette, MI – August 25, 2017 – Milton “Bud” Kellan, Jr., along with his mother, two sisters and another partner, broke into the motel business 50 years ago. The Queen City Motel, which is what the Cedar Motor Inn was originally called, was one a very few hotels in the area. Before the corporate hotels graced the corridor, Henry and Bernice Bocklund built the Queen City, consisting of 30 rooms. Bud and his partners also bought the Terrace Motel from Bocklund (which was just across on the north side of US41, the spot now occupied by SCI) and sold it a few years later to focus on just one hotel.
While the business and Marquette grew through the ‘70s, Bud and a few other hoteliers created the Marquette Country Convention and Visitors Bureau, which is now known as Travel Marquette, and spent somewhere around 15 years as its President. Bud added the two-story pool addition, which was opened in January 1980, offering 14 more rooms. Over the course of the next few years, the spa was added and the entire motel was enclosed with a heated cedar hallway thus converting the motel to a small-scale hotel. The exterior was sided with cedar and the name was changed to the Cedar Motor Inn.
Nephew Reggie became a partner in the ‘80s while living out of state, and daughter Kristin worked for Uncle Bud while attending Northern Michigan University during that time. When Uncle Bud and his sister Betty finally retired in 2005, Reg and Lyn joined Kristin in Marquette and took over the business. Kristin became a partner a few years later and has since worked her way up, earning the title of General Manager and becoming the fourth generation in the business.
Occupancy has doubled under the Durants and many more changes to the property have occurred inside and out in the 12 years they’ve owned it. Lyn continued another of Bud’s legacies when she spent a few years on the CVB board as Vice President (but left to pursue other interests) and Reggie now holds the office of Treasurer.
The 2.1-acre vista has gone through many changes in the last 50 years and more are expected. Only time will tell what the future will bring. “It’s an ongoing process as we continue to evolve for our guests,” Lyn said of the business, “but I think Uncle Bud would be proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish for him”.
Check out a full spotlight article for Marquette Township’s Cedar Motor Inn. Learn more about the inn by watching the video below!
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