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We hope you enjoy this abbreviated version of the

Frankenmuth News

Serving Frankenmuth Since 1906

Vol. 117 No. 20 - In our 117th year!

Wednesday, November 23, 2022


Bavarian Inn Lodge to embark on an $80 million expansion

  Since its inception in 1986, the Bavarian Inn Lodge has undergone several major expansions to its facility, from additional rooms and more dining areas to the water park and Fun Center.

  In mid-December, a major expansion will begin at 1 Covered Bridge Lane that will make the Lodge Michigan’s largest indoor water park and family entertainment center, at more than 140,000-square feet of family fun.

  A groundbreaking ceremony is planned for 10am on Tuesday, December 13, for the $80 million project. The new expansion will open to guests in spring 2024, with some of the new family fun center areas opening in late fall 2023. R.C Hendrick & Son, Inc. of Saginaw is the general contractor. Hendrick’s firm has a lot of familiarity with the Zehnder family and the facility, as they built all previous six phases of the Lodge.

  “We are truly raising the bar on fun at the Lodge, creating unique attractions and new types of experiences within our resort, Lodge President Michael Keller Zehnder said. “This expansion will help us advance our goal of creating fun and enjoyable experiences for all ages. We are reimagining family fun and see this as an exciting project for all of Frankenmuth.”

  The current Family Fun Center will remain in operation throughout the project, Zehnder pointed out, with no disruptions to the Lodge’s conference and banquet center, guest rooms, and all of the hotel amenities in place, including current family water slides, pools and restaurants.

  The expansion will add 20-plus new attractions, including many water slides, wave pool and adult swim up bar.

  The six previous expansions included:

  Phase 1 (1986) - $5 million creation of 100 guest rooms, one indoor pool, a restaurant and lounge and banquet facility;

 Phase II (1989) - $5 million addition including 98 guest rooms, second indoor pool and family fun center;

  Phase III – (1995) - $14 million addition including 56 guest rooms, gift shop, third indoor pool, second restaurant and lounge, and 18-hole indoor min-golf course addition to the fun center;

  Phase IV (1998) - $3.5 million 500-seat conference center

  Phase V (1999) - $1.5 million addition of two more indoor pools;

  Phase VI (2012) - $3 million installation of two water slides and refresh of the mini-golf course.

  For over 36 years, the Lodge has been one of the state’s largest indoor water park hotels. The Lodge is currently managed by third and fourth generation Bavarian Inn family members and has 360 European-themed guest rooms (many named after local families), whirlpool and family suites, an adult-only pool and whirlpool, two gift shops, two lounges and two restaurants – all under one roof.

  The expansive 35,000-square foot Family Fun Center houses two water slides, three pools and two whirlpools, over 160 video and redemption games, a two-level children’s play village and Willy’s Kingdom indoor mini-golf course. Guests can enjoy live, nightly entertainment year-round and test their own musical skills during weekend family karaoke shows.

  Banquet facilities can accommodate events for 2-500 guests.

  Zehnder will release more details as the construction process goes on.


(c) 2006 Frankenmuth News