Rod and Cassie Bradley hope to turn the tide on economic development in downtown Sturgis. The Bradleys plan to renovate the former JC Penney building on Main Street into a 22-room boutique hotel. The Hotel Sturgis will be at 1144 Main St., the current location of C&D Sales. The couple are no stranger to the boutique hotel business. They recently sold their share of The Red Agave Adventure Resort in Sedona, Ariz. The Bradleys’ were partners with another couple in the resort, which they purchased in May 2009 at a bank auction. In July 2017, they sold their share of the partnership. “We’ve been in the hotel business before,” Rod Bradley said. “We know the business model. We liked it and had in the back of our mind that if there was ever another opportunity to get back in the business that we would take a look at it.”
The Bradleys and their partners took the Red Agave and turned that business around in the time they were owners, Cassie said, “We were able to build it back up to something great. It became a place where people loved to come with their families year after year. We’re doing the same thing here except starting from scratch this time,” she said.
The Bradleys own the Oaisis Bar in downtown Sturgis. The C&D Sales building is directly across the street and adjacent Harley-Davidson Rally Point. Cassie Bradley who has extensive experience with the marketing side of the hotel business said boutique hotels are typically smaller than other hotels and have unique characteristics.
The Hotel Sturgis will have nine rooms on the first floor and 13 on the second. The entrance will feature a coffee bar called Main Street Coffee. The mezzanine will overlook the lobby of the hotel with seating. The rooms will be 12-by-20 feet with 14-foot ceilings. “A portion of the room will be lofted with additional sleeping up on the loft,” she said. The loft idea came up in discussions between Cassie and the architect, Rod said. “I think part of the boutique concept is having some uniqueness. I think the loft will be one item that is pretty unique to our property,” he said. The two rooms on the second floor facing Main Street will be larger, suite-type rooms with large balconies. Initial reports show the Main Street building to be in good shape, Rod said. “There’s a draw to Main Street,” he said. “l think that’s part of the boutique aspect of this.”
The Bradleys hope to choose a contactor by Thanksgiving and start demolition in December. “We hope to be open in May,” Rod said. The décor of the new hotel will be refined industrial with some exposed brick and wrought iron elements. The building already has tin ceiling tiles. “We hope to bring the history of Main Street into it,” Rod said. “Main Street has kind of evolved. We really want it to be in sync with the new Main Street feel.”
Sturgis is known as the city of riders, which in the Bradleys estimation means more than just motorcycles. The town is forging a reputation as a premiere mountain biking area. “Our audience is active people, people who like to be out and about,” Cassie said. Locals who have heard about the project have been encouraging, the Bradleys said. People are excited about it,” Cassie said. Sturgis Main Street carries the stigma that it is only active during the annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally.
In recent years, a downtown association has been formed in an effort to jump-start a more vibrant year round retail environment. The Hotel Sturgis may be the catalyst for that. “Other businesses downtown think it can be a real boost to their business. There is some buzz about it,” Rod said of the hotel. “We‘re hoping to make this a pretty special place.”
Reprinted courtesy of Deb Holland, Black Hills Pioneer