Telegram photo by Dan Cherry
Telegram photo by Dan Cherry
Property values rising in Manitou Beach

By Dan Cherry

The sound of nails being hammered fills the Manitou Beach village district on the heels of the launch of the 2017 tourism season.

Several residential homes have been purchased for renovation; others are being converted to commercial space for leasing; parking improvements with a retaining wall are in the works, and a new gallery of shops is being prepared for a grand opening celebration next month.

When he decided in 2011 to bring the beach resort back to what he remembered as a child growing up at Devils Lake, developer Dave Gajda said he and his partner, Jose Malagon, had several goals in mind. [Read more...]

Lenawee magazine photo by Lad Strayer lenconnect.com
Lenawee magazine photo by Lad Strayer lenconnect.com
Entrepreneurs strive to revitalize Manitou Beach

By Renee Lapham Collins

Two entrepreneurs with ties to Hollywood have been hard at work transforming Manitou Beach from a forgotten backwater to a quaint lakeside destination.

David Gajda and Jose Malagon started with a vision and the burned out remains of the Manitou Inn in 2009 and in 2011 committed to rebuilding Manitou Beach Village. Gajda, who grew up in Garden City, Mich., spent his summers at Devils Lake. His late sister, Marie Parker, owned the Inn and when it was destroyed by fire in January 2009, the pair saw an opportunity not just to rebuild the tavern but improve the village as a whole. [Read more...]

J. Scott Park | Mlive.com
J. Scott Park | Mlive.com
Two who helped revitalize Hollywood take on small village in Michigan

By Benjamin Raven

After a fire destroyed the Manitou Inn, there wasn't a single commercial property in a small village along the west coast of Devils Lake in Lenawee County.

Now, David Gajda, whose sister owned the Inn, and Jose Malagon, of Los Angeles, have added a new commercial district, made some dilapidated homes livable again and put a sense of community back into the area. [Read more...]

25944979_BG1
Developers bring business back to Devil's Lake area

By Megan Sanctorum

The Devil's Lake area, a popular vacation spot for people in northwest Ohio, is getting a major upgrade.

Developers have been working to bring new life to the area, and they say their hard work is starting to pay off.

Several new businesses have come to the area recently, and people say they've had a huge impact on the community. [Read more...]

Telegram photo by Dan Cherry
Telegram photo by Dan Cherry
Replica lighthouse raised at Manitou Beach

By Dan Cherry

As a crowd of more than a dozen onlookers watched, workers from Earles Construction and Floyd’s Rigging, both of Adrian, raised a 25-foot lighthouse Friday to the top of a building under construction at Manitou Beach.

Developer Dave Gajda, along with partner Jose Malagon, are developing what they say they hope will become a signature building at the lake resort. The lighthouse brings the overall height of the structure at the intersection of Devils Lake Highway and Walnut Street to 45 feet. The project was unveiled at the July Rollin Township Board meeting. [Read more...]
manitou
Community welcomes restaurateur's return

By Mary Alice Powell

According to the sign over the handsome new building, the new name of the popular Devils Lake pub and eatery is the Manitou Bar and Grill. But regulars who waited anxiously for it to open just know it as Marie's.

In the southern Michigan lake district, the bar and grill literally rose from the ashes and replaces the old Manitou Inn that burned down in January, 2010. Last weekend's grand opening was not just a chance to see the place and try an expanded menu. It served as a tribute to Marie Parker, the gutsy woman who narrowly escaped in the fire. Marie could have hung up her apron after the tragedy but that's not her style. She is happily back in the business where the community feels she belongs, cordially greeting customers, tossing out an occasional sarcastic remark, and offering her opinions. [Read more...]