Do you visit or live in the midwest? Familiar with the Bayfield/Ashland area of Wisconsin? Love the mid-mod era and style? Nostalgic for bygone mid-century motor lodge memories? Then read on because your contributions will buy you room credit in the hippest motel on Lake Superior!
- Who we are: Husband and wife of 24 years, Christi is a former restaurant server and currently a vintage reseller in a shop in Stillwater, MN and on Etsy. I (Mike) am a retired elementary school teacher who also worked in restaurants and hotels many many years ago! Currently I run a cinematic videography business (Storyteller Videography). Last year, we sold our family business, a vintage ice cream truck (STREET TREATS ICE CREAM on FB) which we built from the ground up and ran successfully in the St. Croix Valley for 9 years!
- Christi has had the dream of running a small motel for awhile now. Her love for the mid mod style has helped to forge a vision of running a small motel completely redone in this style to bring back the nostalgia of a bygone era. We know we can do it… we did it with an ice cream truck! I wasn’t too hip to the idea until we found a small, 8 room motel in Ashland, WI right on Lake Superior. And yes, we’ve heard we can even put a dock in! We believe we’re both well suited for this with many years of experience in the service industry!
- Bringing this dream to fruition will be good for Ashland and surrounding communities. There are already reasons to come to the Ashland area which span the calendar! Unfortunately most of the period motels in the area have become rundown and don’t take on guests as they have turned to housing long term residents. Often visitors to the area for the annual marathon or other events are forced to stay over an hour away! We may not have a lot of rooms, but we’ll also be looking into the legalities of offering limited camping on our large lot during major events!
What We Need & What You Get
- The Ashland Area Development Corporation is fantastic to work with and offers matching funds necessary to get businesses going! We are seeking to take advantage of this money to close the gap in our down payment to purchase the future Atomic Motel. If we meet our goals, funds from our Indiegogo campaign would be used in two ways: First, to complete our financing structure to secure the property, and second to give us a head start on remodeling into an authentic mid century modern style. Each room will be completely remodeled by me and when necessary, outside contractors. Though we will sink the vast majority of funds earned from bookings upon taking ownership back into the motel, additional funds will be needed because, as you all likely know, remodeling isn’t cheap!
- The BEST BEST BEST part of our campaign is it doesn’t involve keychains or t-shirts… or even thank you post cards! Each dollar contributed is directly transferred in our books to room credit. Even a small contribution will be directly discounted from your room when you make it to The Atomic. If we don’t meet our goal, you’re not out a dime! We’re also putting some sweet packages together too, so if you need a place for that long overdue family reunion, we’ll offer up our whole motel, all 8 rooms for you to set aside for a one of a kind get away with your loved ones! We even have a “Videography/Motel Stay” package to preserve the memories you make on your North Shore stay! We are so excited to see you up in Ashland and we want to make you our personal guests… we promise to treat you right! And cosmopolitans on the shore at sunset aren’t out of the question!
- The great thing about our campaign is we have opted for an all or nothing effort. Although the Indiegogo platform takes your funds upon pledging, we will NOT take your money and use it towards our efforts unless we KNOW we have secured this property and can bring our dream to fruition! If our goal is not met by the deadline, all contributions are returned! Our goal is a Grand Opening of the re-branded ATOMIC MOTEL in the late spring/early summer of 2017!
- We have the vision to make The Atomic a gathering place for the community as well! Being right on the lake in this beautiful setting will allow us to host open mic nights, small concerts with local musicians, mid mod fairs and perhaps car or motorcycle shows. We envision these free events to help build community spirit in the Ashland area!
- We know we’re able to be successful in this endeavor! We both have a track record in the service industry, Christi is an enthusiast in the mid mod style (heck we already own half of what it would take to furnish the place!) and we’ve already built one nostalgic business successfully! There is no way to explain the impact bringing back the vintage ice cream truck had on the community. Over the years we saw neighbors come to the corners and linger while catching up on vacations or local news. We saw the unifying effect it had on street after street in the communities we served, and we want to bring this spirit with us to the Ashland area!
- Everyone goes somewhere at sometime. Many thousands of people visit the Ashland/Bayfield area every year! Ashland was just named one of the 10 most underrated towns in the state by a Wisconsin paper! We think our creativity and passion can help bring new and fresh ideas into the community which will draw even more visitors to town. More visitors mean more money for local small businesses run by other families along the North Shore! If you believe in small business, contribute and get a room at The Atomic!
Risks & Challenges
There are limited risks to this adventure, which of course, we’ll minimize as much as possible going forward. However after looking at the books of the previous owner, we have a hard time seeing how we wouldn’t make a small boutique hotel successful! We may need to hire a full time employee for a time (as a grant requirement) and we’ve never had to do that… so I guess that could be a challenge!
- This industry of course relies on bookings. In crunching numbers and considering a conservative occupancy rate, we’re confident we can easily continue to pay the bills. If one of us dies, that’s what life insurance is for!
- Now if the economy really tanks and we were to be extremely slow and had low numbers of guests all year long, which I can’t imagine, then we do have our current business income to rely on. Our living quarters are attached to the motel, so the nice thing is we have no separate mortgage payment! There are virtually no other cinematic videographers in the area, so there is an untapped market for my work and I’m already in discussions with some local parties! We also intend to operate Christi’s vintage shop on site, so that is additional income we don’t lose!
- We also need to work with the city to ensure some of our vision, such as neon, a dock in the lake, and perhaps even a liquor license might be attainable. *Perks where a complimentary drink is mentioned should be no issue if you are personal guests to our home, which is onsite… but we’ll get some clarity on that!
Other Ways You Can Help
We understand you may never make it up our way to the OTHER coast… the North Coast… but you can still help tremendously if you believe in our goals!
- We are currently on Facebook as TheAtomicMotelWI and Twitter and Instagram as TheAtomicMotel. Follow us there! Share our posts! Talk us up in groups your active in or to those you know come to our area. All through the remodel process we’ll be active on social media posting photos and videos so we’d love for you to follow a long and share what you think is cool!
- And don’t forget, you can use the Indiegogo share tools to make thinks easy for friends and family to find out what we’re doing!