On the shores of Lake Michigan near the top of Michigan's Lower Peninsula lies the historic city of Petoskey. Today, it's a popular tourist destination, but in the late 1800s it was a center for the state's billion-dollar lumber industry. The wealth generated by the logging business funded the construction of a number of impressive 19th-century hotels. Today, they're all gone — victims, mostly, of fire. All gone, that is, with one exception: Stafford's Perry Hotel.
Completed in 1899, the hotel is on a steep bluff overlooking the lake in Petoskey's historic Gaslight District. It has been restored several times over the years, but the deterioration was near its worst when the owners started a complete exterior renovation in the spring of 2004.
"There was no shortage of rotted wood, spalling bricks and peeling paint," says Jim Arremony of The Neat Painter, Inc., which won the coatings bid. "With our knowledge of restoration and preparation, and our Sherwin-Williams rep's knowledge of coatings, we came up with the absolute best strategy to bring back the hotel to its former glory."
The Neat Painter, located three hours south in Clarkston, Mich., plans to open a second office in Petoskey, so success on this project was imperative.
"There is absolutely no better way to get an introduction to the area than to do a good job of restoring the Stafford's Perry Hotel," Arremony says. "With our crew living at the hotel during the week, the hotel staff got to know them quite well. We also knew we were 'on stage' for the owners, the locals and area contractors."
By all indications, they succeeded in their mission, and Arremony gives some of the credit to the multi-store network of his paint supplier.
"With the distance between our office and the project, it was nice knowing that the local Sherwin-Williams store was taking so much interest in the project," Arremony says. "It was like having another field supervisor at the job site."