Step inside Bay Valley Resort and discover renovated spaces, a new menu, and local bands

Newly-remodeled rooms, a new menu, and re-surfaced pool all await guests at the Bay Valley Resort & Conference Center, 2470 Old Bridge Road in Bay City.

The hotel and conference center, which also boasts an 18-hole golf course, closed in March 2020 as the pandemic ramped up in this area, says General Manager Elizabeth Clay.

While the doors were closed, the staff worked to improve the facility. They finished renovating rooms and a unique indoor-outdoor heated pool that’s open year-round.

The resort welcomed golfers back in April 2021 while the restaurant, conference rooms, and hotel rooms gradually re-opened. A few months later, the facility is completely open and the management team is excited about the future.

At an informal meeting recently, the team quickly drops talk of what happened in the past. Instead, the conversation veers from the temperature of the water in the outdoor pool and whose golf outing is next to which decorations to feature in December.

Food and Beverage Manager Jessica Harless, Sales Manager & Wedding Coordinator Irene Mapes, Executive Chef Mark Gloria, Golf Sales Manager, Sharon Rudrow, and Chief Engineer Mike Dardas each have insight into what the resort offers for different people.

When the pandemic closed Bay Valley, it didn't stop the renovation of several rooms.Harless is booking local bands to perform on Friday nights. Mapes is talking to engaged couples about wedding dates.

Gloria is excited about a Friday Night Fish Fry. He also quizzes Harless about what wines will be featured at an upcoming tasting event. He needs the wine list before setting the menu.

Rudrow says she is booking golf outings and ready to talk to businesses about holiday parties.

Everyone says the resort is busy, especially on weekends. They’re not sure if it’s the recent renovations or if people are just ready to get out as COVID-19 restrictions ease.

A unique pool allows guests to swim between an indoor and outdoor section. It's also 10 feet deep, which is unusual for a hotel pool.Whatever the cause, the management team says they are happy to welcome new guests. In turn, their guests are enthusiastic about their time at the resort.

“Everybody loves live music,” Harless says. “People sometimes come for the live music and end up loving the fish fry and everything else.”

Clay says it’s a welcome surprise. “Before we opened, I didn’t anticipate us being this busy.”

The resort expects to hold a job fair later this month to hire staff. They’re also planning upcoming events. Watch Facebook for details about the hiring fair and other special events.