Bavarian Inn's $80M expansion receives grant to help build 'largest indoor waterpark' in the state

What’s happening: The small but mighty city of Frankenmuth is considered the most visited tourist destination in the state, drawing approximately 3 million visitors each year. Those tourism numbers stand to grow even larger as the small Saginaw County community will soon become home to the largest indoor waterpark in the state of Michigan. A recently announced grant from the Michigan Strategic Fund will support its development.

What’s planned: The Bavarian Inn Lodge, a destination in and of itself since first opening in 1986, first announced plans for an $80 million, 140,000 sq. ft. indoor waterpark and family entertainment center in November 2022. The expansion will dwarf the resort’s current family entertainment center space of 35,000 sq. ft. and result in the largest indoor waterpark in the state.

How they’re doing it: The expansion is expected to cost $80 million and create 71 jobs, which are in addition to the already more than 300 workers currently employed at the resort. The development will receive a $750,000 Michigan Business Development Program performance-based grant on the strength of these expectations, it was announced on Monday, March 6. Regional economic development group Saginaw Future Inc. is credited with helping the Bavarian Inn Lodge secure the grant.

Why it’s important: “Vibrant attractions in our iconic communities like Frankenmuth are vital to Michigan’s economic success and the well-being of our friends and neighbors,” says Quentin Messer, Jr., CEO of the MEDC and President and Chair of the Michigan Strategic Fund. “By focusing on downtowns and supporting unique amenities, we establish world-class places that residents and visitors will enjoy. We’re pleased to work with our local partners in bringing this project to life, which will help Frankenmuth become an even better place for Michiganders to live, work, visit, play and create futures.”

Bavarian Inn Lodge is located at 1 Covered Bridge Ln. in Frankenmuth.

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