The Michigan Department of Natural Resources unveiled two new “Deluxe Cabins” at Holly Recreation Area this week. I was invited to preview the two new cabins, which represent the first rental cabins by the DNR to feature an indoor bathroom.
The family-friendly knotty pine cabins with private access to Wildwood Lake offer two bedrooms, a kitchen and living area and a bathroom. The roomier cabins — which are the first modern cabins in the state parks system with indoor plumbing — are more spacious than the traditional camper cabin rental units, can accommodate six to eight adults in 448-square feet of living space and offer a 32-foot long front porch to maximize views and water access.
|One of two "Deluxe Cabins" built by inmates and assembled on|
site at the Holly State Recreation Area by the Michigan DNR.
The cabins were built in 30 days by 12 inmates from the State Corrections Department, trucked to Holly and assembled on site. Ron Olson, Chief of the DNR's Parks & Recreation Division, said the site’s existing infrastructure and scenic backdrop were the primary reasons why Holly Recreation Area was selected as the initial location for the new model of cabin.
“Historically this location has been underutilized, and we were able to take advantage of existing site utilities,” Olson said, adding that two Deluxe Cabins also will be installed at the Ionia State Recreation Area later this year.
The Recreation Area’s 8,000 acres of woodlands and open fields are located in Oakland County, less than an hour’s drive from the Detroit metropolitan area.
|Both "Deluxe Cabins" feature a 32-foot-long front porch, two|
bedrooms, a kitchen/living area and an indoor bathroom.
“In addition to a beach, boating and fishing opportunities — which are just steps from the front doors of the cabins — there is also an adjacent trail that links many other recreational opportunities,” Speaker said. “We’re looking forward to our visitors being able to enjoy these new amenities in a beautiful setting.”
Speaker said interest in renting the cabins has been high, and he already has one engaged couple hoping to rent the cabins for their wedding.
The cabins will rent for $100 per night on Fridays and Saturdays and $80 per night Sundays through Thursdays. Reservations can be made through the state’s Campground Reservation System, (800) 447-2757 or on the Web at www.midnrreservations.com beginning July 20. For details, call Holly Recreation Area, 248-634-8811.
Olson said he expects the rental costs to decrease over the years, and for the DNR to recoup its approximately $80,000-per-cabin investment within five years. Funding for this project was provided from the Park Endowment Fund which is generated from oil and gas royalties derived from state lands.
The prison partnership was key in making this happen, said Olson.
|The view of Wildwood Lake from the cabins' front doors.|
Daniel Heyns, director of the state Department of Corrections, said the cabins project allowed the inmates an opportunity to learn a valuable skill.
“We want to build those building trades into our rehabilitation model,” Heyns said from the front deck of one of the two cabins. “I’m tired of teaching guys how to make license plates. They need to learn real job skills and that’s what we’re doing here.”