Expanding and enhancing a lakeside retreat

Osthoff Resort

Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin

The Osthoff Resort, built along Elkhart Lake, found rapid success upon its opening in 1996. By 2003, the hotel’s business objectives had matured and it was decided that a new wing (which could accommodate a spa, ballroom, restaurant and additional guest rooms and suites) would allow the resort to provide guests with AAA Four Diamond Experience. This addition would raise the quality of the entire complex, enhance the potential of its non-guestroom revenue drivers, and boost occupancy and rates.

Elkhart Lake is the main reference point for the addition and improvements made throughout the property. As a result, the restaurant overlooks the lake and the new meeting spaces are situated on a lakeside promenade. Perhaps the most impressive of all, the new spa features expansive windows that provide views of the water. In addition to planning and designing the new wing, Kahler Slater consulted with Osthoff Resort to establish the business model that would produce optimum revenue. Factoring in the economics of the new wing, how many rooms and suites would offer lake views (even eliminating some rooms for a much-needed service passageway), Osthoff stakeholders quickly agreed to build a four-story wing instead of the originally planned three-story addition.