After buying the property for $345,000 in Aug. 2019 and constructing a number of new buildings, the owners of Cottage Inn Pizza opened the doors to the amusement park this week.
Donna Olmstead has owned the Hillsdale Cottage Inn Pizza with her husband, Brad Olmstead, for the last five years. Donna Olmstead said that she and her husband were looking for a larger location to host a variety of different events.
“We were leasing the old building where we were located downtown, and it was a larger dining room than most other pizzerias in town,” Donna Olmstead said. “We tried to specialize in bringing together the family, and we experienced space limitation when we did things like birthday parties. It would fill up almost all of our space.”
Tyler Goodman, a manager at Cottage Inn, said he believes the location will be a much-needed attraction for Hillsdale and its surrounding counties.
“We’re the only place around here to go for a birthday party,” Goodman said. “The only other place with a play structure for kids is McDonald’s. I feel like we’ll get plenty of people here looking for that kind of stuff. Silos had a lot of potential but I feel like it needed something else. Bringing Cottage Inn and adding that aspect is really going to be good for business.”
On choosing the right property, Donna Olmstead said that there were not many choices available in the area.
“We recognized early on that we needed to have a bigger building, but unfortunately there wasn’t much property around that would fit our needs,” Donna Olmstead said. “One day we drove past and wondered if all the things at Silos would fit our needs. We decided that it would.”
The Olmsteads added a few new areas to Silos to accommodate the restaurant portion that Cottage Inn will add. The dining room that guests see when they first enter the building is the main area in which food will be served.
Donna Olmstead said that she and her husband kept construction costs down by doing much of the work themselves when they could.
“We spent $285,000 on improvements, which was very low considering many of the bids we got were around $500,000,” Donna Olmstead said. “My husband and I did a lot of the work ourselves to keep the price down.”
While the new owners are trying to fix everything they can, there are certain attractions at the park that are too far gone or that will get fixed in the future when Cottage Inn is ready to cover the expense.
“The batting cages are just so far gone that it would be cost-prohibitive to fix them,” Donna Olmstead said. “We’ll be taking those down and maybe one day we’ll look at putting a different building out there. We’re also looking to do something in the silos building itself. It’s just huge inside and there’s so much we could possibly do so we’re working on figuring that out.”
There is still much for Cottage Inn to do before Silos is fully operational, but the indoor elements are open to the public.
“Immediately we want to work on getting the fun park up and running,” Donna Olmstead said. “It’s been sitting here for two or three years without anything happening out there, so we’ll be working on getting the go-karts and mini-golf up and running.”