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Part of the dining area at Cottage Inn Pizza’s new location. Liam Bredberg | Col­legian

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.”