Gov. Gretchen Whitmer visited Hillsdale on Oct. 13 to tour the Keefer House Hotel, according to a press release from her office.
Whitmer said she visited Hillsdale as part of her effort to support economic development in Michigan.
“I am laser-focused on tackling the big, structural challenges we face to grow Michigan’s economy, create good-paying jobs, and build industries of the future,” Whitmer said in a press release. “I look forward to working with key partners, the legislature and anyone who wants to put Michigan’s families, communities and small businesses first as we bolster our state’s economy.”
The Keefer House project is expected to increase capital in the city of Hillsdale, as well as create about 50 full time jobs, according to the statement.
“It’s very exciting to see the Keefer Hotel project under construction. This project will not only bring much needed revitalization to downtown Hillsdale, but it will address one of our community’s biggest barriers to tourism, the need for additional hotel rooms,” Hillsdale City Manager David Mackie said in the statement.
Whitmer said she enjoyed seeing the Keefer House and what it means to Hillsdale.
“This project is an example of what’s possible when we invest in our communities,” Whitmer said in a video on her Twitter page. “I’m proud of these collaborative efforts as we continue building our economy up stronger than ever.”
Mayor Adam Stockford said he wanted to welcome Whitmer despite their political differences.
“Throughout the Trump administration, when he was in office and went to cities that might have been considered hostile to him and was being treated with utter disrespect by the local officials, I always thought that was disgusting,” Stockford said. “We don’t want to be that way in Hillsdale. I honestly didn’t think she’d ever come to town just because of the way politics are today, but she made the effort so I think it’s worthy of recognition.”
In a Facebook post, Stockford said he was surprised by Whitmer’s visit.
“I appreciate her coming to our town very much,” he said.
“I’m happy to see Governor Whitmer chose to come to Hillsdale to see the Keefer Hotel and I’m proud the mayor was welcoming to her,” senior Jacob Hooper said. “Her visit will bring publicity to Hillsdale and its local businesses.”