Pier B Resort Hotel on Lake Superior is one of Duluth’s most popular destinations, but in the late 2000s, in the middle of an economic recession, the idea for a new resort was merely a dream. Developers Sandy Hoff and Alex Guiliani set their sights on revitalizing Duluth’s tourism industry by creating a unique resort experience.
How can entrepreneurs fund the extensive up-front research and development required for construction projects?
Hoff and Guiliani accessed pre-development financing from the Entrepreneur Fund to:
- Finance extensive feasibility studies mandated by government agencies
- Coordinate with architects and engineers to finalize building plans
- Prepare the site for construction, including stabilizing the slip walls
Pier B Resort opened its doors to the public to astounding success. Just 18 months after the successful launch, Hoff and Guiliani were able to repay the Entrepreneur Fund in full. Then they immediately began preliminary work to develop Lot D, the vacant lot to the west of Pier B. This will be an even larger project, bringing condominiums to the waterfront district.
Our region is strongest when we work together. That’s why the Entrepreneur Fund is often brought to the table to provide pre-development or gap financing in tandem with traditional bank financing.