Demographics Business Relocation

Never Leave Arcadia


ARCADIA, MICHIGAN – Four years ago, Shannon Westgate had never been to Arcadia.  Now, she says she’ll never leave and she advises her guests to do the same.

She’s the owner along with husband Tom of the Pleasant Valley Resort Motel, nestled in the unincorporated Village of Arcadia on Michigan’s iconic M-22 with a township population of just over 600.

“We left our home in Holt, Michigan, near Lansing, looking to buy a business in northern Michigan that would give us reason to spend more time in the great Up North,” says Westgate over a bean burger at the Red Apple Bar in Arcadia.  “We found a wonderful motel with 4 cottages and 6 motel units that we whipped into shape with old fashioned sweat equity and a hand from local repurposing stores.  I even added my own landscape paintings to the walls.   Now, we have a loyal, growing following and life just doesn’t get any better.”

With great customer service where most every guest seems to become an extended member of the Westgate family, the bottom line of the Resort Motel has improved with each passing year.  It’s a trend Westgate expects will continue as people take the time to get off the beaten path and explore what Arcadia has to offer.

“M-22 is becoming a legend of its own,” says Westgate reflecting the results of a 2015 USA Today survey proclaiming it as the most beautiful drive in America.  “And if you get just a few hundred feet off M-22, you can enjoy the most beautiful beaches and sand dunes in the world or even stumble into a wandering black bear.  If you’re into fishing, hiking, hunting, bird watching, backpacking, camping, kayaking, or just plain exploring, you can do all that and more within five minutes of the Pleasant Valley Resort Motel.”

“Shannon’s like a one-person Chamber of Commerce but her infectious passion for Arcadia is communicable and catching on,” said longtime Arcadia resident and Township Planning Commission Chair Brad Hopwood.  “Like any community, it’s easy to get caught up in challenges and debates but we happen to agree with Shannon’s premise that there’s no place quite like Arcadia and there’s certainly no reason to leave.”

Amid her enthusiasm, Westgate will also share a concern or two.

“Small places are fragile in many ways,” she says.  “Due to an unfortunate death, we worry about the fate of our only service station and convenience store.  And the community has to do something about sewer and water if we expect to bring any form of development to the area.  But we have a great spirit of volunteerism in the community and I’m sure we’ll work together to land on creative solutions to both protect and share this very special place.”

If you go, check out the Pleasant Valley Resort Motel on line at or give Shannon a call at 231-889-4194. 

Once you’re there, you may well never leave.