DoubleTree by Hilton Battle Creek wins Governor’s Award for Innovative Tourism Collaboration

April 11, 2024

BATTLE CREEK, MICH – Battle Creek Unlimited (BCU), along with members of the board, the City of Battle Creek, and the Calhoun County Visitor’s Bureau were in attendance to accept the Tourism Industry Coalition of Michigan (TICOM) award for “Innovative Tourism Collaboration – Non-Traditional Tourism Partnerships” at the “Pure Michigan Governor’s Conference on Tourism” hosted in Kalamazoo, Michigan on April 10th, 2024.

The awards were created in collaboration with the Governor’s Office to boost the image of Michigan’s tourism industry and promote innovative collaboration. The DoubleTree by Hilton was recognized for its innovative approach to community involvement and partnerships throughout its current and future development. Key areas of focus for the award were philanthropic partnerships, training and development, downtown business collaboration efforts, and the focus on the project being an asset to the community as well as travelers.

Located in the heart of downtown Battle Creek, the space was formerly the McCamly Plaza hotel, which had been proven functionally obsolete. Rather than allow the property to further deteriorate in its vacant state, BCU and several community and state partners collaboratively rallied together to create a vibrant community asset. BCU established a for-profit entity called 50 Capital Ave. Development Corp. (50 CADC) and took ownership of the hotel in November 2020 after resolving a legal dispute with its former owners.  Given BCU’s mandate to boost Battle Creek’s development, it made sense for BCU to step in as a developer to renovate and upgrade the hotel for the benefit of the community. This marked a strategic shift for BCU, marking their first foray into the role of a private developer.  With the collaborative efforts of these community partners, the hotel has become a truly one-of-a-kind experience with an elaborate training initiative in the SUITE Collaborative, promotion of downtown businesses, local sustainability efforts, and community involvement. The property is set to open in August of 2024.

President & CEO of BCU, Joe Sobieralski, stated: “Creating a community asset requires more than just renovating a building – it demands a collaborative effort. We appreciate our partners and the community for their contributions to this project, which will positively impact Battle Creek for years to come. Thank you to the state and TICOM for the recognition for this hard work. We are eagerly anticipating the opening of the hotel to the community and visitors in August.”

The generous soft capital and grant contributions from our partners have played an instrumental role in our success and show the incredible amount of community support for this project. Thirteen organizations contributed over $50 million to make the project possible including Battle Creek Unlimited, W.K. Kellogg Foundation, 50 Capital Ave Development Corporation, The City of Battle Creek, The State of Michigan, Calhoun County, The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), The Miller Foundation, Calhoun County Visitor’s Bureau, Battle Creek Downtown Development Authority (BCDDA), Kellogg’s 25-Year Employees’ Fund, Bronson Battle Creek Hospital Community Partners, and the Consumer’s Energy Foundation.

PHOTO:  Erick Stewart, Bridgette Jones, Heather Ignash, Sara Wallace, and Joe Sobieralski



Established in 1972, Battle Creek Unlimited (BCU) is a private, non-profit corporation which serves as the economic development arm for the City of Battle Creek and manages the Fort Custer Industrial Park. The Fort Custer Industrial Park is home to over 80 businesses, including 25 international companies, and employs over 13,000 people. BCU’s mission is to build a strong community by driving strategic investment and job creation. Visit for more info.


Joe Sobieralski, President & CEO

Battle Creek Unlimited

TEL 269-962-7526


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