Little Yellow Cottages in Port Austin have new owners

Port Austin is home to six yellow buildings along Union Street called the Little Yellow Cottages, which are rentals where people can stay during peak tourist season. These buildings have recently changed hands.

Daniel and Kimberly Guest officially became the new owners of these chalets in November, with some updates underway before they open for rental in the spring.

Guests currently live in Shelby Township in the Detroit metro area, with Daniel working as a CFO for a military contractor and Kimberly taking time off from her job in human resources to raise their 2-year-old daughter, Lottie.

The family started camping six years ago, with the Thumb area being the first place they focused on their travels, traveling first to Forester Park in Sanilac County and weaving their way along all the shore of Lake Huron. They also travel internationally, having been to Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean and Europe.

They had been looking for a vacation home in the Upper Thumb area for a few years. Towards the end of 2021, they saw the cabins were available and looked at them while on a camping trip to the area.

“We fell in love with it,” said Daniel Guest. “It was what we were looking for. For ourselves, we can be part of the community and can help subsidize the cost of running it with rental income. It was more than we thought we would do, but it turned out good for us.

Previous owners, Terry and Lori Boyle, had owned the chalets since 2009. Guest said working with the Boyles to help them finalize the purchase was one of the reasons they decided to buy the chalets.

The six gîtes can each accommodate between four and six people. Four of them have two bedrooms, one has one bedroom and one has a studio layout, each having a bathroom and full kitchen.

Since the cottages are all on the same property in the heart of Port Austin, five or six separate families can stay at the same time.

“We hope people can hold large gatherings,” Guest said. “They have a cabin to stay in, but they don’t have to go far to see everyone.”

Renovations to the chalets include adding heating and air conditioning units, three units already having them, and updating two units to have new bathrooms and insulation.

The Guests plan to open the gites year-round on April 1, with the possibility of opening in March weather permitting. There will be a minimum of two nights to stay in the chalets except in July and August, where there is a minimum rental period of one week from Friday to Friday. There is no maximum on how long people can stay, with Guest saying they already have people who will rent chalets for two and three weeks.

Along with their plans to update the cottages, the guests also plan to renovate the backyard, improve fire pits and grilling areas, and work on other cosmetic issues, depending on how business develops this year. With the heating units installed, they can now accommodate people year-round.

The cottages are currently accepting reservations for the 2022 season, which can be made either through or by email at [email protected] for those with special requests.

About Michael B. Billingsley

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