The Zehnder Family Legacy Continues with the Help of SBA

The historic village of Frankenmuth is one of the top tourist destinations in Michigan, and one of its most popular stops is Zehnder's of Frankenmuth, enjoyed by millions of people each year.  The Zehnder legacy began when William and Emilie Zehnder sold their 80-acre farm and borrowed money for the $8,000 down payment to purchase the New Exchange Hotel.  After an extensive remodel, taking inspiration from Mount Vernon (the home of George Washington), the hotel re-opened as Zehnder’s on Mother’s Day 1929. 

Chairman and CEO Albert F. Zehnder, as well as many third and fourth generation family members are fulfilling the company’s mission to be the number one destination in Frankenmuth. The company is focused our four core areas of business - dining, lodging, retail and golf , making Zehnder’s a year round attraction.   The company currently has 942 full and part-time employees. 

In 2005, Zehnder’s opened a 30,000 square feet indoor water park, arcade, dining room, and 63 new family suites, creating a family entertainment lodging facility.  The new 152-room indoor water park hotel, Zehnder’s Splash Village, was an overwhelming success.   Ten years later, when the family wanted to add 32 hotel rooms and expand the water park, they did so with the help of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s 504 loan program.  

Working with their local lender and the Michigan Certified Development Corporation, they were able to obtain financing for the hotel, equipment, and expansion of their water park.  They recognized the benefits of a low down payment and long term fixed rate.  The SBA 504 Loan Program was able to provide Zehnder’s with a low, fixed interest rate for 20 years on the hotel and water park.

Although much has changed through the decades, each generation of Zehnders has continued their commitment to the “Tradition of Good Taste” begun so long ago.