Oxford Township is quickly becoming a well-known destination in northern Oakland County, but the one thing it still lacks is overnight accommodations for visitors.
"This monopoly board definitely needs some hotels," said Jack Curtis, chairman of the township’s Economic Development Subcommittee (EDSC). "We can’t keep expecting people to come here to work and play, but spend their nights somewhere else. We need to be an all-inclusive destination and we’ll never be that until we have places where people can unpack their suitcases, take a shower and lay their heads."
The closest lodging is located in surrounding communities like Orion Township, Auburn Hills, Rochester and Lapeer.
Oxford is looking for corporations, developers and entrepreneurs with the willingness and capital to build hotels, motels, inns and bed-and-breakfast establishments.
"We need somebody who sees the need we see, sees the potential we see and sees the value of investing in this jewel of northern Oakland County," Curtis said. "We need some risk-takers. We need some partners."
Given everything there is to see and do in Oxford, having lodging would make it much easier for visitors to explore and enjoy the town.
"You can’t adequately experience this community in a single day," explained EDSC member Todd Bell. "We’ve got championship golf courses, miles of scenic trails, acres of lush parks, numerous horse farms, a variety of festivals and a revitalized, historic downtown full of unique dining and shopping opportunities. You could spend a week or two here and still not drink in everything Oxford has to offer."
And it isn’t just recreational opportunities that draw folks to Oxford.
“We’ve got a school district that’s constantly bringing international students here. We’ve got an industrial/manufacturing base that has customers and partners all over North America and the rest of the globe,” Curtis said. “We need somewhere for visiting parents to stay. We need somewhere for businesspeople to stay. We want them all to stay here.”
Curtis noted Oxford has the Boulder Pointe Conference Center, which is the perfect venue for seminars, conventions, corporate retreats, annual meetings, etc.
"We've got the meeting space, we just need the hotel to go with it," he said.
Forcing visitors to stay somewhere else is not only inconvenient for them, but it doesn’t make economic sense for Oxford.
"We want to help local businesses thrive and grow," said EDSC member Ed Hunwick. "Having visitors spend their money elsewhere for services not offered here works against that goal."
There’s a vast amount of vacant land along M-24 - the main artery through Oxford Township and downtown Oxford – that’s well-suited for the development of lodging.
M-24 is connected to I-75 to the south and I-69 to the north. The state highway leads to other well-known local destinations such as the Palace of Auburn Hills and the City of Lapeer.
"When you think about it, building a hotel on M-24 in Oxford is a no-brainer,” Bell said. “It’s a natural fit.”
Anyone interested in possibly constructing lodging facilities in Oxford is encouraged to call the township office at (248) 628-9787.
"Let’s start the dialogue now," Hunwick said. "We’ll be glad to pull out the zoning map and master plan, and explain exactly where we’re headed as a community.”
Oxford is part of Oakland County's One Stop Ready program, so the township and village are committed to working with businesses to expedite things such as the site plan approval process.
“We’re even willing to connect potential developers with local real estate agents and brokers who can track down the perfect spot to build,” Curtis said. "We have three liquor licenses available, which is perfect for a hotel that wants to incorporate a restaurant and bar."
“The bottom-line is we’re ready, willing and able to work with anyone who has the desire and the vision to build lodging facilities in Oxford," he added. "We can’t keep waiting for something this community needs right now.”
Oxford Township is home to 20,526 residents (including Oxford Village) and experienced the third highest population growth (28.2 percent) in Oakland County based on the 2010 U.S. Census. Its diverse business community ranges from a revitalized downtown district to a healthy manufacturing sector. For two straight years, the village was recognized by a University of Michigan-Dearborn study as one of the top communities in the state when it comes to fostering economic development and entrepreneurial growth.
Oxford is served by a full-time, professional fire department, which currently holds the record for the fastest cardiac care time in the county.
Oxford Community Schools is the first public school district in Michigan to receive PreK-12 authorization from the International Baccalaureate organization.