A brief history
The roots of Heidel House began in 1890 as a 12-acre private estate for the Kelly family, who had built a house, stable, tack house and pump house. The estate was converted to lodging in 1945 when newspaper publisher Herb Heidel and his wife, Lucille, a teacher, purchased the residence for $20,000.
The resort, given a four-star rating in 1980 by AAA, grew to multiple buildings over the years, but in 1984 Heidel House filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and owed creditors more than $2 million.
In late 1985, the property, then with just 96 rooms, was purchased for $2.6 million by Margaret and David York, of Sheboygan, and Fiore Companies.
Two fires, seven months apart in 1989, also caused more than $3 million damage to the resort. Fiore expanded and remodeled, but aging facilities and changing travel patterns convinced the company to close the property in 2019 and list it for sale.
Klain and his company had been working for years on a major hotel project in Ripon, but when that deal failed to materialize the attention in March 2019 turned to Heidel House.
But like many other business owners, Klain is struggling to find workers amid a pandemic that has included increased unemployment benefits, child care issues and fears of the virus. Klain has 55 employees, but could use 10 more.