Before taking over the Bavarian Inn in Custer seven years ago, Sherry Wahlstrom and her husband Marcel were looking to leave the hotel business.
“We were looking to downsize our lives, and we had busy jobs in Rapid City,” said Sherry.
But after finding the location listing by accident while looking for a condo, they decided to take a chance on purchasing the Bavarian Inn and owning a hotel.
Now, the couple has turned the inn into a welcoming stop for anyone looking to experience the heart of the Black Hills.
One of the main changes they made was improving the hotel’s online presence, according to Sherry. Originally opened in 1973, the hotel was largely unknown to travelers from outside the area.
“When we had purchased the property, there was not any computer system or any way of booking other than calling an 800 number or just driving by,” said Sherry.
“It’s kind of unsuspecting. It’s a nice little roadside property, and then you turn in and it’s like you’re coming to your favorite cousin’s house.” -Sherry Wahlstrom
With the addition of online booking, the couple has nearly doubled the average number of guests since first buying the inn. Sherry added they have retained a loyal following after taking over the inn from the previous owners.
“People love us, and we love them,” said Sherry.
One of the draws to the Bavarian Inn is the unique decorations found around the hotel itself. A holdover from the original owners, who came from Bavaria, the inn has a rustic, comforting atmosphere that Sherry says she and her husband have tried to expand since they took over ownership.
“We took it up a notch with not so much the German tie, which is mostly the Bavarian flavor that [the previous owners] had, but … we were just having fun with the hospitality portion of it and the service portion of it,” said Sherry.
The five-and-a-half acres surrounding the distinctive inn also feature a plethora of porch chairs, relaxation areas, and many planters filled with colorful flowers leading to the lobby.
The Bavarian Inn boasts 64 fully equipped room options offering queen and king-sized beds for vacationers including standard, deluxe, and suite rooms.
The Feel Good Café located on the grounds offers breakfast options and other small items that can be delivered to your hotel room (more here).
There are also plenty of activities that can be found around the hotel. Guests can enjoy a tennis court, basketball court, indoor and outdoor pools, hammocks, and various games spread across the grounds.
“It’s the best place for families,” said Sherry.
Sherry says her goal for the hotel was to make the Bavarian Inn the “cutest little resort in the forest” and hopes guests will enjoy the relaxed and kind atmosphere.
“I gave it a theme of kindness and love and sweet hospitality, and we really try and put it out there as if we are welcoming our extended family,” said Sherry.
+¾-MILE FITNESS TRAIL
+COMPLIMENTARY COOKIE HAPPY HOUR
+ARCADE GAME AREA
For more information, visit BAVARIANINNSD.COM