By Tom Jordan
“The White Lace Inn is one of those rare gems that established a tradition the day it was opened.” That quote from a magazine article in 1984, two years after the Inn began, is a favorite of the Inn’s owner, Dennis Statz. Those who have stayed at the White Lace Inn over the years have shared many similar compliments.
Sturgeon Bay has often been called “The B&B capital of the Midwest,” because of all the stately mansions that grace the city and offer a place for travelers to be pampered with king-sized beds, fluffy pillows, fresh bakes scones and made from scratch breakfasts. But one such B&B has the distinction of being around the longest and offering more rooms than any other: The White Lace Inn.
“When my wife Bonnie and I opened this place, a lot of people were somewhat confused about the concept of a Bed and Breakfast, “ Statz remembers. “Some people thought they had to share a bathroom. I have no idea where that misperception came from.”
Not only does each room at the White Lace Inn have its own bathroom, many have whirlpool baths, fireplaces and king or queen-sized beds. And if you look at the Inn from the street, you miss seeing some of the other buildings that surround the courtyard that also are part of the Inn. In fact, Dennis and Bonnie own four homes overall and provide eighteen different rooms. Each has a distinctive charm. Some folks want to return to the exact same room they’ve had in the past. Others want to try a different room, with a different view.
One recurring theme you may notice at the Inn is that Teddy Bears grace many of the rooms. No coincidence, Bonnie Statz has run the Dancing Bear Toy Store on Third Avenue since 1994, so the bears are a natural tie-in.
“Bonnie spends her time at the store and I’m usually right here at the Inn,” Statz adds.
Dennis is quick to add his support for all the other B&Bs in town. “I know how much work it is to make a B&B successful and each one adds to the charm of Sturgeon Bay. Together, I think we make this city that much more unique.”