Hovey’s Bear Trap Resort is located on Indian Lake in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. It has been a treasured destination for visitors from around the world for over 100 years. Owners JD and Angie Durant beautifully renovated and renewed the 3-acre property in 2019. The Durant’s faced the challenge of modernizing the aging property and eleven cabins while preserving its cherished rustic charm and serenity. They knew that their visitors were coming here to enjoy nature and “get away” from the fast pace of city life. But, they also knew that those visitors expected modern conveniences and technology at the same time. That proved to be a problem.
“We simply had to provide WiFi and basic Internet services for our guests.”, said Angie.
JD added, “We really just wanted to give them the ability to check emails and messages. We knew that anything more than that was probably not going to work.”
With modest expectations, they first contacted the local cable company who proposed dedicated hard-wired connections to each cabin. According to Angie, “This would have meant thousands of dollars in construction costs and hundreds of dollars per month. And, it wouldn’t have given us any connections outside of the cabins. It just wasn’t an option.”
Their next step was to work with a local technical services provider to install wireless networking repeaters in the cabins. This produced little bandwidth and poor wireless connections. Angie said, “It just didn’t work. And that’s when we got in touch with SineTech.”
Mike Hoar, owner of SineTech in Manistique, visited the site and proposed a wireless mesh network to cover the entire property. The proposed solution was affordable and SineTech promised high-bandwidth connections in each cabin as well as outdoor common areas. Again, with low expectations but high hopes, the Durant’s agreed to try the mesh network.
According to JD, “We were really surprised at how well the SineTech system worked. We now have great Internet service and streaming Roku TV in every cabin. Our visitors use their smartphones all over the property, laptops for video conferences, and it works great!”
Mike Hoar explained, “Hovey’s was quite a challenge. They have a lot of space to cover and the cabins are heavy old-school construction. Nobody even dreamed of WiFi when these cabins were built. And they could have a lot of people using the service at the same time. Running new cable meant boring under a County Road so that wasn’t a budgetary option. We originally installed six Ubiquiti UniFi access points to provide service to the property. We later found one area that wasn’t getting good service so we added a seventh AP. We like Ubiquiti because it works very well and it doesn’t cost a lot. It certainly worked here at Hovey’s.”
Angie said, “SineTech really came through with a great solution for us. It exceeds our expectations and it’s been very reliable for almost two years now. We’re very happy with what SineTech has done and I would recommend their WiFi product and services for anyone.”