In 1969, Alfred James Doherty, III, grandson to Senator Doherty, took the helm of the hotel. At that time the hotel consisted of 60 guest rooms and very limited banquet facilities. While he continued to ensure a quality experience for locals and travelers, that was matched by few, he pushed the hotel into an innovative marketplace on the horizon – meetings and conferences. Again, as his forefathers had imagined, Alfred, “A.J.”, saw the opportunity to utilize the hotel’s location in central Michigan at the crossroads of US-127 and US-10 to further its success. Beginning in 1990, with the help of two of his sons, Dean and Jim, A.J. Doherty added to the hotel a beautiful back lobby, a South-Wing, which contained an additional 33 rooms, and two small conference rooms. Also, during this construction period, A.J. had the pool enclosed and the surrounding area remodeled. Over the course of the next few years, A.J. slowly stepped into the shadows of the hotel’s management, allowing his sons to step to the forefront. Then together in 1996, A.J., Dean, and Jim Doherty renovated the old motel, adding fireplaces to several of the rooms and upgrading their furnishings and interior décor.
A.J. has since passed the reins of the beautiful Doherty Hotel to his sons, Dean and Jim, and now they will have their era. The brothers attribute the hotel’s century-spanning success in part to its location, commenting, “Many guests can remember what it was like when downtowns were vibrant…” Located in the center of Michigan, Clare still offers an abundance of that nostalgic downtown charm. While holding on to its history and sophistication, the Doherty Hotel recently underwent an expansion adding three new meeting rooms and 66 new guest rooms, for a total of 157 overnight accommodations. Future plans include a 10,000 square foot conference center. The brothers intend “…to make the hotel large enough to handle sizeable groups, while maintaining the warm and personal touch of a boutique hotel at the same time.” Upon your first visit to this outstanding hotel, one is sure that the Doherty’s are certainly on their way to accomplishing that and much more. The Doherty family hopes to make The Doherty Hotel a familiar stopping place for travelers for many generations to come.