MACVB 2022-2023

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MEET IN

2022 /2023 Michigan Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus Meeting Planners Guide

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MEET LIKE A LOCAL

MICHIGAN’S CAPITAL CITY OFFERS: Virtual Studio & Hybrid Meeting Capabilities • Free Services COVID Protocol Resources • Premier Lodging Including Two New Hotels in 2021 Greater Lansing Safe Pledge Showcasing Commitment to Health & Safety Central Location in Midwest Boosts Attendance • Flexible & Unique Venues Dedicated Staff Committed to Your Success Greater Lansing Convention & Visitors Bureau | LANSING.ORG | (517) 487-6800

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1

#

VOTED

BEST ISL AND

IN THE CONTINENTAL U.S. Travel & Leisure Magazine World’s Best Awards 2022

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4

RECONNECTING IN MICHIGAN

6

CREATING UNFORGETTABLE MEMORIES

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WE HAVE IT ALL

9

LOCATION MAP

18 INDOORS OR OUTDOORS WHY NOT BOTH?

Find first-class meeting facilities under a roof and out in nature.

30 BETTER FOR THE EARTH

Event sites from Detroit to the U.P. embody environmental stewardship.

10 MICHIGAN ASSOCIATION

40 STATE OF THE ART

12 REIMAGINING

54 MEETING WITH THE PAST

OF CVBS DIRECTORY

MICHIGAN MEETINGS

The state offers many venues featuring engaging, safe experiences.

MOUNT PLEASANT

What’s new in Michigan? History comes alive in the Great Lakes State.

ON THE COVER With so many spectacular places for meetings, Michigan is an event planner’s dream state. Clockwise from top left: Mackinac Island, Traverse City, Holland, Detroit

P H OTO S , C LO C K W I S E F R O M TO P L E F T: A A R O N D I M I C K , S T E V E J E S S M O R E , E X P LO R E B R I G H TO N H O W E L L A R E A ; C O V E R , C LO C K W I S E F R O M TO P L E F T: M A C K I N A C I S L A N D TO U R I S M , T R AV ERS E C I T Y TO U RISM , ST EPH A N I E RU H O FF, C H ROM A

IN THIS ISSUE

DOWNTOWN JAC KSON

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wa

HOWELL OPER A HOUSE , HOWELL

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For a Great Meeting

Just Add

WATER

BLUE WATER CONVENTION CENTER

Small Town Charm with Big City Amenities Located in Port Huron, the Blue Water Convention Center is the perfect waterfront location for your unique Michigan event, meeting or banquet. Hotel accomodations are made easy with over 1,000 hotel rooms located throughout the area. Complete in-house catering by our award winning chef is offered for a seamless experience. Enjoy nightlife, unique restaurants and team building activities in our historic downtown. Explore more things to do at www.bluewater.org.

800 HARKER ST. | PORT HURON, MI 48060 | (800) 852.4242

www.bluewater.org MACVB22_Book.indb 3

the

MICHIGAN’S THUMBCOAST

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M I C H I G A N ASS O C I AT I O N O F C O N V E N T I O N A N D V I S I TO R S B U R E A U S P.O. Box 304 Stanwood, MI 49346-0304 231-823-0015 / visitmichigan.org

E X E C U T I V E D I R E C TO R Larisa Draves, CMP

20 22 M AC V B P R E S I D E N T Trevor Tkach, Traverse City Tourism

Organized in 1974, the Michigan Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus (MACVB) is an organization of the chief executive officers and staff of convention and visitors bureaus throughout the state. The mission is to serve as an advocate for its members through education and communication while representing their legislative interests.

PUBLISHED BY GREENSPRING MEDIA PRESIDENT TAMMY GALVIN T R AV E R S E C I T Y ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER  NATIONAL SALES L AURIE BURGER 5864164195 | LBURGER@GREENSPRING.COM

EDITORIAL DIRECTOR ALESHA TAYLOR

WHEN IT COMES TO PL ANNING your next

TREVOR TKACH PRESIDENT & CEO, TRAVERSE CITY TOURISM; 2022 MACVB PRESIDENT

Michigan Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus

visitmichigan.org 231-823-0015 Traverse City Tourism

traversecity.com 800-872-8377

meeting or event, wouldn’t it be great to have free, friendly, easy-to-find local experts who are excited to help you? The members of the Michigan Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus (MACVB) are just that: your local destination experts, offering free services, information, and connections to the businesses and amenities you need. MACVB’s members cover nearly every corner of Michigan, representing more than 50 unique destinations in all. MACVB takes the business of hosting meetings, conferences, and events very seriously. No matter the type of venue or experience you are seeking, you will find that our destination organizations—convention and visitors bureaus—are eager to help you meet your goals and ensure your attendees have a fantastic, memorable experience. For years, most of us took the opportunity to physically meet for granted. Now, as we collectively return to a world of in-person meetings, the state’s destinations are here to assist. Let MACVB help you reconnect in Michigan. Sincerely,

SENIOR EDITOR TODD R. BERGER EDITOR KIM SCHNEIDER ASSOCIATE EDITOR AMANDA CHRISTENSEN CONTRIBUTING WRITERS KIM CORCORAN, KATHY GIBBONS, DIANNA STAMPFLER

CREATIVE DIRECTOR TONYA SUTFIN ART DIRECTORS MICAH EDEL & TRACI ZELLMANN

PRODUCTION MANAGER LY NGUYEN DIGITAL PRODUCTION DIRECTOR DEIDRA ANDERSON ADVERTISING COORDINATOR MIKAYL A SNYDER SALES + MARKETING SPECIALIST MADELINE BRAVERMAN

ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER + DIRECTOR OF MARKETING, EVENTS + PARTNERSHIPS ARTHUR MORRISSEY EVENT + OFFICE MANAGER RICK KRUEGER COMMUNICATIONS SPECIALIST TEGHAN MURPHY MARKETING + EVENTS COORDINATOR RACHEL TAYLOR

DIRECTOR OF BUSINESS OPERATIONS KATHIE GORECKI ACCOUNTING ASSOCIATE NATASHA BA JJU

Produced and printed by

9401 James Ave. S., Suite 152, Bloomington, MN 55431 Phone 612-371-5800 Fax 612-371-5801 HOUR MEDIA CEO Stefan Wanczyk • President John Balardo

The pages between the covers of this magazine (except for any inserted material) are made from wood fiber that was procured from forests that are sustainably managed to remain healthy, productive, and biologically diverse.

P H OTO : T R A V E R S E C I T Y TO U R I S M

Reconnecting in Michigan

GROUP EDITOR KATELYN BLOOMQUIST

Meet in Michigan is published annually. © 2022 Greenspring Media. All rights reserved.

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Printed in the U.S.A.

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P H OTO : T R A V E R S E C I T Y TO U R I S M

Exactly where we should be

When you’re true to who you are, you’re true to where you are. Come join us. TraverseCity.com MACVB22_Book.indb 5

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GR AND R APIDS

DAVE LORENZ VICE PRESIDENT, TRAVEL MICHIGAN

michigan.org 888-784-7328

WELCOME TO MICHIGAN  a land of sparkling blue waters, untamed wilderness, and warm hospitality. Travel Michigan invites you to explore the state’s two peninsulas and let the unspoiled nature and authentic character of a truly majestic land revive your spirit. Michigan is home to 3,288 miles of shoreline, more than 100 public beaches, one national park, and two national lakeshores. In addition, the state has over 650 public golf courses and 101 state parks and recreation areas. As summer pleasures transition into autumn splendor, fall-color seekers can find mile after mile of multihued leaves and enjoy the fruits of the fall harvest at cider mills, farmers’ markets, and U-pick orchards. Meanwhile, winter’s plentiful snow brings a fresh new vibe to Michigan, as it blankets slopes and trails, providing a winter wonderland for skiers, snowboarders, snowmobilers, and dogsledders. Explore breweries or indulge in extraordinary dining and wine-tasting experiences. Take time to visit different areas to learn of the state’s regionally distinctive foodways. From amusement parks and ballparks to wildlife refuges and zoological sanctuaries, Michigan has something to offer everyone. History buffs, for example, can quench their thirst for knowledge at our many historic parks and preserves, taking in some great scenery along the way. With accessible trails, overlooks, water launches, museums, and zoos, the state’s attractions deliver top-notch experiences to visitors of all abilities. Add all this to the kind nature of Michiganders, and you have a state that opens its arms to all. Come to the Great Lakes State—you’ll love it here. Sincerely,

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P H OTO : E X P E R I E N C E G R A N D R A P I D S

Creating Unforgettable Memories

l Meet in Michigan

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P H OTO : E X P E R I E N C E G R A N D R A P I D S

DISCOVER HOLLAND

MEET IN DOWNTOWN HOLLAND Let us help you plan your next meeting! Great Gathering Places • Historic Downtown • Unique Dutch Attractions Award-Winning Community • 1850 Hotel Rooms 800.506.1299 • holland.org • wendy@holland.org

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PETOSKEY

KIM CORCORAN EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, MEETINGS MICHIGAN

meetingsmichigan.com 800-210-1514

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AS A CHILD GROWING UP and vacationing in Michigan, I thought we lived in the most beautiful state in the country. Now, as executive director of Meetings Michigan, I have traveled the globe to many remarkable destinations. And yet, every time I come home, I can affirm we do indeed have one of the most beautiful places in the world in which to live, play, and meet with colleagues. Meetings Michigan is a cooperative marketing organization that bands together convention and visitors bureaus and hotels from throughout the state. The organization’s mission is to educate meeting planners about the variety of event destinations and the plethora of activities that can be assimilated into a Michigan-based meeting. No matter where you want to meet in Michigan, you can start with Meetings Michigan, which will find the right destination to meet the goals and objectives of your meeting, conference, or event. Next time you are considering the Midwest as an event destination, consider Michigan with its four seasons of fun, accessible airports, and diversity of offerings. From urban hotels to expansive resorts, we have it all. Sincerely,

P H OTO : A D O B E S TO C K / L A U R E N T; O P P O S I T E , C LO C K W I S E F R O M B OT TO M L E F T: A S M G LO B A L , T R A V E L M A R Q U E T T E , A L P E N A A R E A C O N V E N T I O N & V I S I TO R S B U R E A U , D E S T I N AT I O N A N N A R B O R

We Have It All

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P H OTO : A D O B E S TO C K / L A U R E N T; O P P O S I T E , C LO C K W I S E F R O M B OT TO M L E F T: A S M G LO B A L , T R A V E L M A R Q U E T T E , A L P E N A A R E A C O N V E N T I O N & V I S I TO R S B U R E A U , D E S T I N AT I O N A N N A R B O R

MACVB MEMBER LOCATIONS

MARQUETTE

visitmichigan.org

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MICHIGAN ASSOCIATION OF CVBS DIRECTORY UPPER PENINSULA Calument / Keweenaw Peninsula

VISIT KEWEENAW 56638 Calumet Avenue • Calumet, MI 49913

906-337-4579

visitkeweenaw.com

Escanaba

VISIT ESCANABA 1001 N. Lincoln Road • Escanaba, MI 49829

906-789-7862 800-533-4FUN

visitescanaba.com

UPPER PENINSULA TRAVEL & RECREATION ASSOCIATION P.O. Box 400 • Iron Mountain, MI 49801

906-774-5480

uptravel.com

BARAGA COUNTY CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU 755 E. Broad Street • L'Anse, MI 49946

906-524-7444 800-743-4908

baragacounty.org

MACKINAC ISLAND TOURISM BUREAU P.O. Box 451 • Mackinac Island, MI 49757

906-847-3783

mackinacisland.org

TRAVEL MARQUETTE 117 W. Washington Street • Marquette, MI 49855

906-228-7749 800-544-4321

travelmarquette.com

MUNISING VISITORS BUREAU P.O. Box 421 • Munising, MI 49862

906-387-1717

munising.org

SAULT STE. MARIE CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU 225 E. Portage Avenue • Sault Ste. Marie, MI 49783

906-632-3366 800-647-2858

saultstemarie.com

ST. IGNACE VISITORS BUREAU 6 Spring Street, Suite 100 • St. Ignace, MI 49781

906-643-6950 800-338-6660

stignace.com

ALPENA AREA CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU 420 N. Second Avenue • Alpena, MI 49707

989-340-2288

visitalpena.com

GREAT LAKES BAY REGIONAL CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU 515 N. Washington Avenue, Second Floor • Saginaw, MI 48607

989-752-7164 800-444-9979

gogreat.com

MECOSTA COUNTY VISITORS BUREAU 127 S. State Street • Big Rapids, MI 49307

231-796-7640 888-229-4FUN

bigrapids.org

CADILLAC AREA VISITORS BUREAU 201 N. Mitchell Street, Suite 102 • Cadillac, MI 49601

231-775-0657

cadillacmichigan.com

Charlevoix

VISIT CHARLEVOIX 109 Mason Street • Charlevoix, MI 49720

231-547-2101 800-367-8557

visitcharlevoix.com

Cheboygan

CHEBOYGAN AREA VISITORS BUREAU 124 N. Main Street • Cheboygan, MI 49721

231-445-9045 800-968-3302

cheboygan.com

Clare

CLARE COUNTY CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU 429 N. McEwan Street, P.O. Box 226 • Clare, MI 48617

800-715-3550

clarecounty.net

Gaylord

GAYLORD AREA CONVENTION AND TOURISM BUREAU P.O. Box 3069 • Gaylord, MI 49734-3069

989-732-4000 800-345-8621

gaylordmichigan.net

Grayling

GRAYLING VISITORS BUREAU P.O. Box 217 • Grayling, MI 49738

989-348-4945 800-937-8837

grayling-mi.com

SILVER LAKE SAND DUNES  HART VISITORS BUREAU 2388 N. Comfort Drive • Hart, MI 49420

231-873-3982

thinkdunes.com

HOUGHTON LAKE AREA TOURISM BUREAU P.O. Box 1 • Houghton Lake, MI 48629

800-676-5330

visithoughtonlake.com

Ludington

LUDINGTON AREA CONVENTION AND VISITORS BUREAU 119 S. Rath Avenue • Ludington, MI 49431

800-542-4600

pureludington.com

Manistee

MANISTEE COUNTY VISITORS BUREAU 310 First Street, P.O. Box 13 • Manistee, MI 49660

231-398-9355 877-626-4783

visitmanisteecounty.com

MOUNT PLEASANT AREA CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU 113 W. Broadway, Suite 180 • Mount Pleasant, MI 48858

888-772-2007

meetmtp.com

OSCODA AREA CONVENTION AND VISITORS BUREAU P.O. Box 572 • Oscoda, MI 48750

989-739-0900

oscoda.com

PETOSKEY AREA VISITORS BUREAU 401 E. Mitchell Street • Petoskey, MI 49770

231-348-2755

petoskeyarea.com

TRAVERSE CITY TOURISM 101 W. Grandview Parkway • Traverse City, MI 49684

231-947-1120 800-872-8377

traversecity.com

WEST BRANCH VISITORS BUREAU 422 W. Houghton Avenue • West Branch, MI 48661

989-345-2821

visitwestbranch.com

WHITE LAKE AREA CHAMBER & VISITORS BUREAU 124 Hanson Street • Whitehall, MI 49461

231-893-4585 800-879-9702

whitelake.org

Iron Mountain / Upper Peninsula L’Anse / Baraga County Mackinac Island Marquette Munising Sault Ste. Marie St. Ignace

NORTHERN LOWER PENINSULA Alpena Bay City / Midland / Saginaw Big Rapids Cadillac

Hart Houghton Lake

Mount Pleasant Oscoda Petoskey Traverse City West Branch Whitehall

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MICHIGAN ASSOCIATION OF CVBS DIRECTORY SOUTHERN LOWER PENINSULA VISIT LENAWEE 126 S. Main Street • Adrian, MI 49221

517-263-7747 800-536-2933

visitlenawee.com

DESTINATION ANN ARBOR 315 W. Huron Street, Suite 340 • Ann Arbor, MI 48103

734-995-7281 800-888-9487

annarbor.org

Battle Creek

CALHOUN COUNTY VISITORS BUREAU 34 W. Jackson Street • Battle Creek, MI 49017

269-962-2240 800-397-2240

battlecreekvisitors.org

Birch Run

BIRCH RUN CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU 7971 Main Street, Suite 4 • Birch Run, MI 48415

989-624-9193 888-624-9193

birch-run.com

Brighton / Howell

EXPLORE BRIGHTON HOWELL AREA 123 E. Washington Street • Howell, MI 48843

517-548-1795 800-686-8474

explorebrightonhowellarea.com

COLDWATER COUNTRY CONFERENCE & VISITORS BUREAU 20 Division Street • Coldwater, MI 49036

517-278-0241 800-968-9333

coldwatercountry.com

Detroit Metro Region

VISIT DETROIT 211 W. Fort Street, Suite 1000 • Detroit, MI 48226

313-202-1800 800-DETROIT

visitdetroit.com

Flint

EXPLORE FLINT & GENESEE 519 S. Saginaw Street, Suite 200 • Flint, MI 48502

810-600-1404

exploreflint.org

Frankenmuth

FRANKENMUTH CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU 635 S. Main Street • Frankenmuth, MI 48734

989-652-6106 800-FUN-TOWN

frankenmuth.org

Grand Haven

GRAND HAVEN AREA CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU 225 Franklin Avenue • Grand Haven, MI 49417

616-842-4499

visitgrandhaven.com

EXPERIENCE GRAND RAPIDS 171 Monroe Avenue NW, Suite 545 • Grand Rapids, MI 49503

616-258-7388 877-VISIT GR

experiencegr.com

Holland

HOLLAND AREA VISITORS BUREAU 78 E. Eighth Street • Holland, MI 49423

616-394-0000 800-506-1299

holland.org

Jackson

EXPERIENCE JACKSON 134 W. Michigan Avenue • Jackson, MI 49201

517-764-4440

experiencejackson.com

DISCOVER KALAMAZOO 240 W. Michigan Avenue • Kalamazoo, MI 49007

269-488-9000 800-888-0509

discoverkalamazoo.com

GREATER LANSING MICHIGAN CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU 500 E. Michigan Avenue, Suite 180 • Lansing, MI 48912

517-487-0077 800-648-6630

lansing.org

VISIT MUSKEGON 610 W. Western Avenue • Muskegon, MI 49440

231-724-3100 800-250-9283

visitmuskegon.org

SHIAWASSEE COUNTY CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU 215 N. Water Street • Owosso, MI 48867

989-723-1199

visitshiawassee.com

BLUE WATER AREA CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU 500 Thomas Edison Parkway, Suite 200 • Port Huron, MI 48060

810-987-8687 800-852-4242

bluewater.org

Saugatuck / Douglas

SAUGATUCK/DOUGLAS AREA CONVENTION AND VISITORS BUREAU P.O. Box 28 • Douglas, MI 49453

269-857-1701

saugatuck.com

South Haven

SOUTH HAVEN/VAN BUREN COUNTY CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU 546 Phoenix Street • South Haven, MI 49090

269-637-5252 800-764-2836

southhaven.org

SOUTHWESTERN MICHIGAN TOURIST COUNCIL 2300 Pipestone Road • Benton Harbor, MI 49022

2699256301

swmichigan.org

Adrian / Lenawee County Ann Arbor

Coldwater

Grand Rapids

Kalamazoo Lansing Muskegon Owosso Port Huron

St. Joseph / Benton Harbor

Bolded items indicate advertisers

visitmichigan.org

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MEET IN MICHIGAN

A U T U M N V I E W F R O M C RY S TA L M O U N TA I N

Reimagining Michigan Meetings Meeting planners will find new ways to stage effective and creative meetings throughout the state.

Planners have been through a few crazy years in the meetings and events industry, but every cloud has a silver lining. Meetings in Michigan have been reinvented, reworked, and reimagined to be better. Planners honed their processes, took technology to the next level, and created more engaging experiences for conference guests.

CLEAN AND SAFE The Michigan events industry’s No. 1 priority is to provide clean, safe environments for meetings, conferences, and events. The state’s Pure Michigan Pledge ensures it is ready to help meeting guests experience Michigan. At the hotel level, many properties adopted new cleaning practices and protocols. “At Four Winds, we have always regarded cleanliness and safety for our guests as our main business objectives,” says Tim Adams, director of sales at Four Winds Casino New Buffalo. “During the pandemic, additional protocols were put into place, but it was an easy transition from our original stringent standards. As we have resumed hosting group events, we remain cognizant of our guests’ concerns and are able to honor any requests regarding the style of service, sanitation requirements, and social distancing.”

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Beyond that, Michigan hotels and resorts take pride in their flexibility and creativity to find ways to meet safely and effectively. For example, Crystal Mountain in Thompsonville developed the Crystal Clean initiative. The resort made the commitment to strengthen safety, cleaning, and disinfection measures for guests and employees. The enhanced cleaning practices, social distancing, and safety protocols—including Plexiglas, hand sanitizer stations, and signage recommending masks—are flexible and available as needed. One of the safety measures put in place that is now permanent is the installation of a new air scrubber system in major public use areas, including the Crystal Conference Center. The filtration system is based on NASA technology using an ultraviolet light filter and electric charge to eliminate bacteria and viruses in the air. Crystal Mountain works closely with local and state health officials to ensure the resort’s practices are safe.

TECH ENHANCEMENTS Many Michigan hotels invested significantly in audiovisual equipment and other technologies to offer virtual and hybrid options in their conference and event spaces. Judy Booth, vice president of sales at Boyne Resorts, enjoys “offering the ability to have an immersive

P H OTO : C R Y S TA L M O U N TA I N

BY KIM CORCORAN, CMP

l Meet in Michigan 8/18/22 14:17


M

ichigan is changing the way we do meetings. Whether you’re looking for the excitement of an action-packed city or seeking the peaceful respite of nature, Michigan is the best of both worlds — a destination for recreation, renewal and reconnection.

P H OTO : C R Y S TA L M O U N TA I N

From vibrant downtowns filled with shops and eateries, to crystal-clear waters, countless trails and an abundance of golf courses and ski resorts, Michigan is ready to be the home for your next meeting, regardless of season. To learn more and see what unique possibilities await you and your next meeting, visit MeetingsMichigan.com.

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G R A N D T R AV E R S E R E S O R T A N D S PA , T R AV E R S E C I T Y

experience with audiovisual equipment where the speaker looks and feels like they are in the room but may be located anywhere in the world.” Hotels and resorts reimagined the guest experience to include contactless services like keyless/mobile check-in and QR code menu ordering. Lisa Williams, executive director of sales at MGM Grand Detroit, says, “For us, takeout dining led to an evolved and enhanced in-room dining experience. In-room delivery is now available from multiple dining venues in our resort instead of just a single room service dining option.” Several destinations upgraded virtual tour technology to include 3D models and virtual reality, so planners can inspect a destination without being on-site.

P H OTO S : G R A N D T R A V E R S E R E S O R T A N D S PA , M A C K I N A C I S L A N D TO U R I S M B U R E A U ; F O L LO W I N G S P R E A D : E X P E R I E N C E G R A N D R A P I D S , B I L L B O W E N

ENGAGING EXPERIENCES Most planners want their meetings to be more than educational settings; they are looking to make it an experience by visiting local attractions. Convention and visitors bureaus do an amazing job finding unique ways for groups to experience a region. Michigan embraces all four seasons for meeting attendees. In spring and summer, your attendees can engage in one of the most popular activities in Michigan: golf. Treetops Resort in Gaylord, home to five golf courses with acres of green, rough, and bunkers as far as the eye can see, is a short drive east of Traverse City. Grand Traverse Resort and Spa and the aforementioned Crystal Mountain, both near Traverse City, are home to a colorful palette of championship courses, each offering varying levels of difficulty. Of course, all these resorts have plenty of meeting space to get work done while enjoying the outdoors. Summer is one of the most popular seasons because there is so much to do outdoors. A favorite meeting backdrop in the summer months is Mackinac Island, where attendees can take a ferry boat to the island and be greeted by horse-drawn carriages that take them to their hotel. The island—which is automobile-free—keeps attendees active with bicycle rides, walks downtown from shop to shop, and tours of historic Fort Mackinac. Take a step back in time at the Grand Hotel with traditional afternoon tea, nightly dancing, and spectacular views. One cannot fully experience Michigan without visiting during the fall, which is prime conference season. Colors come alive in northern Michigan, and Traverse City Tourism can help you take in wine country. At the start of the autumn season, the vineyards are lush and ripe with fruit. October and November are devoted to the harvest. Winter is not overlooked in the state. Meeting attendees enjoy getting outside on Michigan’s numerous mountains. Boyne Mountain Resort and The Highlands at Harbor Springs boast 113 slopes and trails at Lower Michigan’s two largest ski resorts.

VIE W FROM FORT M AC KINAC , M AC KINAC ISL AND

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P H OTO S : G R A N D T R A V E R S E R E S O R T A N D S PA , M A C K I N A C I S L A N D TO U R I S M B U R E A U ; F O L LO W I N G S P R E A D : E X P E R I E N C E G R A N D R A P I D S , B I L L B O W E N


WALKABLE CITIES Conference attendees want to get out and move, and Michigan could not be more perfect for this. Let’s start with Detroit, the largest city in the state. With Little Caesars Arena anchoring a plethora of new development downtown, your attendees will have the opportunity to explore new restaurants, shops, and entertainment venues. They may want to stay in one of the new boutique hotels in the area. The Detroit International RiverWalk spans 3 miles for an enjoyable walk, run, or bike ride. Less than 30 minutes from the Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, Ann Arbor is a catalyst for creativity. Home to the University of Michigan, the city also features art-house movie theaters, worldclass museums, and the annual Ann Arbor Art Fair. Ann Arbor’s Main Street has been named one of the best streets in America for its walkability with quirky retail shops and original eateries that will charm your attendees and guests. Grand Rapids, the second-largest city in Michigan, is both compact and easy to navigate. Also known as “Beer City USA,” it encompasses an impressive array of amenities and attractions, including hotels, museums, shops, and restaurants, plus a bustling nightlife and multiple live music venues—all within walking distance of each other. Most establishments in downtown Grand Rapids are within a 10-minute stroll of the convention center. Amy Young, president of Destination Consultants LLC, has planned many events in Grand Rapids and likes the ability to use unique outdoor venues. “I’ve always tried to promote the bridge events we do in Grand Rapids—I just love that city,” she says. “We just did an event for an association of over 1,000, and [even though] it started to sprinkle, everyone was happy to stay outside rather than migrate inside where we had overflow seating. I think there is a whole new appreciation for fresh air, the outdoors, and just reigniting the energy you get being in person.”

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GR AND R APIDS

Kalamazoo is brimming with restaurants, nightclubs, breweries, and specialty shops that lend to a vibrant city center, and downtown has six distinct districts. Your meeting attendees will love this walkable city, also home to Western Michigan University. Many event-goers are looking for a way to unwind and enjoy a conference venue’s amenities. Consider trying your luck at a Michigan casino, for instance. Casino properties offer extraordinary meeting space and luxury accommodations, plus so many opportunities for entertainment and relaxation. MotorCity Casino Hotel in Detroit boasts unique meeting space, and includes the state-of-the-art Sound Board theater, a spa, and complimentary valet parking.

BE CREATIVE If meeting planners have learned anything in the past two years, they have learned to be creative. Consider using different room setups for sessions including soft seating, unusual table configurations, or distinctive decor—people all learn differently and need to be inspired by the learning environment. Consider presenting off the stage: Work from within your audience, or make it interactive. No matter your pleasure (or budget), Meetings Michigan is here to help you create truly memorable meeting experiences.

D E T R O I T I N T E R N AT I O N A L R I V E R WA L K

DESTINATION ANN ARBOR annarbor.org / 800-888-9487 DISCOVER KALAMAZOO discoverkalamazoo.com / 800-888-0509 EXPERIENCE GRAND RAPIDS experiencegr.com / 877-VISITGR MACKINAC ISLAND TOURISM BUREAU mackinacisland.org / 906-847-3783 MEETINGS MICHIGAN meetingsmichigan.com / 800-210-1514 PETOSKEY AREA VISITORS BUREAU petoskeyarea.com / 231-348-2755 TRAVERSE CITY TOURISM traversecity.com / 800-872-8377 VISIT DETROIT visitdetroit.com / 800-DETROIT

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8/4/22 11:58 AM

visitmichigan.org

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MEET IN MICHIGAN

Indoors or Outdoors— Why Not Both? Michigan’s numerous meeting sites provide first-class facilities, whether under a roof or beneath the sky. By Kim Schneider

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PURCHASING A LUXURY WEDDING AND EVENT VENUE in March 2020 only to have it immediately shut down due to COVID-19 restrictions forced owners Candice and Brian Grant of Holland to turn to open-air options. “We had to be resourceful,” says Candice. “We had a rooftop patio, so we started doing everything outside.”

What the Grants quickly noticed was the way guests at their Port 393 venue were falling in love again with nature. What was at first a forced alternative became the option widely sought by both wedding and corporate guests—so much so the couple went in search of another venue that might accommodate all the requests for group outdoor gathering space.

M ISSION POI N T RESORT, M AC K I N AC ISL A N D

visitmichigan.org

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Because most meeting-goers love views of nature and cooling breezes, the Grants found a corporate meeting nirvana in a former plant nursery teeming with gardens, birdsong, and century-old hardwoods. One mile from artsy downtown Saugatuck, the property included several acres on which walking paths could flow seamlessly from a newly constructed centerpiece building—the 7,000-square-foot Ivy House, which features a wraparound covered porch. A greenhouse would become a light-filled space for VIP receptions and more, and its 20 panels opening to the air made it a weatherproofed space infused with the essence of being outside.

Modern farmhouse decor throughout the propery and ivy strung from chandeliers keep the space meeting-ready. “When I saw the property, I could literally see people walking around with a glass of wine or ice-cold beer, just mingling and enjoying all the sounds of nature,” Candice says. “It’s all part of that outdoor experience that I think people are more in tune with. I love it.” Not all meeting destinations have the luxury of starting from scratch in developing flexible indoor-outdoor space configurations. But that does not mean they have not gotten creative in carving out spaces in which everyone could feel comfortable gathering.

P OR T 393 I V Y HOUSE, SAUGATUCK

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PHOTOS: GRE AT L AKES BAY REGIONAL CONVENTION & VISITORS BURE AU, NICOL AS K ASTEN; P R E V I O U S S P R E A D : M I S S I O N P O I N T R ES O R T

B O A T S O N T H E S A G I N A W R I V E R , B AY C I T Y

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PHOTOS: GRE AT L AKES BAY REGIONAL CONVENTION & VISITORS BURE AU, NICOL AS K ASTEN; P R E V I O U S S P R E A D : M I S S I O N P O I N T R ES O R T

25,000 square feet of remodeled space State-of-the-art Crestron® sound system Vibrant “lake effect” design theme New air walls and LED lighting

All-new digital signage

MEETINGS MODERNIZED New look, long history. For over 30 years, Grand Traverse Resort and Spa has been Northern Michigan’s premier meeting destination. With our nearly $3 million renovation, including upgraded technology, services, and design, we’re bringing the future of meetings to life. Learn more at grandtraverseresort.com/meet.

Owned and Operated by the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians

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DOWNTOWN GRAND RAPIDS

There is so much evidence that nature affects mind, mood, memory, and more that Michigan Technological University’s Cognitive and Learning Sciences department offered students a class called “Nature Psychology” in 2022. Assistant Professor Samantha Smith developed the class, bringing her expertise on how both natural and created spaces affect the brain, mood, and creative process. Research shows that even a few minutes of time spent outside can make a difference and that nature reduces stress, improves immune function, and leads to a longer life. But Smith’s research focus is cognition, and she found notable benefits from time spent in the natural world—including speedier cognitive processing, faster mental fatigue recovery, boosted working memory, and more-creative problem-solving. The university’s Department Chair and Associate Professor Kelly Steelman notes there are practical benefits, too. When students or professionals sit passively in a seat with technology like a computer or phone in front of them, they too easily multitask. When they move into an environment where it is less natural to have a computer or smartphone out, they are more present, think deeper, and bond faster. The effects of nature, research shows, can be magnified when the experience includes water. University of Michigan researchers showed benefits, including increased ability to concentrate, when there is a scenic vista, patterns, and movement—things Smith notes are inherently present in water. In addition to visual stimuli, there may also be the scent of fresh water and the sound of the surf hitting the shore. “It evokes all our senses and removes us from normal life going on around us, putting us in an entirely new realm,” Smith says.

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P H OTO: E X P E RI E N C E G R A N D R A PI DS

NATURAL SPACES AND EMOTIONS

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P H OTO: E X P E RI E N C E G R A N D R A PI DS

visitmichigan.org

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L E F T A N D R I G H T: H A R B O R S H O R E S R E S O R T, S T. J O S E P H

WATERFRONT RESORTS It’s no surprise then that some of the state’s most popular meeting venues are along or near a lake or river. For instance, a multimillion-dollar renovation that transformed a former Holiday Inn into the high-end Delamar Traverse City resort better connected the hotel and its restaurant to Grand Traverse Bay. There is outdoor seating for the restaurant, an outdoor bar with a bocce court and frequent live music, and a meeting room with one of the region’s best views. The 940-square-foot Dayclub boasts a wall of glass and opens onto the 4,000-square-foot Lakeshore Terrace and lawn on Grand Traverse Bay. The Dayclub connects in the other direction with the Leelanau Ballroom (seating for 400), making an easy flow from formal event to leisure time or breakout session. A lower-level lounge with a fireplace also opens to a casual bay-front seating area. And meeting planners can select from Artisan Waterfront Restaurant and Tavern’s farm-to-table menu, booking a team-building exercise with a mixologist, or offering yoga from a studio on-site. “People have liked the flexibility of being able to go outdoors,” says Taryn Miracle, the Delamar’s director of sales and marketing.

“They are really interested in relaxed seating, something not as structured. They are trying to learn how to be back together, and creating inviting environments is a popular trend.” In 2022, Grand Traverse Resort and Spa in Acme upgraded the Governor’s Deck pool. The space includes comfortable outdoor furniture for group networking events. At the resort, you can meet on the beach or in a ballroom with room for 2,500 guests. The Grand Traverse has 86,500 square feet of event space. At Harbor Shores Resort in St. Joseph, spaces take as much advantage as possible of the “Riviera of the Midwest.” The feel of a lakeshore area dotted with quaint beach towns and wineries is echoed across 530 acres of light-filled function space and a ballroom with capacity for 300. There is event space along the Saginaw River at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Bay City-Riverfront, a hotel that boasts 16,000 square feet of flexible meeting space and expansive water views. It’s also just a five-minute walk to downtown. North of Petoskey, Stafford’s Bay View Inn has three meeting and event spaces, one overlooking its Staffordshire Garden along Little Traverse Bay.

P H O T O S : H A R B O R S H O R E S R E S O R T, D E L A M A R T R AV E R S E C I T Y

DEL A M AR TR AVERSE CIT Y

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Get Inspired on the Art Coast

Visit Saugatuck.com to plan your next event

The best ideas happen when you’re inspired. Discover breathtaking outdoor settings, a thriving art scene, and world-renowned culinary fare in the Art Coast of Michigan. With a host of comfortable lodging options and event venues, Saugatuck/Douglas is the ideal location for a unique meeting experience.

Just 45 minutes from the Grand Rapids airport

THE

Simple JOYS

OF MEETING

P H O T O S : H A R B O R S H O R E S R E S O R T, D E L A M A R T R AV E R S E C I T Y

IN & AROUND ST. JOSEPH

Host your next meeting, conference or reunion along Lake Michigan. After setting goals or brainstorming, play golf, paddle scenic rivers, tour craft wineries and breweries, and do much more. Our great hotel rates and itineraries will add to your joy.

SWMICHIGAN.ORG PHOTO LOCATION: PAW PAW RIVER RUNNING THROUGH HARBOR SHORES GOLF CLUB

visitmichigan.org

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LANSING

ICONIC VIEWS A rooftop venue can be appealing for the iconic views. One of Detroit’s newest event spaces, Chroma, offers a view of the city’s skyline within the coworking, office, and event space in the Milwaukee Junction neighborhood. And The Corner BallparkDetroit PAL has a different but just as memory-evoking indooroutdoor venue scene: the infield of former Tiger Stadium. In Lansing, it’s hard to beat a view of the Michigan Capitol dome, something visible from the Lansing Convention Center. The event space also fronts the Grand River and includes a riverfront plaza for outdoor events, one connected to the Radisson Hotel Lansing at the Capitol by a climate-controlled skybridge. Sometimes, spaces both indoors and outdoors can simply be fun. At the Detroit Zoo, for example, you can dine (indoors) with penguins or sea otters in the Frederick and Barbara Erb Polar Passage or Polk Penguin Conservation Center. Groups wanting outdoor meeting space can meet at Giraffe Plaza, popular for its close-up views of the zoo’s tallest inhabitants. The Flint Farmers’ Market has options ranging from an indoor meeting room to outdoor elevated patio space that overlooks the city with bright awnings, strings of light, and a fun vibe. The scents of both fresh produce and global foods waft throughout. The space, ranked in USA Today’s Top 10 public markets in America list, contains a commercial kitchen on-site and restaurants featuring sushi, Middle Eastern food, barbecue, and more. It also has fresh produce markets, cheese shops, and gift stores. Indoors, the Ramsdell Room seats 200.

P H O T O S : K Y L E G I L L E T T P H O T O G R A P H Y, E X P L O R E F L I N T & G E N E S E E

F A R M E R S ’ M A R K E T, F L I N T

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EXPLORE FLINT & GENESEE The hardest part about finding the right location for your event or meeting in Flint and Genesee County is choosing from all the options. We’re home to many unique locations and spaces, many with direct or close access to our vibrant community offerings. • Sloan Museum of Discovery and Flint Public Library recently re-opened after multimillion-dollar renovations

• The Capitol Theatre, a fully restored historic venue listed on the National Register of Historic Places

• Flint Institute of Arts, Michigan’s second-largest art museum

• Flint Farmers’ Market with meeting spaces, a rooftop terrace, and an atrium for corporate and private events

• Crossroads Village and Huckleberry Railroad with historic buildings and shops, including Michigan’s oldest operating gristmill

• Dort Financial Center, home of the Flint Firebirds (hockey) and Flint United (basketball)

Explore Flint & Genesee staff works with planners from many markets, including sports, associations, corporations, and the military, as well as fraternal, educational, faith-based, medical, and governmental organizations. Our team has the expertise to help you save time and money. Genesee County also offers competitively priced hotels, conference and banquet facilities, various sports facilities, and professional service providers to round out any event. To help plan your next event or meeting, contact the experienced team at Explore Flint & Genesee. exploreflintandgenesee.org

P H O T O S : K Y L E G I L L E T T P H O T O G R A P H Y, E X P L O R E F L I N T & G E N E S E E

519 S. Saginaw Street, Suite 200, Flint, MI 48502 info@flintandgenesee.org

MEET IN

Michigan Association of Convention and Visitors Bureaus 2022 /2023 Meeting Planners Guide

VISITMICHIGAN.ORG visitmichigan.org

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FREDERIK MEIJER GARDENS & SCULP TURE PARK, GR AND R APIDS

EXPERIENCE GRAND RAPIDS experiencegr.com / 877-VISIT-GR

MACKINAC ISLAND TOURISM BUREAU mackinacisland.org / 906-847-3783

EXPLORE FLINT & GENESEE exploreflintandgenesee.org / 810-600-1404

SAUGATUCK/DOUGLAS AREA CONVENTION AND VISITORS BUREAU saugatuck.com / 269-857-1701

GREAT LAKES BAY REGIONAL CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU gogreat.com / 800-444-9979

SOUTHWESTERN MICHIGAN TOURISM COUNCIL swmichigan.org / 269-925-6301

GREATER LANSING MICHIGAN CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU lansing.org / 800-648-6630

TRAVERSE CITY TOURISM traversecity.com / 800-872-8377

HOLLAND AREA VISITORS BUREAU holland.org / 800-506-1299

VISIT DETROIT visitdetroit.com / 800-DETROIT

P H OTO: A D O B E / S N E H IT P H OTO

Mission Point Resort provides several indoor gathering spaces, including a theater and sound stage, from its years as a college and headquarters for an international peace organization. But it also offers a new tent-covered promenade space overlooking the Straits of Mackinac and the sunrise side of Mackinac Island. The clanging of buoys and clomping of horse hooves offer audible atmosphere, the Adirondack chairs on a large lakefront lawn can be reconfigured for small gatherings, and with almost 250 guest rooms, groups can stay on-site. With all that, it is tough to beat the many options found at Frederik Meijer Gardens & Sculpture Park in Grand Rapids. Ranked among the top 100 most-visited art museums in the world, this venue teems with gardens and meeting spaces—15 indoor and several outdoor options. Groups especially love the Rooftop, a blend of sit-down meeting space, horticulture, and sculpture that includes a reclining figure by artist Henry Moore and an impressive bronze of horse and rider.

C M I

H o e

a

AN EXTRAORDINARY EVENT EXPERIENCE. 1000 East Beltline Avenue, NE Grand Rapids, MI 49525 616-975-3146 MeijerGardens.org/host @MeijerGardens

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P H OTO: A D O B E / S N E H IT P H OTO

Cost-Savvy Meetings Rich In Experiences Home to an assortment of options that put extraordinary at your and most uncommon

This inviting, six-city region affords a whole host of hotels and meeting venues that are kind-as-can-be on budget — and the kind of unforgettable downtime experiences that make a meeting destination feel rare. If you’ve never dreamt of hosting your next meeting beneath the billowing sails of a majestic tall ship, at an art museum inside a mansion, or on-stage at a historic theater it’s only because you haven’t been here before. Meet, mingle, and unwind — all in one amenity-rich location. Paving plans for a small-scale retreat or a week-long conference with accommodations for 500 — either way, our experts will shed some light on your search for the perfect space. Start exploring the unexpected with our Go Great Meetings Experts!

GoGreat.com/Meetings

visitmichigan.org

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MEET IN MICHIGAN

B E E S I N T H E D, DOWNTOWN DETROIT

Better for the Earth Sustainability is good business as meeting planners seek eco-friendly options in the Great Lakes State.

CALIFORNIABASED SUSTAINABLE BRANDS is all about promoting the idea that social and environmental challenges are essential drivers of brand innovation, value creation, and positive impact in business. So, when it comes to its annual conference, selecting a destination that embraces sustainability is always top of mind for David Fiss, director of business development. That’s how Fiss happened upon Huntington Place (formerly the Cobo Center) in downtown Detroit for Sustainable Brands’ 2017 and 2019 events, which brought together some 3,000 top-level sustainability executives from across the globe. What Huntington Place had was LEED certification—but that was just for starters. According to Mary Klida, Huntington Place’s senior marketing and communications manager, it’s the only

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convention center in the world to receive the U.S. Green Buildings Council (USGBC) Award for Building Performance (2020). It also boasts a 10,000-square-foot living green roof that provides a natural habitat for birds and insects while creating insulation to cool and heat the building. What has additionally appealed to Fiss is Huntington’s can-do attitude and willingness to go further. For example, Huntington Place is working toward recertifying as a LEED Platinum facility in 2023, thereby improving efficiency and lowering carbon emissions. “When I think of innovation, sustainability, and positive environmental and social impact, it has a halo effect on the whole state,” Fiss says. “And truly, the whole state is doing some great stuff. You can’t have sustainability or positive impact on environmental or social topics without innovation.”

P H OTO S : B E E S I N T H E D ; O P P O S I T E : H U N T I N G TO N P L AC E , H AWO R T H H OT E L A N D C O N F E R E N C E C E N T E R

BY KATHY GIBBONS

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HUNTINGTON PL AC E , DE TROIT

Innovation is what drove Brian PetersonRoest to co-found the nonprofit Bees in the D, which works with multiple partners to maintain about 220 hives in some 70 different places, including green roofs at Huntington Place, the Albert Kahndesigned Belt Line Center in Detroit, and Daxton Hotel in Birmingham. “Detroit is the Motor City, but it is becoming the urban garden, the urban beekeeping sustainability model,” Peterson-Roest says. “We are all helping each other out.” Nearby, the Green Garage is providing a sustainable coworking environment. Opened in 2011, the 12,500-square-foot space was designed to be a model of sustainability—consuming only 10% of the energy used by a traditional office building, says co-owner Peggy Brennan. Groups come from around the world to see what Green Garage is doing. “We developed Detroit’s f irst green alley,” Brennan adds. “Basically, we took

the alley that is next to us and developed it so that it has 50% permeability—and on either side of that, we have gardens with native Michigan plants.” As Christopher Moyer, senior director of communications at Visit Detroit, says,

owners of the city’s meeting venues, hotels, restaurants, and attractions can be proud of the ways they are engaging with the planet. “Unequivocally, people are looking for sustainable destinations,” he says. “Detroit is at the forefront of that movement.”

P H OTO S : B E E S I N T H E D ; O P P O S I T E : H U N T I N G TO N P L AC E , H AWO R T H H OT E L A N D C O N F E R E N C E C E N T E R

H AW O R T H H O T E L A N D CONFERENCE CENTER, HOLLAND

visitmichigan.org

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Unique Unique Venues Venues

Z I N G E R M A N ’ S D E L I C AT E S S E N , A N N A R B O R

It is not just happening in Detroit, though. From Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to the Lower Peninsula’s Thumb region, and from event venues themselves to the attractions and eateries that enhance conferencegoers’ experiences, there are many bright examples of sustainability innovation. An iconic destination in Ann Arbor, Zingerman’s Delicatessen is well known for its adherence to quality. Long committed to sustainability, the company rolled out its “2032 Vision for the Zingerman’s Community of Businesses” in 2020, an initiative that

| DiscoverKala

krock@discoverkalamazoo.com

| DiscoverKala

calls out a pledge to work in harmony with nature—from gardens supporting their business to how they organize meetings. “We are a food business that is driven by the quality of our products and our relationships with producers around the world, including local farms and other businesses,” says Rodger Bowser, head chef and managing partner at Zingerman’s Delicatessen and chair of Planet Zingerman’s, the umbrella name for the company’s multiple operations. “When a farm endures, our products get better, and the quality of our food is better.”

B L U E WAT E R C O N V E N T I O N C E N T E R , P O R T H U R O N

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Other initiatives include compostable or recyclable disposables and participating in Ann Arbor’s Live Zero Waste program, which offers returnable containers for takeout. The city’s downtown event space that is often booked for meetings and conferences, Zingerman’s GreyLine, uses linen napkins and sandwich trays with compostable plates to reduce waste. In Port Huron, the Blue Water Convention Center replaced pre-function lights with LEDs, installed eight electric vehicle (EV) charging stations, added water bottle filling stations, and installed water-efficient faucets. General Manager Gino Giacumbo says the center is also in preliminary talks to install solar panels on the roof. Those visiting Port Huron should also check out the Blue Water River Walk, a section of trail that has freshwater reefs and a fully restored shoreline with native, sustainable plants. The protected reefs help with fish spawning, and the urban wetlands are beautiful to see, says Katie Stepp at the Blue Water Area Convention & Visitors Bureau. Statewide, Michigan and the EV manufacturer Rivian announced a plan to roll out EV charging stations at 15 state parks along the Lake Michigan shoreline in May 2022. “These EV chargers are an important way to encourage sustainable travel across our state,” notes Dave Lorenz, vice president of Travel Michigan.

P H OTO S : Z I N G E R M A N ’ S D E L I C AT E S S E N , B L U E WAT E R A R E A C O N V E N T I O N & V I S I TO R S B U R E A U

BEYOND THE MOTOR CITY

krock@discoverkalamazoo.com

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Expert Expert Planners Planners World-Class Expert World-Class Attractions Planners Expert Attractions Planners

overKalamazoo.com/meetings

Walkable Downtown Walkable

P H OTO S : Z I N G E R M A N ’ S D E L I C AT E S S E N , B L U E WAT E R A R E A C O N V E N T I O N & V I S I TO R S B U R E A U

overKalamazoo.com/meetings

Downtown Walkable Downtown

Unique Venues Unique Venues Unique Venues

World-Class World-Class Attractions Attractions World-Class

Attractions World-Class DiscoverKalamazoo.com/meetings DiscoverKalamazoo.com/meetings DiscoverKalamazoo.com/meetings Attractions

krock@discoverkalamazoo.com krock@discoverkalamazoo.com krock@discoverkalamazoo.com

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krock@discoverkalamazoo.com

| DiscoverKalamazoo.com/meetings

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DOWNTOWN K AL A M A ZOO

For example, the hotel incorporated green materials into construction, including cork f looring, eco-friend ly paint, formaldehyde-free veneers, recycled glass and concrete counters, low-f low faucets and toilets, large windows for natural lighting, and biodegradable bath products. “Our guests not only get to stay in a unique upscale boutique hotel, but they also can feel good knowing that during their stay, they helped reduce their carbon footprint,” Martin says. Michigan’s second-largest city, Grand Rapids, embraces a sustainability mindset that is evident communitywide as well as

at individual properties and businesses. For exa mple, t he Gra nd R apids 2030 District is a collection of private businesses, public organizatons, governmental entities, and other stakeholders committed to making significant reductions to the city’s carbon footprint. Grand Rapids is one of a dozen U.S. cities aiming for a zero net carbon goal for all buildings through the Urban Sustainability Directors Network’s Zero Cities Project. “Many of the stakeholders are part of our convention package, including our convention center,” says Kelly Messerly, marketing content manager at Experience Grand Rapids.

C I T Y F L AT S H O T E L , HOLLAND P H OTO S : D I S C O V E R K A L A M A ZO O , C I T Y F L AT S H OT E L

WESTERN MICHIGAN In western Michigan, Ka la mazoo is a popular destination for groups and conferences. Key venues include the Radisson Plaza Hotel & Suites, Kalamazoo County Parks and Expo Center, and Wings Event Center, according to Dana Wagner, director of marketing and communications at Discover Kalamazoo. Visitors can explore a walkable outdoor pedestrian shopping mall with gathering space for events and home to multiple retailers and eateries. In 2021, downtown Kalamazoo installed 25 Bigbelly smart waste/recycling bins with smart technology that detect when each station needs to be emptied, along with a design that keeps waste in and pests out. There is also a program promoting reusable thermoses to refill coffee at various shops around town. And popular destination Bell’s Eccentric Cafe and Brewery’s bioenergy building processes more than 100,000 gallons of wastewater daily, converting pollutants into renewable energy. Also in western Michigan, the lakefront city of Holland is home to the LEED Goldcertified CityFlatsHotel, which deploys green technologies and practices to help reduce waste sent to landfills, conserve energ y and water, create a healthy and safe environment for guests and employees, and reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions, according to Assistant General Manager Jessica Martin.

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CRYSTAL

P H OTO S : D I S C O V E R K A L A M A ZO O , C I T Y F L AT S H OT E L

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Nearby Brewery Vivant operates in a LEED-certified building and is among a growing number of local breweries and restaurants earning B Corp Certification for prioritizing people and the planet due to such social and sustainability efforts. Fou nders Brew i ng Co. has pa r t nered with the city to develop sustainable solutions for its biowaste. Messerly also notes that the city is walkable, offers a robust public transportation system including a free dow ntow n shutt le, and is bi kefriendly with dedicated lanes and electric bikes available for rent. “We know sustainability is valued by both meeting planners and attendees,” Messerly says.

D E VO S P L A C E CONVENTION CENTER, GR AND R APIDS

ASM Globa l, which manages Grand Rapids’ DeVos Place Convention Center, DeVos Performance Hall, and Van Andel Arena, sets sustainability goals for all three properties, Messerly says. And one of the city’s downtown flagship properties, The Amway Grand Plaza, is connected to t he convent ion center by sk y wa l k . It has been steadily reducing waste going

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to the landfill by using biodegradable, compostable products, composting waste, and recycling. All the hotel ’s windows have been replaced with energy-efficient glass, a switch to LED lighting in 2016 has reduced electrical usage, and a variety of mechanical improvements has also made heating and cooling more efficient and environmentally friendly.

P H OTO S : A S M G LO B A L ; F O L LO W I N G S P R E A D : PA K M O D E , T R A V E L M A R Q U E T T E

HEADING NORTH Crystal Mountain, which is about 45 minutes from Traverse City in northwestern Lower Michigan, has long led the way in environmental sustainability. “From t he d r aw i ng boa rd , Cr y st a l leadership designed the property to be walkable and bike-friendly to encourage healthy lifestyles and reduce the use of gasemitting vehicles,” says Brittney Buti, Crystal’s manager of public relations. The Crystal Spa was the first LEEDcertified spa in the Midwest when it was bui lt in 20 09. The resor t ’s Inn at t he Mountain has a geothermal heating/cooling unit, which is 48% more ef f icient than traditional technology. It boasts a glass-enclosed staircase instead of walls to bring in natural light, and the resort replaced a l l its lightbu lbs w it h LEDs. Crystal also became the first northern Lower Michigan resort to provide complimentary EV charging stations. “Crystal has certainly led the way as a resort with many eco-friendly firsts and has earned many awards including the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) C l i m at e C h a n ge I mp a c t Aw a rd a nd Michigan Governor’s Energy Excellence Award,” Buti notes.

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CHECK IN

P H OTO S : A S M G LO B A L ; F O L LO W I N G S P R E A D : PA K M O D E , T R A V E L M A R Q U E T T E

CHECK OUT

Check in to one of our 9 uniquely spirited hotels — each offering a different vibe,

Check out Take your meeting after hours and discover museums, music, art, theater, a proper cocktail,

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A N N A R B O R A R T FA I R

Ma ny v isitors to t he Traverse Cit y area find a stop at The Village at Grand Traverse Commons is a must. Originally the Traverse City State Hospital, where buildings had been abandoned and fell into disrepair, the 63-acre complex has been transformed by The Minervini Group into a walkable community with shops, restaurants, housing, a winery, and other attractions in its renovated historic buildings. The Delamar Traverse City focuses on increasing the use of local products at its Artisan Waterfront Restaurant and Tavern, wh ich promotes sust a i nable ag r ic u lture through seasonally inspired menus, according to General Manager Brandon Sheldon. The hotel has taken action to reduce energy, water usage, and waste.

L AKE SU PE RIOR COA STLIN E , M ARQUET TE

GOING GREEN IN THE U.P. On May 24, the Michigan Green Communities program recognized the city of Marquette in the Upper Peninsula for its environmental leadership in energy efficiency, planning, economic development, climate adaptation, and water conservation. Meeting planners can take advantage of the city’s abundant meeting space, including the birch forests of Nagelkirk Gardens, which is open seasonally and has a floral greenhouse on-site.

BLUE WATER AREA CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU (PORT HURON) bluewater.org / 800-852-4242

HOLLAND AREA VISITORS BUREAU holland.org / 800-506-1299

CALHOUN COUNTY VISITORS BUREAU (BATTLE CREEK/MARSHALL/ALBION) battlecreekvisitors.org / 800-397-2240

TRAVEL MARQUETTE travelmarquette.com / 800-544-4321

DESTINATION ANN ARBOR annarbor.org / 800-888-9487 DISCOVER KALAMAZOO discoverkalamazoo.com / 800-888-0509 EXPERIENCE GRAND RAPIDS experiencegr.com / 877-VISITGR

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TRAVEL MICHIGAN michigan.org / 888-784-7328 TRAVERSE CITY TOURISM traversecity.com / 800-872-8377 VISIT DETROIT visitdetroit.com / 800-DETROIT

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Lisa Hennessy

Senior Event Manager

It’s the people that make the place. When was the last time you received exceptional service? It probably stands out, because it is rare. That’s what makes it memorable. Our goal is simple, to be the best convention destination in the world. To do that, you need exceptional people delivering exceptional service in every facet of the organization. We invite you to see for yourself. HuntingtonPlaceDetroit.com

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Meet you in Detroit

TM

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MEET IN MICHIGAN

State of the Art Cities across Michigan have myriad new, attractive offerings for meeting planners. By Dianna Stampfler

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WHEN THE PANDEMIC HIT and halted most in-person events, it created downtime for many destinations to begin, continue, or wrap up renovation projects and full-blown new builds. Now that corporate and leisure functions are returning to Michigan, event planners and their attendees will see fresh meeting spaces, off-premise activities, guest rooms, and restaurants. Across the state, new venues sprouted, including Pontiac’s M1 Concourse Event Center, the Haworth Hotel and Conference Center in Holland, the Esther Williams Swimming Pool area at the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, and The Graduate– East Lansing on the campus of Michigan State University. Whether you’re looking for space for a 1,000 plus person convention or an upscale boardroom, you are bound to find what you are looking for in our overview of what’s new in Michigan.

ANN ARBOR MARRIOT T YPSILANTI AT EAGLE CREST

visitmichigan.org

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BAVARIAN INN LODGE, FRANKENMUTH; BELOW: HART PLAZA, DETROIT

GRAND RAPIDS

ANN ARBOR/YPSILANTI Washtenaw County’s largest hotel and conference facility, the Ann Arbor Marriott Ypsilanti at Eagle Crest completed its 4,800-squarefoot Garden Marquee venue—which overlooks both a golf course and Ford Lake. The resort offers 34,000 square feet for events with 30 breakout rooms and a larger space for up to 1,200 guests. Homewood Suites by Hilton opened a 107-room hotel just south of the University of Michigan campus in fall 2021. Highlights include a vegetated roof with a stormwater system, an outdoor patio with fire pits, indoor pool, indoor bicycle parking, and electric vehicle charging stations powered by rooftop solar panels.

The Sheraton Grand Rapids Airport Hotel & Conference Center recently underwent a $14 million renovation; it is one of the first properties in the country to feature the new branding geared toward meetings, corporate groups, and leisure travelers alike. Among the offerings are The Studios (informal spaces for small group gatherings or private dining) and The Booths—private soundproof rooms with video call capabilities. The Amway Grand Plaza wrapped up a $40 million facelift to its exterior, guest rooms, and the top-of-tower MDRD (pronounced “Madrid”). The latest unveilings are Woodrows DuckPin Bowling and Taco Alley, located in the former GP Sports, and new rooftop pickleball courts. Across the street at the JW Marriott, an expanded spa, Seraphina, recently opened, focusing on natural, thoughtful, and holistic guest services in a modern setting.

DETROIT AREA Last fall, the M1 Concourse Event Center opened at the 1.5-mile Champion Motor Speedway in Pontiac, about 35 miles from Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport. This 87-acre complex is an auto enthusiast’s dream with both indoor and outdoor spaces. The 40,000-square-foot outdoor plaza accommodates 2,000 people while also displaying vehicles. The two-story Grand Concourse ballroom hosts up to 500 and can be divided into three distinct salons. The most exhilarating part of the M1 Concourse is the option for guests to ride shotgun around the track with a professional driver at 100 mph. Detroit’s iconic David Whitney Building is rebranding as a Marriott Autograph Collection property (the first in the city). Twenty-four of the current apartments will be converted to one- and two-bedroom hotel suites, bringing the total number of guest rooms to 160. Upgrades to the hotel lobby bar, atrium lounge, and outdoor seating, as well as a new restaurant at the corner of Woodward and Park avenues, are also planned to be completed by late 2023.

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M1 CONCOURSE EVENT CENTER, PONTIAC

PHOTOS: FRANKENMUTH CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND CONVENTION AND VISITORS BUREAU, VITO PALMISANO, M1 CONCOURSE; PREVIOUS: DESTINATION ANN ARBOR

CAPTION X Y X Y X

The Bavarian Inn Restaurant & Lodge added a unique venue to its portfolio with ResidenZ—a grand 1910 estate once owned by the Zehnder and Weiss families, now available as a private rental for groups. The German-style property sits on a well-manicured lot next to the inn and the city’s well-known covered bridge. It can accommodate 16 guests in five bedrooms and features five full bathrooms, laundry facilities, air conditioning, and complimentary Wi-Fi.

PHOTOS: FRANKENMUTH CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND CONVENTION AND VISITORS BUREAU, VITO PALMISANO, M1 CONCOURSE; PREVIOUS: DESTINATION ANN ARBOR

FRANKENMUTH

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P


PHOTOS: FRANKENMUTH CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND CONVENTION AND VISITORS BUREAU, VITO PALMISANO, M1 CONCOURSE; PREVIOUS: DESTINATION ANN ARBOR

PHOTOS: FRANKENMUTH CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND CONVENTION AND VISITORS BUREAU, VITO PALMISANO, M1 CONCOURSE; PREVIOUS: DESTINATION ANN ARBOR

“ZOOM” Meetings REDEFINED

M1 Concourse is excited to announce the opening of a 28,500 SF state-of-the-art event center located immediately adjacent to the Champion Motor Speedway, where your guests can enjoy thrill rides around our 1.5-mile track that you cannot experience anywhere else. M1 Concourse is one of the most unique entertainment facilities in the Midwest. Our new event center is ideal for hosting signature events, including vehicle launches, charitable event galas, fashion and lifestyle showcases, and significant automotive and technology expositions.

1 Concourse Drive, Pontiac, Michigan 48341

LEARN HOW M1 CONCOURSE CAN ADD SOME “ZOOM” TO YOUR NEXT MEETING Call our Event Team at 1-866-M1-Track Ext 1 // events@m1concourse.com PREMIERE EVENT CENTER // 1.5 MILE PERFORMANCE TRACK // VEHICLE DYNAMICS ARENA

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LEFT TO RIGHT: HOME2 SUITES, KALAMAZOO; HILTON GARDEN INN, KALAMAZOO

HOLLAND

KALAMAZOO

There is a global feel to the Haworth Hotel and Conference Center on the campus of Hope College in downtown Holland. Redesigned by Milan-based Patricia Urquiola, this boutique property features 48 guest rooms (including one new suite), 14 conference spaces, and a ballroom with room for 350 guests. The focal point of the lobby is a modern spiral staircase reminiscent of the interior of New York’s iconic Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. The hotel is a showcase for the Haworth’s furniture design—providing a sleek, yet comfortable feel. Just a few blocks away, the recently renovated Holland Civic Center Place is a multiuse facility for entertainment performances, association meetings, corporate banquets, and other gatherings. The Great Hall is its largest space, able to accommodate 500 people. Other spaces include Market View (200), Market Side (150), and The Atrium (100).

Kalamazoo’s largest meeting venue, the 338-room Radisson Plaza Hotel & Suites, recently completed a multimillion-dollar renovation project. Guests will find a new look and feel from the lobby and lower-level meeting spaces to the top f loor of guest rooms. Among the already finished updates is Brick and Brine restaurant, which opened in January 2022 with an open-air concept—the first of its kind downtown. This space offers three private event spaces, a main dining room, and lounge seating. New to the downtown neighborhood are the Hilton Garden Inn and Home2 Suites by Hilton, both housed in the former Masonic Temple Building (also known as the Rose Street Market building). The Hilton Garden Inn features 114 rooms spread out over six floors, while the Home2 offers 106 spacious suites with kitchens. The Garden Grille & Bar provides room service to both properties. Within walking distance of all three hotels is The Xperience, a multiuse entertainment venue located inside the Kalamazoo City Centre Mall. With 3,200 square feet of space, this is a prime spot for corporate events with a raised stage and add-on options like signature cocktails.

PHOTOS: DISCOVER K AL AMA ZOO, HOLL AND CIVIC CENTER PL ACE

HOLLAND CIVIC CENTER PLACE, HOLLAND

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Mt. Pleasant, Michigan

Meeting Made Easy.

Contact Dorothy Dean at dorothy@meetmtp.com

meetmtp.com | (800) 772-4433 Mt. Pleasant’s central location makes meeting here easy. Home to the Soaring Eagle Casino and Central Michigan University, this college town stands out amongst the rest for its small town feel with big city amenities. To assist you in planning, the Mt. Pleasant Area Convention & Visitors Bureau provides professional guidance and services to make your next event one to remember. Meet here, in Mt. Pleasant, where there’s just the right amenities, just for you.

7/26/2022 3:28:38 PM

PHOTOS: DISCOVER K AL AMA ZOO, HOLL AND CIVIC CENTER PL ACE

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visitmichigan.org

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THE GRADUATEEAST LANSING

MACKINAC ISLAND

In the heart of the Stadium District, the Courtyard by Marriott on Michigan Avenue is within view of the State Capitol and walking distance to Jackson Field (home to the minor league Lansing Lugnuts, which is affiliated with the Chicago Cubs), several museums, Lansing Center, and Meijer’s Capital City Market. The property features a state-of-the-art lobby, nearly 1,800 square feet of event space, 122 guest rooms (including two suites), and The Bistro restaurant. On the campus of Michigan State University, The Graduate–East Lansing is a refreshing new brand (another location opened in Ann Arbor in 2016). This 194-room property has a boutique feel in what the staff calls “Up North College” with an art deco flair. Overall, this property features 6,000 square feet of flexible meeting and event space, both indoors and out. Also coming online this year is The Lansing Shuffleboard and Social Club, an indooroutdoor 15,000-square-foot entertainment complex in the former Lansing City Market building. It will include seven restaurants, two full-service bars, five shuffleboard courts, and flexible event space next door to the Lansing Convention Center and the Grand River. Red Cedar Development is building two hotels—a Hyatt House and AC Hotel by Marriott— as part of a mixed-use project on Michigan Avenue between downtown Lansing and the Michigan State University campus. Overlooking the Red Cedar River, the complex features Toscana Restaurant and Bar, student housing, an assisted senior facility, and market-rate living spaces, as well as a 20-acre public park and amphitheater connected to the Lansing River Trail.

One of the most exciting upgrades to the historic Grand Hotel was the renovation and expansion of the Esther Williams Swimming Pool area, including a fitness center and bathhouse. There is also an area dedicated to private events, and the second floor of the pool house offers meeting and event space. Among the added offerings are a zero-depth beach entry, a water jet play area, a water slide, 15 reservable cabanas, a large whirlpool, and a private, adults-only pool area with an infinity edge and unparalleled views of the island.

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LEFT TO RIGHT: LANSING CONVENTION CENTER; GRAND HOTEL, MACKINAC ISLAND

PHOTOS: GREATER L ANSING CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU, MACKINAC ISL AND TOURISM

LANSING/EAST LANSING

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MEET MUSKEGON... the Natural Choice

Let us help you guide your next meeting or event to Muskegon, Michigan. Rich in scenic beauty and hospitable surroundings, Muskegon is sure to impress your attendees. From the new VanDyk Mortgage Convention Center to board rooms draped in art, Muskegon County’s unique array of meeting venues will accommodate groups of all sizes. When the work day is over, our social districts and natural areas will bring your group together out on the town. Choose Muskegon County Michigan for your next meeting or event. We can’t wait to light it up!

AMBERMAE@VISITMUSKEGON.ORG

231.724.3100

PHOTOS: GREATER L ANSING CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU, MACKINAC ISL AND TOURISM

SCHEDULE YOUR SITE VISIT VISITMUSKEGON.ORG

visitmichigan.org

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MARQUETTE

MUSKEGON

A new meeting space opened in downtown Marquette called CoLAB that caters to remote and traveling professionals. Located in the renovated Kaufman Block at 101 West Washington, private office and meeting spaces are available for short- and long-term rentals, along with state-of-the-art audiovisual equipment for virtual meetings as well as high-speed internet, printing, private wellness spaces, and kitchenettes. The city is home to multiple hotels, including Hampton Inn Marquette/ Waterfront, Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott, Landmark Inn, and the Ramada of Marquette. The Hampton, the Landmark, and the Ramada all have various spaces for group meetings and gatherings.

In April 2021, the city of Muskegon unveiled its new convention center, renovated hotel, and sports arena in the heart of downtown. With a $21 million price tag, the VanDyk Mortgage Convention Center boasts 37,700 square feet of meeting space, including a 16,550-square-foot column-free ballroom and 13 breakout rooms. This impressive venue is attached to a 200-room Delta Hotel by Marriott featuring the 200-seat Walker’s—An American Brasserie, as well as the 3,000-seat multipurpose Mercy Health Arena (home to the Muskegon Lumberjacks hockey team). These properties sit within one of two active county-designated Social Districts (the other being the Muskegon Lakeside area, with additional districts in Whitehall and Montague in the works to the north) and are licensed public areas where the public can stroll with alcoholic beverages purchased from local bars or restaurants.

MOUNT PLEASANT Visitors to Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort will find new dining options in the coming years. Ruth’s Chris Steak House will open its fourth Michigan location here in late 2022, serving up mouthwatering USDA prime steaks, seafood, and decadent desserts, and offering an extensive premium wine list. The property’s existing Aurora Buffet will soon be replaced by a celebrity-focused food court, which will include a Chicken Guy restaurant owned by charismatic TV chef Guy Fieri.

PHOTO: VISIT MUSKEGON

VANDYK MORTGAGE CONVENTION CENTER, MUSKEGON

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SOUTHWEST MICHIGAN'S PREMIER DESTINATION

MEETINGS WITH A VIEW

Eliminate the stress of catering with all catering provided in house. Our chefs create a culinary experience sure to please every palate.

Over 9,500 square feet of meeting space overlooking the harbor 92 luxurious resort-style lodging rooms with balconies Outdoor event space on the harbor Coffee shop & full-service spa Advanced audio and visual capabilities

800 Whitwam Drive, St. Joseph MI 49085 | InnAtHarborShores.com For pricing & information contact Elizabeth Hacker

ehacker@InnAtHarborShores.com (269) 408.9114

The River View at the Frankenmuth Brewery

PHOTO: VISIT MUSKEGON

Meet in Little Bavaria. Plan your next conference or work retreat in Frankenmuth and

visitmichigan.org

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STAFFORD’S BAY VIEW INN, PETOSKEY; BELOW: BLUE WATER CONVENTION CENTER, PORT HURON

PETOSKEY AREA

PHOTOS: STAFFORD’S BAY VIEW INN, BLUE WATER AREA CONVENTION AND VISITORS BUREAU

Along the shores of Little Traverse Bay and just steps from the Great Lakes Center for the Arts in Bay Harbor, the Northern Blue Penthouse offers an elegant new retreat option. Encompassing two levels—not to mention the entire fourth floor—this space is accessible by a private elevator and is divided into 29 rooms, including eight bedrooms and baths, a spacious kitchen, workout area, a laundry room, a fireplace, numerous balconies, and more. The former Bay Harbor Equestrian Center on U.S. Highway 31 has been transformed into a 40,000-square-foot multiuse activity center named Gypsy Farms. Sitting on 22 acres, this complex features a distillery and tasting room, golf swing suites, an arcade, duckpin bowling, and a beer garden. The horse paddocks will host farmers’ markets, holiday events, and more. The first phase, which included the distillery and tasting room, was completed in June 2022.

PORT HURON The long-anticipated CityFlatsHotel is finally open, with 18 uniquely designed guest rooms, two eateries, and a 300-person ballroom set inside the original 1927 bank vault (the hotel occupies the former Michigan National Bank building). Restaurants include the simply named The Kitchen and The Bar inside, and the Fair Weather Grill and CityFloats bar outside along the Black River (which flows into the St. Clair River and, ultimately, into Lake Huron). Also downtown, McMorran Place Sports & Entertainment Center is a large outdoor social space with a beer garden, free live entertainment stage, splash pad, fire pits, comfortable seating, and more. The plaza sits inside the city’s Social District, which stretches along Military Street and Huron Avenue between Court and Glenwood. A second such district is planned along the Thomas Edison Parkway boardwalk near the Blue Water Convention Center.

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NORTHERN MICHIGAN

Memories Worth Making STAFFORDS.COM

Perry Hotel I Bay View Inn I Crooked River Lodge & Suites 50 MACVB

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PHOTOS: STAFFORD’S BAY VIEW INN, BLUE WATER AREA CONVENTION AND VISITORS BUREAU

Where happily ever after begins...

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• Corporate Events, Fundraisers, Weddings & more! • Exclusive in-house catering service and bar • 600 feet off the sandy shores of Lake Michigan • Breathtaking sunsets • Seating up to 300 guests • Nonprofit Organization shadowlandonsilverbeach.com | 269-932-1124

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ST. JOSEPH

TRAVERSE CITY AREA

A complimentary water taxi offers rides between key sites on the St. Joseph River, along St. Joseph’s Maritime Heritage Trail. The canopy-covered boat seats six passengers and runs throughout the weekend in the summer months (weather permitting), providing access to the historic Silver Beach Amusement Park and downtown, the Margaret B. Upton Arboretum, and Harbor Shores Resort—host of the 2022 KitchenAid Senior PGA golf championship. Another option to get out on the water is the Harbor Hopper, a southwest Michigan cycle boat, which operates out of Harbor Shores Resort.

Those looking to explore the beaches and waters in the Traverse City area will find several tour operators with unique excursion options. LyfMotiv Adventures was founded in 2020 and offers sailing, biking, and hiking trips. Spend a day sailing to and hiking on North Manitou Island, exploring Power Island, or riding e-bikes through wine country. Sleeping Bear Adventure Co. has put together a full day of activities including kayaking along Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, biking the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail, and paddleboarding in Little Glen Lake—all capped off with a stop at the popular Hop Lot Brewing Co. in Suttons Bay.

BLUE WATER AREA CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU (PORT HURON) bluewater.org / 800-852-4242

HOLLAND AREA VISITORS BUREAU holland.org / 800-506-1299

SOUTHWESTERN MICHIGAN TOURISM COUNCIL (ST. JOSEPH) swmichigan.org / 269-925-6301

DESTINATION ANN ARBOR annarbor.org / 800-888-9487

GREATER LANSING MICHIGAN CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU lansing.org / 800-648-6630

DISCOVER KALAMAZOO discoverkalamazoo.com / 800-888-0509

MACKINAC ISLAND TOURISM BUREAU mackinacisland.org / 906-847-3783

TRAVERSE CITY TOURISM traversecity.com / 800-872-8377

EXPERIENCE GRAND RAPIDS experiencegr.com / 877-VISITGR

MOUNT PLEASANT AREA CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU meetmtp.com / 888-772-2007

VISIT DETROIT visitdetroit.com / 800-DETROIT

FRANKENMUTH CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU frankenmuth.org / 800-FUN-TOWN

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PETOSKEY AREA VISITORS BUREAU petoskeyarea.com / 231-348-2755

TRAVEL MARQUETTE travelmarquette.com / 800-544-4321

VISIT MUSKEGON visitmuskegon.org / 800-250-9283

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MEET IN MICHIGAN

F O R D P I Q U E T T E AV E N U E P L A N T, D E T R O I T

Meeting With the Past From the Anishinaabe to Henry Ford, Michigan teems with meeting venues that embody historic roots.

GROUPS VISITING THE FORD PIQUETTE Avenue Plant in Detroit like to pile into a Model T for a photo op; dine amid the Models B, C, F, K, N, R, and S that were also assembled here; and learn fun facts like why so many early Fords were black. (Spoiler alert: Paint in that color dried faster.) But the real draw to holding a meeting at the plant is not just the authentic props nor the vintage industrial vibe of the factory in which the Model T was first produced. It is the chance to sit in a seat of innovation—right next to the rocking chair on which Henry Ford sat to brainstorm. “You can have an event there and see Ford’s office with his desk, but also see the secret room where the engineering and development of the Model T took place,” says Bob Sadler, communications manager for the MotorCities National Heritage Area. “There is a unique atmosphere [here] surrounded by history that changed the country and changed the world.” The plant is one of hundreds of sites within the boundaries of Michigan’s only national heritage area. Other sites in the area include the Detroit Institute of Arts, where receptions can be held

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under the framed frescoes by Diego Rivera, and the Edsel and Eleanor Ford House. A new national heritage area visitors center offers a restaurant and event spaces within sight of the historic home. Guests are always wowed at The Henry Ford, where evening events are a specialty, and innovation carries through to options like the Giant Screen Experience and its state-of-the-art digital projection system. But history is the star as guests browse among tens of thousands of artifacts including the Rosa Parks bus, the Kennedy limousine, Lincoln’s rocker, and a re-creation of Thomas Edison’s lab. Also part of MotorCities, North America’s largest auto museum is in Hickory Corners near Battle Creek. The 90-acre Gilmore Car Museum features 435 unique vehicles, has 220,000 square feet of event space, and offers group activities that include learning to drive a Model T. But there is far more to the state’s past than just cars. You find that as you travel highways developed for Ford’s automobiles, you can travel to some of the country’s oldest cities, Victorian mansions once owned by wealthy lumber barons, scenic lighthouses, and the wrecks of ships those beacons could not save.

P H OTO : B I L L D W E Y E R

BY KIM SCHNEIDER

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Destination Alpena THINK OUTSIDE OF THE

P H OTO : B I L L D W E Y E R

MEETING ROOM

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T H E T O W E R O F H I S T O RY, S A U LT S T E . M A R I E

THE TOWNS WHERE MICHIGAN BEGAN

M A C K AV E N U E P L A N T O F T H E H E N RY F O R D , DEARBORN

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P H OTO S : S A U LT S T E . M A R I E C O N V E N T I O N & V I S I TO R S B U R E A U , A D O B E / B E R N A D E T T

The history of tribes such as the Anishinaabe places them in Michigan locales like Mackinac Island, Sault Ste. Marie, and St. Ignace for millennia. Those tribes attracted early settlers, including Father Jacques Marquette, whose mission was to evangelize when he founded the state’s first official cities: Sault Ste. Marie (1668) and St. Ignace (1671). Both Upper Peninsula towns were crossroads for the thriving fur trade. In Sault Ste. Marie, head 200 feet up to the observation platform at the Sault Ste. Marie Tower of History, and it is instantly clear why the region was (and still is) an international center of commerce. Water in all directions made this a key stop on a 3,000-mile fur trade stretching east to Montreal, Quebec, Canada. And should you think the beaver is a humble provider of fur, consider that the value of beaver skins carried through the port in 1800 was $1 million. (That is the equivalent of a little more than $23 million today.)

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P H OTO S : S A U LT S T E . M A R I E C O N V E N T I O N & V I S I TO R S B U R E A U , A D O B E / B E R N A D E T T


A R M Y C O R P S O F E N G I N E E R S S O O L O C K S , S A U LT S T E . M A R I E

In Sault Ste. Marie, you will get close to today’s symbols of commerce—massive 1,000foot international freighters—at the observation platform of the Army Corps of Engineers Soo Locks. Boat trips take groups through the locks, where more freight passes than through the Panama and Suez canals combined, and where Bird’s Eye Outfitters offers a water-level view on guided paddle trips through the locks or along the channel. Linda Hoath, executive director of the Sault Ste. Marie Convention & Visitors Bureau, says groups can book speakers on history, Native American culture, birding, freighters, and Great Lakes research and water quality. Meeting space can range from large rooms at Lake Superior State University in the new Center for Freshwater Research and Education to intimate ones at the Lockview Restaurant, which overlooks the locks and has meeting space on its entire second level. “The Great Lakes are why we’re here,” Hoath says. “Native Americans were here first, and the reason [they were here] was the abundance of fish and food. We have been here for all these years still serving people. That’s our mission: teaching and serving others, bringing them in, and showing them where it all began—and still feeding them fish!”

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P H OTO S : S A U LT S T E . M A R I E C O N V E N T I O N & V I S I TO R S B U R E A U

B I R D ’ S E Y E O U T F I T T E R S , S A U LT S T E . M A R I E

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VISIT JACKSON COUNTY GET THE APP

www.ExperienceJackson.com

SAULT SAULT STE. SAULTSTE. STE. MARiE, MARiE, MI MARiE, MI

P H OTO S : S A U LT S T E . M A R I E C O N V E N T I O N & V I S I TO R S B U R E A U

COMEFOR FORTHE THEEVENT EVENT COME COME FOR THE EVENT

STAYFOR FORTHE STAY STAY FOR THE ADVENTURE ADVENTURE ADVENTURE

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906.632.3366 990066. .663322. .33336666 8 0 0 . 6 4 7. 2 8 5 8 w w88w00 . s0a0u. .6 l6 t s44 t 7. e7. m2 a2r8i8e5.5c8o8m

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G R E AT L A K E S M A R I T I M E H E R I TA G E C E N T E R , A L P E N A

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the horse remains king here, and a stay comes complete with yesteryear pastimes like lawn games, after-dinner dancing, and a mandatory dress code for dinner. But Mackinac Island is not alone in its historic cache: Other towns boast historic connections so strong they have inspired current-day slogans such as the Victorian Port City or Home of Hocus-Pocus. Alpena could be the Midwest’s shipwreck capital thanks to the compelling way the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Science Administration Great Lakes Maritime Heritage Center captures the stories of the more than 100 shipwrecks in the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary in Lake Huron—your group can even tour the shipwreck area on glass-bottom boats. Alpena is a charming small town with more than 400 hotel rooms, five auditoriums, and an events complex, which can accomodate up to 650 people.

P H OTO S : S O U T H H A V E N / V A N B U R E N C O U N T Y C O N V E N T I O N & V I S I TO R S B U R E A U ; O P P O S I T E : C A L H O U N C O U N T Y V I S I TO R S B U R E A U , J O S H U A N O W I C K I F O R S O U T H W E S T E R N M I C H I G A N TO U R I S T C O U N C I L

TIME CAPSULE For a spot to hold a meeting with historic flair, Mackinac Island in the center of the Straits of Mackinac is a shining star. From the moment your ferry from the mainland lands at the docks, you are greeted by a bustle that seems more 1887 than 2022. Under stunning bluffs dotted with Victorian mansions and past a fort where interpreters dress as British soldiers (who once occupied the place), a horse-drawn carriage hauls a group’s luggage to their hotels. A meeting or event in the wood-framed beauty of the Grand Hotel also evokes history. The hotel boasts the world’s longest porch—668 feet and decked out with white rockers, red geraniums, and a view of the Mackinac Bridge. There is 22,000 square feet of event space, blending modern amenities with Victorian elegance. A walking tour of the stables lets groups learn why

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WA G N E R B A L L R O O M , M A R S H A L L

P H OTO S : S O U T H H A V E N / V A N B U R E N C O U N T Y C O N V E N T I O N & V I S I TO R S B U R E A U ; O P P O S I T E : C A L H O U N C O U N T Y V I S I TO R S B U R E A U , J O S H U A N O W I C K I F O R S O U T H W E S T E R N M I C H I G A N TO U R I S T C O U N C I L

D O W N T O W N B AT T L E C R E E K

In Marshall near Battle Creek, old-school elegance has been restored to the Wagner Ballroom. The 19th-century ballroom overlooks downtown, which retains its small-town charm. The space is above Eastend Studio & Gallery, and proceeds help the gallery with its youth programs and in supporting local artists. Howell, 40 miles east of Lansing in Livingston County, is home to the historic Howell Opera House, which features the 3,400-squarefoot Grand Room with exposed brick walls. Psychic Dianna O’Grady of Essential Wisdom offers ghost tours of the 150-year-old town.

Silver Beach at St. Joseph in the state’s southwestern corner is connected to a festive past. Entrepreneurs brought a Coney Island-style beach carousel to town back in 1910, placing it on the Lake Michigan shoreline. It was created by Charles Carmel, a master carver of the Golden Age of the Carousel (1870-1930). While the most recent version is far newer, the spirit and appeal remain. The Mendel Center in St. Joseph, with more than 20 hotels and bed and breakfasts within a 10-minute drive, can host small to large meetings, and its Grand Upton Hall offers 14,400 square feet of event space.

S I LV E R B E A C H C A R O U S E L , S T. J O S E P H

visitmichigan.org

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C O L O N M A G I C F E S T I VA L , C O L O N

M A R B L E L A K E , C O L D WAT E R

P H OTO S : C O L D WAT E R C O U N T R Y C O N F E R E N C E & V I S I TO R S B U R E A U ; O P P O S I T E : C R A I G WAT S O N P H OTO G R A P H Y

Historic Saugatuck has the only remaining hand-cranked, chain-driven ferry, which carries riders across the Kalamazoo River, in the United States. The Saugatuck Center for the Arts has multiple spaces for events inside a one-time pie factory. The 160-yearold Maplewood Hotel is a historic boutique inn across the street from Lake Michigan and close to downtown Saugatuck. And then there is a town of pure magic— more than 90 years of it. Colon, near Coldwater, has been dubbed the Home of Hocus-Pocus, and banners and stars line sidewalks with the names of famed magicians who came to town to perform over the years. It all started with famous magician Harry Blackstone Sr., who built a vacation home in town in 1926 and held dress rehearsals there before embarking on his major tours. Now, the town hosts three annual magic festivals, stages numerous smaller shows, and even offers magic trick tips on its website. Groups can find meeting space at the Hampton Inn, Quality Inn and Suites, and Dearth Community Center in nearby Coldwater, then can head to the town with the world’s largest magic shop. Chances are better here than almost anywhere in the world of finding a performer for your meeting who can pull a (literal) rabbit from a hat.

Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, Michigan beckons you to a bygone era of old-world hospitality and charm. With more than 22,000 square feet of meeting space under one roof, America’s Summer Place is the perfect destination for an unforgettable meeting.

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P H OTO S : C O L D WAT E R C O U N T R Y C O N F E R E N C E & V I S I TO R S B U R E A U ; O P P O S I T E : C R A I G WAT S O N P H OTO G R A P H Y

S A U G AT U C K C H A I N F E R RY

ALPENA AREA CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU visitalpena.com / 989-340-2288 CALHOUN COUNTY VISITORS BUREAU (BATTLE CREEK) battlecreekvisitors.org / 800-397-2240 COLDWATER COUNTRY CONFERENCE & VISITORS BUREAU coldwatercountry.com / 800-968-9333 EXPLORE BRIGHTON HOWELL AREA (LIVINGSTON COUNTY) explorebrightonhowellarea.com / 800-686-8474 MACKINAC ISLAND TOURISM BUREAU mackinacisland.org / 906-847-3783

SAUGATUCK/DOUGLAS AREA CONVENTION AND VISITORS BUREAU saugatuck.com / 269-857-1701 SAULT STE. MARIE CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU saultstemarie.com / 800-MI-SAULT SOUTHWESTERN MICHIGAN TOURIST COUNCIL (ST. JOSEPH) swmichigan.org / 269-925-6301 VISIT DETROIT visitdetroit.com / 800-DETROIT

Cool Meeting Venues for Any Time of the Year Plan Something Extraordinary for Your Events

Binder Park Zoo

Africa Safari meeting spaces with animal visits and Skylark Ridge zip lines

Wagner Ballroom

Old-school elegance restored to this 19th century ballroom

Contact: Sales@battlecreekvisitors.org Battlecreekvisitors.org/meet

Kellogg Manor House

Multiple meeting space options in the cereal magnate’s elegant manor

visitmichigan.org

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SPONSORED CONTENT

MEET US IN PURE MICHIGAN

N

o matter the season, it’s always a great time to do business in Michigan. We offer outstanding meeting facilities and concierge services to take care of any type of event across our two peninsulas, creating memorable experiences that deliver results. Whether you’re looking for the excitement of an action-packed city or seeking the peaceful respite of nature, Michigan is the best of both worlds—a destination for recreation and connection. Over the last two years, we’ve become creative in how we can gather in a way that is safe, comfortable, and welcoming for all types of events. While we are once again ready to support traditional meetings in a high-class hotel ballroom or expo center, we are also filled with innovative and unique ideas that will allow you and your guests to continue enjoying the natural beauty in our state from hybrid and micro-meetings to drive-in and outdoor meetings. Here in Michigan, your options are endless. In Michigan, we provide the best of both worlds; from vibrant downtowns lined with shops, restaurants, and breweries to crystalclear waters, countless trails, and an abundance of golf courses and ski resorts, Michigan is ready to provide you with the quintessential Pure Michigan experience. We can’t wait to see you here.

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To learn more and see what opportunities await you and your next meeting, visit MeetingsMichigan.com. Reasons to consider Michigan for your meeting: • From our affordable luxurious hotels and resorts to our new and renovated airports, Michigan offers accommodations and accessibility throughout the state. • Michigan is home to award-winning communities, beaches, forests, parks, and the most public golf courses in the United States. • Looking for ways to unwind? As the top wine producer in the Midwest and a Top 10 craft beer state, you will find over 100 wineries and a range of craft breweries in Michigan. Destination details: We offer a way to connect with Michigan destinations through a one-stop-shop experience. Based on the goals and objectives of your event, we will help find the perfect destination. 300 N. Washington Square, Lansing, MI 48913 734-646-0791 • meetingsmichigan.com

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PHOTO BY CHARLES FALSETTI

HART PLAZA

TIME NAMED DETROIT ONE OF THE

WORLD’S GREATEST PLACES COME SEE FOR YOURSELF

WALKABLE DOWNTOWN • POWERED BY SMALL BUSINESSES • EASY FLIGHTS IN AND OUT • #1 RIVERWALK BY USA TODAY • LEED-CERTIFIED HUNTINGTON PLACE It’s about time others are seeing Detroit for the amazing place it is. Our one-of-a-kind city is winning major meetings, conventions and sporting events — including the 2024 NFL Draft — with unique offerings and a committed work force. Come experience what everyone is talking about and plan your next meeting in Detroit.

Learn Why Detroit. DETROIT. BIG THINGS HAPPEN HERE.

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Top 25 U.S. Convention City Travmar, 2022

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