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Meetings MyNorth.com/MeetingsNorth

IDEAS TO MAKE YOUR UP NORTH MEETING GREAT • 2017

FRESH AIR,

FreshVision

TOP MEETING IDEAS FROM MEETING PLANNERS AT:

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Boyne Mountain

Park Place

Crystal Mountain

Grand Hotel

DNR’s Ralph A. MacMullan Conference Center

Grand Traverse Resort

Ellison Place

Mission Point

The Homestead

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Dear Meetings and Events Planner, As you plan the location and venue of your upcoming events, I would like to invite you to consider Mission Point. As I enter my sixth season on the island, I am tremendously excited with the momentum we have built at the resort, and would be delighted if you were a part of it. Building on our outstanding east waterfront location and relaxed, welcoming ambiance, we are a great choice for groups of all sizes. Mission Point offers a wide range of guest rooms and suites, and a large variety of flexible meeting and event space including a 35,000 square foot Conference Center. With an intense and growing focus on locally sourced foods, Mission Point offers excellent and creative choices for catered dinners in our event spaces, or at our three restaurants: Chianti (Italian), Round Island Bar and Grill (American pub fare) and Bistro on the Greens (eclectic American bistro, al fresco). For free time, Mission Point Resort has a large variety of onsite activities and amenities, including the all new Lakeside Spa & Salon, Marketplace shops, bike rental, tennis, swimming pool, movies, kid’s arcade, and lawn games. Please do not hesitate to contact our dedicated Group Sales team at 800-833-7711 to further assist you. I hope to see you on the morning side of the island! With kind regards, Bradley McCallum Vice President & Managing Director 906-847-3002

The Perfect Northern Michigan Choice For Groups And Events 800-833-7711 | www.missionpoint.com | info@missionpoint.com

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Meetings mynorth.com/meetings

A MyNorth Media Publication PRESIDENT/ EDITOR IN CHIEF

VICE PRESIDENT EDITORIAL/EDITOR MANAGING EDITOR SENIOR WEB EDITOR WEB WRITER PROOFREADERS WRITERS

Deborah Wyatt Fellows

DEBWF@TRAVERSEMAGAZINE.COM

Jeff Smith

SMITH@TRAVERSEMAGAZINE.COM

PRODUCTION DIRECTOR

Nicole White

NWHITE@MYNORTH.COM

Carley Simpson

CSIMPSON@MYNORTH.COM

Elizabeth Aseritis Caroline Dahlquist Clark Miller

Theresa Burau-Baehr

THERESA@TRAVERSEMAGAZINE.COM

Rachel Dorie

Roger Lamb

ROGER@TRAVERSEMAGAZINE.COM

ACCOUNT EXECUTIVES Jim Driver JDRIVER@TRAVERSEMAGAZINE.COM Ann Gatrell ANNG@TRAVERSEMAGAZINE.COM Jill Hayes JHAYES@TRAVERSEMAGAZINE.COM Cyndi Ludka LUDKA@TRAVERSEMAGAZINE.COM Drew Warner DREW@MYNORTH.COM Ben Fellows BENFELLOWS@MYNORTH.COM Colleen Etue COLLEEN@MYNORTH.COM DeAnna Hess DHESS@TRAVERSEMAGAZINE.COM

COVER IMAGE: COURTESY OF CRYSTAL MOUNTAIN RESORT AND SPA

Rachel North

RNORTH@TRAVERSEMAGAZINE.COM

CIRCULATION FULFILLMENT MANAGER

Jodi G. Simpson

TICKETING MANAGER

Rob DiClemente

CONTROLLER

13

RDORIE@MYNORTH.COM

Marc McKellar

OFFICE MANAGER

9 11

NSTEFFEN@MYNORTH.COM

MMCKELLAR@MYNORTH.COM

ASSISTANT TICKETING COORDINATOR

Park Place Hotel | Traverse City

Nicole Steffen

DEREK@MYNORTH.COM

MARKETING DIRECTOR

7

10

DIRECTOR, SOFTWARE DEVELOPMENT Derek Graham SALES DIRECTOR

Grand Traverse Resort & Spa | Traverse City

Greg Tasker

CLARK@CLARKMILLERCOMMUNICATIONS.COM

GSNABLE@MYNORTH.COM

WEB DIRECTOR, CLIENT SALES

4

Elizabeth Edwards

SENIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER Gail Snable GRAPHIC DESIGNER

2017 • Volume 13

LISSA@TRAVERSEMAGAZINE.COM

TASKER_GREG@HOTMAIL.COM

ART DIRECTOR

Table of Contents

JSIMPSON@TRAVERSEMAGAZINE.COM

RDICLEMENTE@TRAVERSEMAGAZINE.COM

Annette Niergarth

ANNETTE@TRAVERSEMAGAZINE.COM

Libby Stallman

LIBBY@MYNORTH.COM

Colleen Jurgess

CJURGESS@MYNORTH.COM

FROM THE PUBLISHER OF

15 17 19

World of possibilities indoors and out Hot new conference venue in the heart of Traverse City Crystal Mountain | Benzie County

Experience this life

Grand Hotel | Mackinac Island

Victorian grandeur in a timeless place Mission Point | Mackinac Island

A storied hotel on a storied isle Boyne Mountain | Boyne Falls

Legendary resort with small-town riches nearby The Homestead | Leelanau

Embraced by a national park Ralph A. MacMullan Conference Center | Grayling

Celebrate Michigan’s natural heritage The Ellison Place | Gaylord

A smart, spacious and flexible venue

20 Maps and Advertiser Index From the Editor

The Full Experience Meeting planners looking for an ideal place to stage the next gathering have so many fine choices in Northern Michigan. This place, blessed in small towns, lakes and rivers both grand and intimate, and rolling hills covered with forest and farmland, is also blessed in an abundance of fine resorts. In addition to the recreational

attractions and meeting capabilities resorts have on site, these venues also give ready access to all of northern Michigan’s riches. In this issue of Meetings North, nine standout resorts share information about their onsite amenities and attractions nearby to give a sense of the full experience attendees can expect.

Editorial & Advertising Offices

125 Park St., Suite 155, Traverse City, MI 49684 Phone: 231.941.8174 Fax: 231.941.8391 E-mail: x2k9g@traversemagazine.com © 2016 Prism Publications.

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GET UP AND GO Expansive views and limitless venues. The inspiration of a Northern Michigan meeting is more than a vineyard board room, private beach reception, or group sail at sunset. More than renowned service or distinct personalization. It’s having all those things at your fingertips. You won’t believe it if you haven’t seen it. Get up and go at GrandTraverseResort.com/Meetings.

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

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Meetings

mynorth.com/meetings

Traverse City

Grand Traverse Resort and Spa See Ad Pg. 2–3

Grand Traverse Resort and Spa has plenty of onsite attractions, but Ryan Buck, director of sales, knows that guests also come to see the natural beauty of the region, experience the sophistication of the local food scene and to be near water. Even though the area has a widespread reputation for business meetings, Buck says he often hears first-time guests exclaim, “I had no idea,” in describing the scene here. Buck clearly enjoys his role as one of the Grand Traverse area’s most enthusiastic ambassadors. On marketing trips he tells clients that this is a region with “many, many differentiators.”

World of possibilities indoors and out Outdoor Adventure: Buck often steers sports-minded Grand Traverse Resort and Spa guests to water activities like kayaking, canoeing or fly-fishing. That’s just a start. He also pulls out a map to show that just minutes away from the resort, the TART and Vasa Trails, numerous state parks and woodlands can give city dwellers a quick fix of Up North beauty. Over the years, members of his concierge staff have helped guests find pretty much any kind of equipment they might want to rent or buy—everything from fat tire bikes to flyfishing equipment. Food and Drink: Buck, who has hospitality industry experience on both coasts, is quick to tell guests about the Grand Traverse area’s food, brewing and wine scene. “I don’t like to overwork the phrase, ‘small-town feel with big-city sophistication,’” he says. “But there’s something to that.” “Some of the best meals I’ve had anywhere have been in Traverse City,” he said. “The quality is incredible and the service is outstanding—and it comes without any of the attitude that you might experience in a big city.”

THE TASTING ROOM AT BLACK STAR FARMS

Wine and brewery tours have become big business, and the full-service concierge staff at Grand Traverse Resort and Spa often helps organize cars, stretch limos and buses for guests. Among Buck’s favorite vineyard destinations are Black Star Farms, Bowers Harbor Vineyard and 2 Lads Winery. He often sends craft beer aficionados to the Right Brain Brewery, North Peak Brewing Company or the Jolly Pumpkin Restaurant and Brewery. The Village at Grand Traverse Commons: Buck says many of his guests are most fascinated with the Village at Grand Traverse Commons. They find the whole concept of converting a former mental hospital into condos, restaurants, retail space, a bakery, coffee roaster, wine bars and a venue for outdoor summer concerts and other community events intriguing. “It just seems to capture the imagination,” he says. “It’s the architecture, the unique way the building and grounds have been restored. It’s the town’s past and its future all at the same time.”

Find more Grand Traverse Resort ideas at MyNorth.com/TraverseCity

OUTDOOR ADVENTURE AWAITS!

GOLFING AT GRAND TRAVERSE RESORT AND SPA

TOP: TAYLOR BROWN, MIDDLE & BOTTOM: COURTESY OF GRAND TRAVERSE RESORT AND SPA

Special Promotional Feature

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LOCAL TICKETS ONE PLACE

events • meetings • receptions

Call 800.836.0717 to find events for your next group outing in Northern Michigan

For a truly unique venue, choose Corner Loft in the heart of downtown Traverse City and enjoy an up-beat city energy coupled with relaxing up-north surroundings. Call and check out this vibrant new space today. 201 E. FRONT ST • TRAVERSE CIT Y 231-883-9367 • CORNERLOFTTC.COM

s g n i t Mee

Redefined

resorts & spas | unique meeting venues | historic hotels meeting planner assistance | four-season adventure sports championship golf | boutique shopping | art galleries 40+ wineries & tasting rooms | craft breweries

TraverseCity.com | 800-TRAVERSE

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Meetings

Park Place Hot new conference center Hotel in the heart of Traverse City Traverse City

TOP: TAYLOR BROWN, MIDDLE: ANJANETTE MERRIWEATHER, BOTTOM: SHEA HADDAD

See Ad Pg. 6

TRAVERSE CITY HAS ACCLAIMED SHOPPING

KAYAKING, CYCLING AND HIKING ARE MOMENTS AWAY

If there is a legendary meeting room in Traverse City, it is the Park Place Dome. The circular convention space with a convex ceiling was a sleek and modern addition to the historic Park Place hotel in 1964. But though it has hosted thousands of events in its 50-plus years, “the dome was actually intended to be a temporary structure,” explains General Manager Amy Parker. And so the iconic room will come to its pre-ordained finale this year when ownership will take it down and replace it with a smart new conference center outfitted with state-of-the-art capabilities. The dome’s replacement is the centerpiece of a broader renovation project that will add two other meeting rooms and replace the hotel’s fitness center and pool. Expanded attendee capacity was one of the main goals of the new building, so meeting planners will see banquet seating expand from 350 to 500, and theater-style seating increase to 1,157. In addition, the new conference center will be designed to accommodate vendor booth events much more effectively.

Find more Traverse City–area ideas at MyNorth.com/TraverseCity

SPEND AN AFTERNOON TOURING LOCAL WINERIES Special Promotional Feature

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Increased flexibility for meeting planners is another key goal of the construction, which led architects to bolster main hall capacity by adding a smaller meeting room to the floor plan, with a capacity to accommodate 80 people. The hotel also has nine other meeting rooms that will not be affected by construction and will remain available during the project. Lodging, restaurant and bars will also continue to operate as usual during construction, explains Lisa Monache, director of sales and marketing. For meeting planners looking to book larger meetings during construction (or even once construction is complete), the Park Place has close relationships with other meeting venues nearby and can arrange packages that include options like lodging and breakout meetings at the Park Place and large gatherings offsite, but within walking distance downtown.

The Park Place team is naturally excited to see the new convention space come to life—expected completion mid-2018—but they have not forgotten that what makes conferences here extraspecial is the region and Traverse City itself. “The region is the big amenity!” Parker says. What meeting attendees love most about this place: Winery tours: “Our guests return satisfied and happy,” Parker says. Sleeping Bear Dunes national park: 40-story-high dunes rising above a sparkling Great Lake. Gorgeous! Beaches: Right downtown, a block from the Park Place. Restaurants: “There are so many great restaurants in Traverse City and many are happy to host dinners for meeting attendees looking to go offsite for an event. We will help arrange,” Monache says. Shopping: Innovative boutiques. “Each store is a little adventure,” Parker says. Grand Traverse Commons: One of America’s most remarkable and ambitious renovation projects, turning a massive Victorian-era, Italianate mental hospital into a beautiful mixed-use community with retail, dining, commercial and residential (yes a microbrewery and winery on campus). Access to healthy activities: Nearby trails for cycling, running and walking, and water for swimming appeal to those seeking fresh-air fitness.

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CONNECTION A CONFERENCE CALL CAN ’T PROVIDE The Crystal Center offers state-of-the-art technology and fl exible seating for up to 350 people, so it’s easy to stay connected and let your productivity fl ourish. Our event planners will coordinate everything, from on-site catering to networking opportunities in and out of the meeting rooms.

Stick around and enjoy over 230 lodging rooms, delicious dining and endless mountain activities. Make it a meeting to remember at Crystal Mountain.

MAKE IT YOUR MOMENT. C RYS TA L M O U N TA I N .CO M

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EXPLORE THE HILLS OF CRYSTAL MOUNTAIN YEAR ROUND

VISIT IRON FISH DISTILLERY

Benzie County

Crystal Mountain See Ad Pg. 8

RIGHT: COURTNEY JEROME LEFT: COURTESY OF CRYSTAL MOUNTAIN

Experience this life

Located in the heart of Benzie County, Crystal Mountain, a four-season family and conference resort, lives by an inspiring creed: to celebrate healthy lifestyles and serve as a responsible steward of “natural, human and economic resources.” Guests can take advantage of the award-winning Crystal Spa, conference facilities, 36 holes of championship golf and, during the winter months, nearly 20 miles of crosscountry ski trails and 58 downhill slopes. To name just one recent accolade, Crystal Mountain was named by Condé Nast Traveler as the No. 1 Resort in the United States for Family Reunions. Even so, conference attendees sometimes ask Crystal Mountain communications director Brian Lawson about interesting side trips during their stay.

Find more Crystal Mountain ideas at MyNorth.com/Frankfort Special Promotional Feature

1:14 PM

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Meetings

Iron Fish Distillery: Lawson often directs guests just down the road from Crystal Mountain to the Iron Fish Distillery, the first craft distillery in Michigan to be located on a farm. The surrounding 120 acres aren’t for show: they supply a portion of the grains that help Iron Fish control its entire distilling process “from grain to glass.” Iron Fish produces triple-grain whiskey, white rum, wheat vodka and gin. Lawson encourages folks to ask questions while they are there— especially about the story of how a long-abandoned farm became the site of a well-established distillery. With regular visits by local food trucks on weekends, and Michigan musicians often playing in the background, Iron Fish has become a favorite outing for many guests. Stormcloud Brewery: Another side trip destination Lawson suggests to groups is Stormcloud Brewery, just a 20-minute drive away from Crystal Mountain and located in the small, harbor town of Frankfort. During warmer months, Lawson recommends spending some time in Stormcloud’s beer garden. The brewpub is just two blocks from a sandy Lake Michigan public beach. Named Michigan’s Best New Brewery by MLive, Stormcloud’s reputation has already established itself in the minds of beer and food connoisseurs, so much so that the brewery is in the process of expanding its production facility. During a visit, it’s easy to walk around Frankfort, a village known for its unique shops, the Frankfort North lighthouse and pier, and the Elizabeth Lane Oliver Center for the Arts. Sleeping Bear: Lawson knows exactly where to send Crystal Mountain groups in search of an outdoor adventure. Nearby Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, a 35-mile stretch of stunning coastline, sandy beaches and views of Lake Michigan, is a place of such natural beauty that in 2011 Good Morning America viewers voted it “The Most Beautiful Place in America.” Even closer to Crystal Mountain is the 22-mile-long Betsie Valley Trail, which extends from Frankfort to Thompsonville. He notes that regardless of which direction they take, guests using the trail always have something to look forward to—the Stormcloud Brewery in Frankfort or Iron Fish Distillery in Thompsonville. meetingsnorth

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Mackinac Island

Grand Hotel See Ad Back Cover

HISTORIC FORT MACKINAC OFFERS A FASCINATING LOOK INTO THE PAST AND VIEWS OF THE ISLAND FROM ABOVE.

Few hotels are as iconic as the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island. Celebrating its 130th anniversary in 2017, the venerable hotel continues to update, adding new suites, redecorating rooms and expanding amenities. The urge may be to linger in a rocking chair on the world’s longest front porch—stretching 660 feet—but there’s plenty to discover on Mackinac Island. Here’s a sampling offered by Ken Hayward, executive vice president of the Grand Hotel.

Victorian grandeur in a timeless place Mackinac Island Loop: Rent a bicycle at the hotel’s Pool House and set out on M185, a state highway that runs along the perimeter of the island. The eightmile loop affords wonderful views of Lake Huron, the Straits of Mackinac and the Mackinac Bridge. Cyclists will also pass natural wonders, including the famous Arch Rock. “You can’t come to Mackinac and not ride a bike,” Hayward says. “The ride is mostly flat, and you can stop and wade in the water or skip stones.”

HORSE DRAWN BUGGIES CAN BE RENTED. YES, YOU DRIVE.

Find More Mackinac Island ideas at MyNorth.com/Mackinac

Historic Fort Mackinac: The late 18th-century limestone fort, occupied by the British during the American Revolution, offers a fascinating glimpse of American military and fur trade history, as well as stunning views. The fort is perched high on a bluff overlooking the island and harbor. Live cannon-firing demonstrations and costumed interpreters add to the fun. Hayward suggests relaxing and taking in the views afterward at the Fort Mackinac Tea Room, operated by the Grand Hotel, which serves salads, sandwiches, pizza and beverages. 906.847.6827. mackinacparks.com. Kayaking: A guided kayaking tour is another, more adventurous way to explore the island—from the waters along its

shoreline. Great Turtle Kayak Tours (231.715.2925) offers sunrise excursions to Arch Rock and the Rock Maze, and sunset trips near Devil’s Island and the Grand Hotel. Most tours are about two hours; Great Turtle also offers shorter options in the waters of the Mackinac Island harbor. Carriage tours: Carriages are one of the few modes of transportation on the island, and Jack’s Livery (7754 Mahoney Ave., 906.847.3391) offers horsedrawn buggy rentals. Yes, you drive. Before taking the reins, Jack’s assesses your carriagedriving experience and fills you in on the rules of horse-andbuggy roads. “You’re not going to get lost,” Hayward says. “The horses have been around awhile and are well trained. They’ll get you back to the barn.” Charter fishing: Capt. Dennis Gorsuch calls the calm, clear waters of the Straits of Mackinac among the best kept fishing secrets of the Great Lakes. Capt. Gorsuch and his company, E.U.P. (251.504.1046), offer excursions to catch Atlantic salmon and lake trout from the well-equipped 30-foot Osprey VI. Fishing licenses can be purchased on board and half-day trips are available for groups or individuals.

Special Promotional Feature

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HOP ON A BIKE AND EXPLORE THE ISLAND YOURSELF

Meetings

GUIDED CARRIAGE TOURS AROUND THE ISLAND WILL TAKE GROUPS TO HOT SPOTS LIKE ARCH ROCK AND FORT MACKINAC

RIGHT: KAITLYN BUSSELL, LEFT: KELLY REWA

Mackinac Island

Mission Point

See Ad Inside Front Cover

A storied hotel on a storied isle Guided carriage tours: One of the best ways to see the island is to join a guided carriage tour. Nothing says Mackinac Island more than the clippety-clop of horses pulling carriages. Ware says the tours are an ideal way to learn the layout of the island, learn some of its colorful history and see remarkable natural and manmade sites, including Arch Rock, the Fort Mackinac Avenue of Flags and the iconic Grand Hotel. Most tours are about two hours long. Mackinac Island Carriage Tours (7278 Main St., 906.847.3307). Wawashkamo Golf Club: This nine-hole golf course is the oldest continuously operating golf course in Michigan, originally laid in 1898. The course retains design elements of 19th-century golf—relatively treeless, short holes, and long roughs. The golf

Special Promotional Feature

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Built in the 1950s, Mission Point Resort keeps growing, adding new amenities such as a 6,000-square-foot spa and salon. The sprawling resort, located on the shores of the island’s eastern end, has in recent years upgraded rooms, added a marketplace, a sweets shop and newsstand. Attendees looking to explore beyond the well-groomed grounds of Mission Point Resort can benefit from some tips offered by Liz Ware, vice president of public relations, whose family purchased the resort in 2014.

course was laid out on a farmer’s field that was the site of the 1814 Battle of Mackinac Island. British Landing Road. 906.847.3871. Fudge tours: Fudge has been a staple on the island since the late 1800s, and today there are several shops along Main Street demonstrating traditional fudgemaking. Ware and Mission Point can make arrangements for private tours for attendees and their guests. Murdick’s is the oldest fudge operation on Mackinac and has three shops, two on Main Street. Original Murdick’s (7363 Main St., 906.847.3530). Bike tour: Most island guests rent bikes and pedal along the shoreline, but Ware says there’s so much more to see. Ware recommends exploring the island’s interior, away from the crowds. Pedal up the bluffs to discover forests, historic cottages and

mansions, old cemeteries and landmarks like Skull Cave, a small cave where a fur trader hid during an Indian uprising. The fur trader claimed the cave was filled with human remains. Mountain bike enthusiasts will find even more strenuous trails along the bluffs. Mission Point rents tandems, mountain bikes and cruisers. Guided walking tours: Many attendees will be brimming with questions about the island: What’s it like to live on Mackinac? What do people do in the winter? Those questions and more can be answered during a guided walking tour. The guided tours include historical and cultural facts about the island (even a ghost tour) and include stops at famous landmarks. Mackinac Revealed (2488 Cadotte Ave., 231.622.4867).

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planning

TRAVERSE CITY'S BAYVIEW MEETING SPACE

a meeting in Northern Michigan?

For Meetings, Special Events, & Celebrations Minutes Away From Downtown on M-22

Bluewater Hall B L U E WAT E R H A L L . C O M

231.642.5660

Make the meeting more memorable. Tuck a complimentary Vacation Guide into your guests’ welcome bags or hotel rooms.

Contact Jodi Simpson to request copies: 231-941-5976, jsimpson@traversemagazine.com

Carved from Ambition, Built from Inspiration

The Great Outdoors with an Urban Edge. The Hotel Indigo Traverse City reflects the life and vibrant energy of our downtown waterfront Warehouse District neighborhood. Unique designs at every turn pay homage to the area’s logging past; inviting guestrooms feature hard surface flooring with area rugs, oversized murals and spainspired showers. You can taste the local flavor in the seasonally inspired farm-to-fork restaurant, the warehouse kiTChen + cork, which features the regions wines and microbrews as well. Unwind at the inviting and relaxing H&L Social, our open-air rooftop bar with expansive and picturesque views of Grand Traverse Bay. 5,500 square feet of meeting space.

Welcome to Our Neighborhood. Hotel Indigo Traverse City 263 W. Grandview Parkway Traverse City, MI 49684 t: 231.932.0500 Reservations: 877.8.INDIGO (846.3446) hotelindigo.com/TraverseCityMI

2017 MYNORTH MEETINGS.indd 12

facebook.com/hotelindigo @hotelindigo

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FLY ABOVE THE RESORT

THE HARBOR TOWN OF CHARLEVOIX IS PERFECT FOR AN AFTERNOON GETAWAY

Boyne Falls

Boyne Mountain Resort See Ad Inside Back Cover

Legendary resort with small-town riches nearby

LEFT: DAVE WEIDNER, RIGHT: COURTESY OF BOYNE MOUNTAIN RESORT

Meetings

When Boyne Mountain launched in the late 1940s, it became an instant icon of the then-nascent Midwest skiing scene, and it has remained an icon ever since. In the ensuing years, Boyne Mountain has grown into a year-round resort with national-ranked golfing, Michigan’s biggest indoor water park, ziplines and a vibrant village scene with pubs, restaurants, and shopping. For meeting planners, the resort offers some of the largest lodging capacity and meeting room square footage in Northern Michigan and enough onsite fun factor to keep attendees happy even if they never leave the Boyne campus (golf, followed by cocktails on the Deer Lake deck: unforgettable). But of course, day trips have become an essential piece of the meeting travel experience, so we asked Director of Sales Matt Alagna to share some of his favorite small-town recommendations for conference-goers looking to explore Boyne Country. As Alagna says, “Yes, aren’t we blessed with the small towns we have around us.”

Boyne City: Just 10 minutes from Boyne Mountain, Boyne City’s perch on the southeast shore of Lake Charlevoix makes a beautiful setting for this smartly elevated but still classic Up North small town. Discover delicious eats at French bistroinspired Cafe Santé (say oui to moules and frites) and sample the Latin American offerings at Red Mesa Grill (tequila and lime marinated fajitas? Sure.). For craft beer, check out 7 Monks Taproom and Boyne City Taproom, all right downtown. Shoppers will find quality, eclectic art at Water Street Gallery and a selection of fashion boutiques. Bonus: Walk the marina at sunset before heading back to Boyne for an end-of-day sauna. Charlevoix: With shoreline on both Lake Michigan and the northern waters of Lake Charlevoix, the classic harbor town of Charlevoix makes for a dreamy way to spend some hours wandering sidewalks, eateries, shops and waterfront—the marina is one of the most captivating on the Great Lakes. For delicious, casual fare, sample the offer-

ings of Bridge Street Taproom (right on the water), or order a legit savory French crêpe at That French Place. Inventive, quality boutiques let Boyne conference-goers clear their minds with exclusive tasty shopping selections before the next meeting. Petoskey: One of the Midwest’s finest small downtowns, this picturesque burg stands on a hill high above Lake Michigan’s Little Traverse Bay, delivering views of big water down the sidestreets—nice. Find delicious food in the likes of Chandler’s, Spoon (American Spoon Foods’ cafe), Palette Bistro, Twisted Olive and Thai Orchid (yes, authentic). Microbrew devotees will seek Petoskey Brewing, just north of town and Beard’s Brewing (downtown). For classic kickedback Northern Michigan pub feel: Mitchell Street Pub. Petoskey’s shopping retail is the stuff of legend, and worth a break from meetings to explore the boutique offerings.

Find more Boyne area ideas at MyNorth.com/Petoskey Special Promotional Feature

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Of fish, ponds & meetings. As far as corporate off-sites go, ours is a small pond. We don’t have the facilities for huge groups. The facilities we do have were recently renovated, and feature state-of-the-art technology and furnishings. It’s a small pond, but we think it just might be the nicest one around. And you’ll have it all to yourself – we never host multiple meetings at the same facility, so you can be sure that you’ll always have 100% of our attention. And when you’re ready for some teambuilding, the Sleeping Bear Dunes are right outside the door. So are world-class golf, gourmet restaurants, vineyards, breweries, and so much more. Our staff can steer you in the right direction, and if you or your associates want to take some extra time to share the surroundings with family, we offer discounts to extend your accommodations.

Go ahead. Be the big fish. We think you’ll like it.

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Leelanau

The Homestead See Ad Pg. 14

THE SLEEPING BEAR DUNES NATIONAL LAKESHORE OFFERS A SPECTACULAR FRESHWATER EXPERIENCE

Meetings

With more than 500 acres, The Homestead resort boasts plenty of elbow room. The secluded resort not only hugs the shoreline of Lake Michigan but also is surrounded by Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Hotels, condominiums and homes—and facilities for meetings—are tucked amid forests, rivers and the lake. Jamie Jewell, vice president of sales and marketing, shares some of her favorite ways to maximize that remarkable landscape for meeting attendees.

Embraced by a national park

LEELANAU HAS MORE THAN 28 WINE TASTING VENUES.

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore: Many attendees want to get outdoors after a day of meetings, and The Homestead makes that as easy as can be. Just a few minutes away is the famous Dune Climb at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Jewell likes to point out, however, that the national park offers so much more: hiking and biking trails and beaches, to name a few. She recommends The Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail for cyclists. The paved pathway stretches from Glen Arbor, past the Dune Climb, to Empire. For hikers, she recommends the Bay View Trail, an eightmile trail that loops through beech-maple forest, fields and a pine plantation. The reward is Lookout Point, which offers panoramic views of Lake Michigan. Park headquarters: 9922 Front St., Empire. 231.326.4700.

TOP: BRIAN CONFER, MIDDLE & BOTTOM: DAVE WEIDNER

Wine tours: More than twodozen wineries are located in The Homestead’s backyard, spread across the Leelanau Peninsula. Jewell can arrange private guided group tours of some of the wineries, including behind-the-scenes conversations with vintners. Among the must-see stops are: L. Mawby Vineyards (4519 Elm Valley Rd., Suttons Bay. 231.271.3522), known for producing sparkling wines from locally grown grapes, and Tandem Ciders (2055 N. Setterbo Rd., Suttons

LELAND OFFERS MANY CHARTER FISHING OPPORTUNITIES

Special Promotional Feature

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Bay. 231.271.0050), which specializes in artisanal hard ciders, using Michigan-grown apples. Check out MyNor th.com’s comprehensive Wine Page with wineries, trail routes, profiles, and more: MyNorth > Food and Drink. More info also found at lpwines.com. Shopping: For attendees who love to shop, good discoveries await in the boutiques and galleries in the small towns dotting the Leelanau Peninsula, including Suttons Bay, Leland, Northport, Empire, and Glen Arbor. “The stores are a little bit different in each town,” Jewell says. “They all have their own unique personality.” Leland is among the most popular small town destinations, thanks, in part, to historic Fishtown. The weathered shanties now house small shops. A Fishtown tradition: have your group grab a sandwich from the Village Cheese Shanty and wander around Leland. Charter fishing: Known as one of the best sport fishing ports in Michigan, Leland is an ideal starting point to charter fishing excursions for your crew. Fishtown Charter Service, the oldest fishing service out of Leland, offers trips on the 31-foot Carol Dee. (231.256.9639). Capt. Jack Duffy and Whitecap Charters (231.883.7530) operate right out of Fishtown. meetingsnorth

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With rustic-chic lodging and modern meeting space, the Ralph A. MacMullan Conference Center combines the fun of summer camp with the facilities of a premier conference center. Nestled on the northern shore of Higgins Lake, this conference center has a 75-year legacy of conservation education and offers one of the most distinctive meeting experiences in Michigan’s northern woods. The Ralph A. MacMullan Conference Center provides a recreational retreat for nonprofit, government and education-based organizations, as well as private businesses with an outdooror green-themed agenda. • Classroom space (seating for up to 250) • Fireside and waterfront meeting spaces • Rustic overnight lodging (up to 130 guests) • Family-style dining • Four-season outdoor recreation opportunities

Mention this ad for free homemade cookies during your event. Call us at 989-821-6200 today.

www.michigan.gov/ramcenter • 104 Conservation Drive, Roscommon, MI 48653 • macmullancenter@michigan.gov • 989-821-6200

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mynorth.com/meetings

Meetings

HIGGINS LAKE, BEAUTIFUL ALL YEAR ROUND

NATURE LOVERS REJOICE IN THIS WATERY PLAYGROUND

Grayling

Ralph A. MacMullan Conference Center See Ad Pg. 16

CELEBRATE MICHIGAN’S NATURAL HERITAGE

COURTESY OF THE RALPH A. MACMULLAN CONFERENCE CENTER

Operated by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, the Ralph A. MacMullan (or RAM) Conference Center on the north shore of Higgins Lake, in Roscommon County, has long been one of the state’s most popular for outdoor enthusiasts. One look, and it’s not hard to understand why the Chippewa people called the 9,000-acre lake “Majinabeesh,” sparkling water. Just a few miles south is the equally beautiful Houghton Lake. DNR spokeswoman Maia Turek says RAM has many of the accommodations you might expect of a conference center –WiFi, sleeping accommodations for 135 guests (in six separate lodges), extensive meeting rooms and home-style food service. But RAM is not your ordinary conference center. Its mission is to serve organizations interested in enjoying and protecting Michigan’s natural resources.

Find more RAM ideas at MyNorth.com/WexfordCounty Special Promotional Feature

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Beautiful Lake: When Turek is asked by RAM guests what “else” there is to do during their stay, she can simply point to the lake. With 21 miles of shoreline, Higgins Lake is known for clear waters and great fishing. Sportfish include yellow perch, smelt, pike and trout—all catchable through the ice come winter. Conference attendees can also powerboat and sail or hike and cross-country ski on nearby trails. “It’s a special place,” Turek says. “You’re surrounded by beauty. People tend to spend a lot of their time here enjoying nature.” The staff can guide guests to just about any outdoor equipment they might want to rent or buy. CCC Museum: Turek often steers conference groups to something not many state p ark s have — a mus eum dedicated to the history of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC), a public works program that hired thousands of unemployed or under-employed men during the lean years of the 1930s and early 1940s.

the conference center, was particularly well known then as the world’s largest seedling nursery. It played an important role in President Roosevelt’s “Tree Army,” which undertook major reforestation projects in the nation’s woodlands. Brew Pubs: For visitors who get the itch to see what’s in town, Turek says nearby Grayling has a small but active craft beer scene, especially for a place with just 2,000 souls. The town is famed as the starting point for Au Sable river fishing and paddling trips and for hosting the 120-mile-long Au Sable River Canoe Marathon, in July of every year since 1947. So it only makes sense that one local brewpub is named Paddle Hard Brewing. The gastro-pub’s memorable motto: “Life’s Short. Paddle Hard.” Just down the street is the Dead Bear Brewing Company. With 21 taps—some devoted to Dead Bear beer and some dedicated to the beer of others—a full bar and music on the weekends, the brew pub has become a popular spot with local and tourists alike.

The Higgins Lake CCC camp, which is located next door to

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Introducing The Ellison Place Northern Michigan’s Largest Event Center Offering from 1,000 square feet up to 30,000 square feet of space Accommodates small groups of less than 50 to groups as large as 2,200 Designed to accommodate weddings, wedding receptions, conventions, banquets, Christmas parties, conferences, consumer shows, fundraisers, school events, exhibitions, and more.

Now accepting event reservations Contact Diane Bartow at 989-350-5641 to obtain more information.

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mynorth.com/meetings

Gaylord

Ellison Place See Ad Pg. 18

Meetings

A smart, spacious and flexible venue When a major sporting goods retailer moved out of its original Gaylord location, the change left Kevin Johnson and his family, owners of the massive 40,000-square-foot building, with some equally large choices. What would be best way to proceed, not just for the future of the building, but also for the future of the Gaylord community? The chosen path led to the creation of Ellison Place, one of the largest and most handsome event venues in Northern Michigan. Johnson named the building after his father. The team that Johnson assembled, led by Nate and Diane Bartow, converted the space from an empty and cavernous store into a welcoming venue with a striking and unexpected sense of warmth. Key to achieving that inviting sensibility is a subtle color scheme and attention to finish details that step the scale of the room down to a human level that allows a more intimate interaction.

COURTESY ELLISON PLACE

The cocktail lounge area, for example, has detailed tile work and theater lighting that invites guests to settle in and relax in a sophisticated but comfortable gathering place. Lending a sense of elegance is classicstyle woodwork—support pillars trimmed in recessed panels and adorned with wall sconces.

Find More Gaylord ideas at MyNorth.com/Gaylord

Special Promotional Feature

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The large space outfitted in this elevated way allows meeting planners to dress it up or dress it casual, depending on the vibe most suited to the occasion. The venue’s first event was an RV show in January 2017. Ellison Place’s giant garage doors enabled smooth entry and exit of even large RVs, and the ample floor space easily accommodated the 7,000 people who attended. That big attendance number—nearly unheard of for a wintertime event in Northern Michigan—testifies to the reachability of the location, adjacent to the I-75 exit ramp near down-

town Gaylord. Being so close to Michigan’s primary north-south corridor makes Ellison Place convenient even for people who have to travel in winter. Heading into the first season, the Ellison Place team is still charting possibilities, says Diane Bartow, events manager. She sees filling the place with corporate meetings, weddings, school events, nonprofit galas, dinner theater, concerts, shows and more. Room separators can tailor the size of the space to the group, and that combination of vast showroom floor and elevated lounge space allows so many options. “We have a 600-person event booked and another woman wants to host a high-end dinner for 50,” Bartow says. All catering is done by BJ’s, “and they are marvelous,” Bartow says. She is also working with local hotels and golf courses to create meeting package rates, leveraging the area’s renowned Golf Mecca and winter sports reputation for multi-day gatherings. “It’s quite a gift from the Johnson family to the community,” Bartow says. “They took on this adventure and will be pulling things into this town that we have just not hosted before, and the people will fill the area’s hotels and restaurants, and shop the stores.”

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Map N Stuff

NORTHERN MICHIGAN AREA AIRPORTS

Pictured Rocks NL

Cherry Capital Airport

231.947.2250; tvcairport.com AIRLINES: Delta, United, American Airlines

Christmas Munising

Sault Ste. Marie

DAILY FLIGHTS TO:

Chicago, Detroit Seasonal service: Atlanta, Denver, LaGuardia, Newark, Indianapolis, Cleveland CAR RENTALS: Avis (231.946.1222), Budget (231.947.3883), Enterprise (231.922-2800), Hertz (231.946.7051), National/Alamo (231.947.1560)

Brimley

Newberry

75

Hessel Manistique

2 Mackinac Island

Drummond

Island Regional Airport Pellston

St. Ignace

LAKE HURON 231.539.8441; pellstonairport.com

Gladstone

AIRLINES:

Escanaba

LAKE MICHIGAN

Cheboygan

PELLSTON REGIONAL AIRPORT

MAP AREA

Pellston

Avis (231.539.8302), Hertz (231.539.8404), Mackinaw Shuttle (231.539.7005)

Petoskey

Manistee County Blacker Airport

Charlevoix GRAND TRAVERSE BAY Boyne City

231.723.4351; flymanistee.com AIRLINES: PublicCharters/North Country Sky

Northport

NUMBER OF DAILY FLIGHTS TO:

Peshawbestown

131

Service to Chicago Midway

Gaylord

Suttons Bay

75

Acme

Manistee

MANISTEE COUNTY BLACKER AIRPORT

CAR RENTALS/TRANSPORTATION: Lewiston

Traverse City 31

Detroit: 2-4 daily (varies seasonally) CAR RENTALS/TRANSPORTATION:

Harbor Springs

Mt. Pleasant

Delta Connections

NUMBER OF DAILY FLIGHTS TO:

CHERRY CAPITAL AIRPORT-TVC

Mowry Rental (231.723.4351)

Kalkaska Grayling

Houghton Lake

Cadillac

ADVERTISER DIRECTORY Ludington

Bluewater Hall (page 12) 231.642.5660 bluewaterhall.com

Boyne Mountain Resort (Inside Back Cover) 231.549.6000 boyne.com/meetings

The Corner Loft (page 5) 231.883.9367 cornerlofttc.com

Crystal Mountain Resort (page 8) 855.746.6733 crystalmountain.com

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Ellison Place

(page 18) 989.350.5641 miellisonplace.com

Grand Hotel

(Back Cover) 517.349.4600 grandhotel.com/meetings

Grand Traverse Resort and Spa

(page 2-3) 800.748.0303 grandtraverseresort.com

The Homestead

(page 14) 231.334.5000 thehomesteadresort.com

Hotel Indigo (page 12) 231.932.0500 hotelindigo.com

Mission Point (Inside Front Cover) 800.833.5538 missionpoint.com

MyNorth Tickets

Ralph A. MacMullan Conference Center (page 16) 989.821.6200 Michigan.gov/ramcenter

Traverse City Tourism (page 5) 800.940.1120 traversecity.com

(page 5) 800.836.0717 mynorthtickets.com

MyNorth Vacation Guides

Park Place Hotel

Willowbrook Mill

(page 6) 231.946.5000 park-place-hotel.com

(page 12) 231.941.5976

(page 12) 231.534.2142 willowbrookmill.com

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Meet where you love to play Four seasons and three resorts offer endless opportunities to meet, relax and restore in northern Michigan. • Four-season playground • Quaint waterfront towns of Harbor Springs, Petoskey and Boyne City • Flexible event space including team building venues

888.323.0898

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• Lodging options from standard hotel rooms and spacious condominiums • Fully customizable catering menus and variety of restaurants

BOYNE.com/meetings

Groupsales2@boyne.com

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Simply Grand: Our Complete Meeting Package All meeting spaces are located within the hotel and the package includes:

• A dedicated convention manager • Accommodations • Full breakfast and five-course dinner daily • AV equipment, Wi-Fi and coffee breaks • Evening cocktail reception • Free golf greens fees (cart fee required) Book 10 rooms or more and receive a complimentary room with meals, plus receive one VIP upgrade to a Named Room. For rates and other availability, contact Director of Sales, Annie Farrell afarrell@grandhotel.com • 517-349-4600 Join our quarterly meetings eNewsletter at grandhotel.com/meetings

1-800-33GRAND • g r a n d ho te l .co m

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MyNorth Meetings 2017  

Ideas to Make your Up North Meeting Great

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