Michigan Association of CVBs 2021

Page 1

MEET IN

MICHIGAN 2021/2022 Michigan Association of Convention and Visitor Bureaus Meeting Planners Guide


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

(517) 487-6800

LANSING.org


pleasure doing business It’s where everything comes together. Where meetings are conducted with rhythm and grace. Where even before you meet and shake hands, you all begin to realize that you’re in a pretty great place.

TraverseCity.com


S T. J OS E P H S U N S E T

A L P E N A S H I P W R E C K AC T I V I T I E S

4 A PURE MICHIGAN WELCOME 6 GREETINGS FROM THE MACVB 8 M ACVB MEMBER LISTINGS & LOCATION MAP

22 WHAT’S NEW Discover new attractions and venues across the state.

30 ENLIGHTEN MIND & SPIRIT Delight attendees with culturally appealing experiences.

10 FRIENDLY AIRPORTS AND AIRWAYS

40 MEET WITH MOTHER NATURE

16 MINDFUL MEETINGS IN MICHIGAN Integrate wellness into your

46 GIVING BACK

Explore award-winning airports throughout the state.

next meeting.

2 MACVB

l

Meet in Michigan // visitmichigan.org

Outdoor adventure awaits you at your next event. Make eco-tourism part of your next meeting or event.

MEET IN

MICHIGAN 2021/2022 Michigan Association of Convention and Visitor Bureaus Meeting Planners Guide

On Our Cover

Michigan features locales as eclectic as they are iconic. Clockwise from top left: Detroit’s Riverwalk, Mackinac Island, Founders Brewery in Grand Rapids, and Lansing’s cityscape.

P H OTO S CO U RT ESY O F: J O S H UA N OW I C K I; J O E GA L L

Table of Contents


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

the

MICHIGAN’S THUMBCOAST


M AT T H A E I B OTA N I C A L GA R D E N S, A N N A R B O R

A GREAT LAKES WONDERLAND AWAITS! COME ENJOY “PURE MICHIGAN” — A STATE WE LOVE TO SHARE.

Dave Lorenz VICE PRESIDENT, TRAVEL MICHIGAN

We invite you to explore our two peninsulas and let the unspoiled nature and authentic character of a truly majestic land revive your spirit. Outdoor enthusiasts have miles of towering sand dunes to canvas, and thousands of acres of state and national parks and forests that stretch across both the Upper and Lower Peninsulas. Discover thousands of inland lakes, streams and rivers providing unmatched opportunities for paddle sports fans and anglers. Hike or bike an extensive network of trails, or tee off on a championship golf course. From breathtaking landscapes, crystal blue waters, inviting freshwater beaches and starry skies — Michigan has it all. If city adventure is more your style, Michigan offers museums, art galleries, theaters, night life and rich cultural attractions. We also urge you to explore our booming craft beer scene, thriving wineries and head-turning culinary hotspots. Michigan is a four-season state where fall color tours take your breath away and the abundant lake-effect snow provides the perfect backdrop for first-class snow sports. The next time you consider a venue for a meeting or event, I encourage you to work with the remarkable member organizations of the MACVB, where you can always count on a firstclass customer service experience. The Great Lakes State is ready to provide you with the unique experiences that have made Michigan destinations so memorable for generations. Sincerely,

4 MACVB

l

Meet in Michigan // visitmichigan.org


DISCOVER HOLLAND

MEET ABOVE 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


M ICH IGA N ASSOCIAT ION OF CO N V ENTI O N A ND VISITOR BURE AU S P.O. Box 304 Stanwood, MI 49346-0304 231.823.0015 www.visitmichigan.org

E X E CUT IVE D IRE CTOR Larisa Draves, CMP

2 0 2 1 MACVB P RE SID ENT Janet Korn, Experience Grand Rapids

CVBs HELP YOU FIND YOUR PLACE MANY OF THE SAME THINGS that make Michigan a great place to visit and live also make it a great place to host a meeting. As the 2021 president of Michigan Association of Convention & Visitor Bureaus (MACVB), I invite you to meet in “Pure Michigan.” As an association, MACVB is proud to represent over 50 convention and visitor bureaus (CVBs) across Michigan. Our member CVBs provide you, the meeting organizer, with direct connections all over the state. Members of MACVB are the destination experts for their individual areas, and they pride themselves on knowing how best to gather in their locales. They work side by side with their local facilities and businesses to EXPERIENCE GRAND accommodate meetings and gatherings of all sizes. RAPIDS, 2021 MACVB The knowledgeable team members of the individual PRESIDENT member organizations are eager to work with you. They can help you find the right venue, overnight accommodations and things to do, as well as help introduce you to their communities. This local knowledge ensures your role as the meeting organizer is simpler and that the experience for your attendees is the best it can be. I invite you to contact one of our member CVBs. You can find their contact information throughout the magazine. I am confident you will enjoy your Pure Michigan gathering!

Janet Korn

6 MACVB

l

Meet in Michigan // visitmichigan.org

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

E D ITOR Kelly Skarritt-Williams

AS S OCIAT E E D ITOR Sherri Hildebrandt

D E S IG N D IRE CTOR Traci Zellmann

P ROD U CT ION D IRE CTOR Brittni Dye

P ROD U CT ION COORD IN ATORS Adrianna Black Bull, Lisa Stone

CON T RIBUTOR Larisa Draves, CMP

CON T RIBUT IN G AUT HO RS Chris Williams, Zachary Marano, Kim Corcoran

CH IE F OP E RAT IN G OF F ICE R & PUBLISHER Susan Isay susan.isay@tigeroak.com

AS S OCIAT E P U BL IS H E R/ADVERTISING Laurie Burger 586.416.4195 • laurie.burger@tigeroak.com

Produced and printed by T IG E R OAK ME D IA 9877 Airport Rd NE, Blaine, MN 55449 Phone: 612.548.3180 Fax: 612.548.3181 Reproduction of any material from this issue expressly forbidden without permission of the publisher. Tiger Oak assumes no responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts, photography or artwork, and reserves the right to accept or reject any editorial or advertising material. © 2 0 2 1 T IG E R OAK ME D IA INC. AL L RIG HT S RE S E RV ED. Tiger Oak Media Inc. publishes the Meet Michigan guide in conjunction with the Michigan Association of Convention and Visitor Bureaus (MACVB) for the benefit of its members and the public. All information provided herein is subject to change without notice. The MACVB and Tiger Oak Media have made every effort to maintain the accuracy of information presented in the guide, but assume no responsibility for errors, changes or omissions.

P H OTO: S E A N PAVO N E

G R A N D R A P I DS


MEETINGS LARGE & SMALL HOSTED ON MICHIGAN’S CROWN JEWEL Mackinac Island is a freshwater island oasis, offering a unique meeting experience. With the clip-clop pace of a horse-driven island, your guests will be transported to a different state of mind as they are treated to attractions, amenities, and experiences found nowhere else. Time-tested events, both personal and professional, take on a new life in our magical and varied spaces. M E ET W H E R E YOU PL AY


MICHIGAN A S S OCI AT ION OF C V BS DIR EC T ORY CITY/COUNTY

CONVENTION AND VISITOR BUREAU

PHONE/TOLL FREE

WEBSITE

UPPER PENINSULA BARAGA COUNTY CVB 755 E. Broad Street • L’Anse, MI 49946

906.524.7444 800.743.4908

www.baragacounty.org

VISIT ESCANABA 1001 North Lincoln Road • Escanaba, MI 49829

800.533.4386

www.visitescanaba.com

KEWEENAW CVB 56638 Calumet Avenue • Calumet, MI 49913

906.337.4579 800.338.7982

www.keweenaw.info

MACKINAC ISLAND TOURISM BUREAU 7274 Main Street, PO Box 451 • Mackinac Island, MI 49757

906.847.3783

www.mackinacisland.org

Marquette

TRAVEL MARQUETTE 117 West Washington • Marquette, MI 49855

800.544.4321

www.travelmarquette.com

Munising

MUNISING VISITORS BUREAU PO Box 421 • Munising, MI 49862

906.387.1717

www.munising.org

SAULT STE. MARIE CVB 225 East Portage Avenue • Sault Ste. Marie, MI 49783

906.632.3366

www.saultstemarie.com

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

906.643.6950

www.stignace.com

UPPER PENINSULA TRAVEL & RECREATION ASSOCIATION PO Box 400 • Iron Mountain, MI 49801

906.774.5480

www.uptravel.com

Baraga County Escanaba Keweenaw Mackinac Island

Sault Ste. Marie St. Ignace Upper Peninsula

ALPENA AREA CVB 420 N. Second Avenue • Alpena, MI 49707

989.340.2288

www.visitalpena.com

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

231.796.7640

www.bigrapids.org

CADILLAC AREA VISITORS BUREAU 201 N. Mitchell St. Ste. 102 • Cadillac, MI 49601

231.775.0657

www.cadillacmichigan.com

Charlevoix

VISIT CHARLEVOIX 109 Mason Street • Charlevoix, MI 49720

800.367.8557 231.547.2101

www.visitcharlevoix.com

Cheboygan

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

800-968-3302

www.cheboygan.com

CLARE COUNTY CVB 429 N. McEwan Street, PO Box 226 • Clare, MI 48617

800.715.3550

www.clarecounty.net

Gaylord

GAYLORD TOURISM BUREAU INFORMATION CENTER 319 W. Main Street, PO Box 3069 • Gaylord, MI 49735

989.732.4000

www.gaylordmichigan.net

Grayling

GRAYLING VISITOR’S BUREAU PO Box 217 • Grayling, MI 49738

989.348.4945

www.grayling-mi.com

GREAT LAKES BAY REGIONAL CVB 515 N. Washington Avenue, 2nd Floor • Saginaw, MI 48607

800.444.9979

www.gogreat.com

HOUGHTON LAKE AREA VISITORS BUREAU 9091 W Lake City Road • Houghton Lake, MI 48629

800.676.5330

www.visithoughtonlake.com

Ludington

LUDINGTON AREA CVB 5300 W. U.S. 10 • Ludington, MI 49431

800.542.4600

www.pureludington.com

Manistee

MANISTEE COUNTY VISITORS BUREAU 310 First Street, PO Box 13 • Manistee, MI 49660

231.398.9355

www.visitmanisteecounty.com

Mount Pleasant

MOUNT PLEASANT AREA CVB 113 W. Broadway, Ste. 180 • Mount Pleasant, MI 48858

888.772.2007

www.meetmtp.com

Newaygo

NEWAYGO COUNTY CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU 1117 W Main Street • Fremont, MI 49412

231.924.3083

newaygocountyexploring.com

OSCODA AREA CVB PO Box 572 • Oscoda, MI 48750

989.739.0900

www.oscoda.com

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

800.845.2828

www.petoskeyarea.com

Traverse City

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

800.872.8377 231.947.1120

www.traversecity.com

West Branch

WEST BRANCH AREA CHAMBER OF COMMERCE/VISITORS BUREAU 422 W. Houghton Avenue • West Branch, MI 48661

800.755.9091 989.345.2821

www.visitwestbranch.com

Whitehall

WHITE LAKE AREA VISITORS BUREAU 124 E. Hanson Street • Whitehall, MI 49461

231.893.4585

www.whitelake.org

Ann Arbor

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

800.888.9487 734.995.7281

www.annarbor.org

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

800.397.2240

www.battlecreekvisitors.org

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

269.925.6301

www.swmichigan.org

Birch Run

BIRCH RUN CVB 7971 Main Street, PO Box 153 • Birch Run, MI 48415

989.624.9193

www.birch-run.com

Coldwater

COLDWATER COUNTRY CVB 20 Division Street, Ste. 2 • Coldwater, MI 49036

800.968.9333 517.278.0241

www.coldwatercountry.com

DETROIT METRO CVB 211 W. Fort Street, Ste. 1000 • Detroit, MI 48226

800.338.7648

www.visitdetroit.com

EXPLORE FLINT AND GENESEE 519 Saginaw Street, Ste. 200 • Flint, MI 48502

810.600.1404

exploreflintandgenesee.org

Frankenmuth

FRANKENMUTH AREA CVB 635 S. Main Street • Frankenmuth, MI 48734

989.652.6106

www.frankenmuth.org

Grand Haven

GRAND HAVEN AREA CVB 225 Franklin Avenue • Grand Haven, MI 49417

616.842.4499

www.visitgrandhaven.com

Big Rapids Cadillac

Clare

Bay City-MidlandSaginaw Houghton Lake

Oscoda Petoskey

SOUTHERN LOWER PENINSULA Battle Creek Benton Harbor/ St. Joseph

Detroit Metro Region Flint

*Bolded items indicate advertisers

8 MACVB

l

Meet in Michigan // visitmichigan.org

PHOTOS: MACKINAC ISLAND TOURISM BUREAU; SPINNING LENS; ISTOCK.COM/MAKAI CONNOR; ISTOCK.COM/IOWTHIAN

NORTHERN LOWER PENINSULA Alpena


MICHIGANMICHIGAN ASSOCIATIONAOF S SCVBS OCI ATMEMBER ION OFLOCATIONS C V BS ME MBER LOC AT IONS KEWEENAW PENNINSULA

BARAGA

UPTRA

MARQUETTE MUNISING

UPTRA

M A R Q UET T E M UNIS ING

SAULT STE. S A ULT S T E . MA RI E MARIE

ST. IGNACE IR O N IRON MOUNTAIN

MACKINAC ISLAND

M O UNT A IN (Upper Peninsula Travel & Recreation Association)

ESCANABA

MA CKI N A C I S LA N D CHEBOYGAN

S T . I GN A CE

ES CA NA BA

PETOSKEY

CHARLEVOIX

ALPENA

P E T O S KEGAYLORD Y CHA RLE V O I X A LP E N A

GA YLO RD

TRAVERSE CITY

GRAYLING

OSCODA HOUGHTON LAKE GRA YLI N G WEST BRANCH CADILLAC O S CO DA

T RA V E RS E CI T Y BENZ IE

MANISTEE

LUDINGTONCA DI LLA C

M A NIS T EE

WE S T B RA N CH

CLARE

BIGT ORAPIDS L UD ING N WHITEHALL

MT. PLEASANT

CLA RE

NEWAYGO

B I G RA P I DS

BIRCH MO UN T P LERUN ASANT

MUSKEGON WH IT EH A L L

N E WA YGO

GRAND HAVEN

GRAND RAPIDS

M US K EGO N

B I RCH RUN

GR A ND HOLLAND HA V E N

SAUGATUCK SOUTH HAVEN

GRA N D RA P I DS H OLLA N D

S A UGA T UCK

KALAMAZOO

LANSING O WO S S O

BAY CITY - MIDLAND - SAGINAW FRANKENMUTH

B A Y CI T Y- MI DLA N D- S A GI N A W

OWOSSO FRA N K E N MUT H FLINT FLI N T

P O RT BRIGHTON / HOWELL

BATTLECREEK LA N S I N G JACKSON

CITY/COUNTY Grand Rapids

K A L A M AZO O COLDWATER B A T T LE CRE E K BENT O N H A RB O R/S T . J O S E P H

CO LDWA T E R CONVENTION AND VISITOR BUREAU EXPERIENCE GRAND RAPIDS 171 Monroe Ave. NW, Ste 545 • Grand Rapids, MI 49503

HURO N

DETROIT B RI ANN GHT O N ARBOR /HO WE LL

S O UT H H A V EN

BENTON HARBOR ST. JOSEPH

PORT HURON

DE T RO I T

A N N A RB O RMONROE ADRIAN LENAWEE COUNTY

J A CKS O N

MO N RO E A DRI A N / PHONE/TOLL FREE LE N A WE E CO UN T Y 616.258.7388

Larisa Draves, CMP MACVB Executive Director 231.823.0015 www.experiencegr.com visitmichigan.org

WEBSITE

HOLLAND AREA VISITORS BUREAU 78 E. 8th Street • Holland, MI 49423

800.506.1299 616.394.0000

www.holland.org

LIVINGSTON COUNTY CVB 123 E. Washington Street • Howell, MI 48843

800.686.8474 517.548.1795

www.visitlivingstoncounty.com

517.764.4440

www.experiencejackson.com

800.888.0509 269.488.9000

www.discoverkalamazoo.com

GREATER LANSING CVB 500 E. Michigan Avenue, Ste. 180 • Lansing, MI 48912

888.252.6746

www.lansing.org

VISIT LENAWEE 126 S. Main Street • Adrian, MI 49221

800.536.2933 517.263.7747

www.visitlenawee.com

MONROE COUNTY CTB 333 N. Dixie Highway • Monroe, MI 48162

734.457.1030

www.monroeinfo.com

MUSKEGON COUNTY CVB 610 W. Western Avenue • Muskegon, MI 49440

800.250.9283

www.visitmuskegon.org

SHIAWASSEE COUNTY CVB 215 N. Water Street • Owosso, MI 48867

989.723.1199

www.shiawassee.org

BLUE WATER AREA CVB 500 Thomas Edison Parkway, Ste. 200 • Port Huron, MI 48060

810.987.8687

www.bluewater.org

Saugatuck/Douglas

SAUGATUCK/DOUGLAS AREA CVB 95 Blue Star Highway • Douglas, MI 49406

269.857.1701

www.saugatuck.com

South Haven

SOUTH HAVEN/VAN BUREN COUNTY CVB 546 Phoenix Ave. • South Haven, MI 49090

800.764.2836

www.southhaven.org

Holland Brighton/Howell

Jackson LARISA DRAVES, CMP, Exec DirectorEXPERIENCE JACKSON 134 W. Michigan Avenue • Jackson, MI 49201 231.823.0015 DISCOVER KALAMAZOO Kalamazoo 240 W. Michigan Avenue • Kalamazoo, MI 49007 visitmichigan.org Lansing Adrian/Lenawee County Monroe Muskegon Owosso Port Huron

*Bolded items indicate advertisers

visitmichigan.org // Meet in Michigan

l MACVB 9


G E R A L D R . F O R D I N T E R N AT I O N A L A I R P O R T, G R A N D R A P I DS

Explore Michigan’s wide array of customer-service-oriented, award-winning airports. By Kelly Skarritt-Williams

FOR THOSE PLANNING MEETINGS — and those attending them — air travel is often a given. And the airport is usually the first and last impression a visitor may have of the area. That’s why Michigan airports have worked hard to ensure flyers have unforgettable, positive experiences.

10 MACVB

l

Meet in Michigan // visitmichigan.org

DETROIT METROPOLITAN WAYNE COUNTY AIRPORT – ROMULUS As the largest airport in Michigan, the Detroit Metro (DTW) airport is recognized around the world. It opened in 1930 and today is a leading air transportation hub with service from 12 passenger airlines, offering about 800 flights per day. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, DTW welcomed more than 36 million

passengers in 2019 and offered approximately 1,100 flights daily. In 2020, DTW earned the Airport Service Quality Award for Best Airport by Size and Region in North America from Airports Council International (ACI). It also ranked highest in customer satisfaction, according to the J.D. Power 2019 North America Airport Satisfaction Study. “Detroit and the surrounding region are

P H OTO CO U RT ESY O F: A K A R I D O U M A P H OTO G R A P H Y

FRIENDLY AIRPORTS AND AIRWAYS


BRING YOUR NEXT MEETING TO WEST MICHIGAN’S NEWEST MEETING AND EVENT SPACE

F O R M O R E I N F O R M AT I O N INFO@VDMCC.COM 231.588.3500 IGAN

MICH


known for their art, food, music and cultural diversity,” says Chad Newton, Wayne County Airport Authority CEO. So the airport incorporates food, shops and other elements that evoke a sense of the region. As part of a partnership with the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Art in the Airport program features 24 framed reproductions, displayed in the North Terminal and ground transportation area.

Like DTW, the Gerald R. Ford International Airport (GRR) makes customer service and the guest experience a top priority. But what sets it apart is friendliness. Even its TSA agents are considered some of the nicest in the nation. This attention to comfort and customer service earned the airport the title of No. 1 airport in North America in 2016 by ACI. This dedication to making passengers feel at ease is perfectly expressed in its therapy dog program called GFIA: Gentle Fur in Action. The West Michigan Therapy Dogs program allows the animals to roam through the concourses with their trainers to help travelers feel more at ease. “The Gerald R. Ford International Airport has made extensive improvements that enhance the airport guest experience. These updates together with direct flights to over 35 markets further improve accessibility to Grand Rapids for meeting attendees and business and leisure travelers,” says Doug Small, president and CEO of Experience Grand Rapids and a member of the Gerald R. Ford International Airport Board.

BISHOP INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT – FLINT When you are short on time, but still want the service of a larger airport, Bishop International Airport (FNT) is the perfect solution. FNT offers nine non-stop routes through five airline carriers. Because of factors like lower overhead and fewer non-stop routes, ticket prices also tend to be lower than average. “If you don’t mind connecting and want a more relaxing experience, we’re a really, really cool

12 MACVB

l

Meet in Michigan // visitmichigan.org

B I S H O P I N T E R N AT I O N A L A I R P O R T, FL I N T

alternative,” says Pat Corfman, director of marketing, public relations and air service development of Bishop International Airport.

CAPITAL REGION INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT – LANSING Capital Region Airport (LAN) has made customer service a priority, and guests and passengers have noticed. It received the Airport Service Quality Award in 2020 from ACI. The award recipients are determined based on survey responses, recognizing airports around

the world that deliver the best customer experience in the opinion of their own passengers. Because of a strong aviation history in Lansing, LAN also has strong ties to the three flight schools that operate out of the nearby Mason Jewett Field. This flexibility also allows the airport to provide charter plane service for various-sized groups.

SAWYER INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT Sawyer International Airport (SAW/ MQT) is centrally located in Michigan’s

P H OTO S CO U RT ESY O F: V I TO PA L M I S A N O; B I S H O P A I R P O RT

GERALD R. FORD INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT – GRAND RAPIDS

D E T RO I T M E T RO P O L I TA N WAY N E CO U N T Y A I R P O R T, RO M U L US



MBS INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT – FREELAND MBS International Airport (MBS) in the Great Lakes Bay area between Midland and Saginaw is another smaller-sized airport that offers a relaxed and efficient flying experience. The airline terminal building, which opened in 2012 and offers two airline carrier options, was designed for convenience, comfort and environmental sustainability. It maintains a great sense of convenience as it has no stairs, elevators or escalators. “MBS also allows passengers easy airline check-in

C H E R RY C A P I TO L A I R P O R T, T R AV E RS E C I T Y

14 MACVB

l

Meet in Michigan // visitmichigan.org

and quick security processing, ensuring passengers will not be rushed getting to their flight,” says James Canders, Airport Director for MBS. Not far from Lansing is the Branch County Memorial Airport (OEB) in Coldwater, a public-use airport that’s also a great place for charter plane service. While there, grab a bite to eat at the Prop Blast Café, which sits right next to the runway, affording a great view of the planes that fly in and out throughout the day. Pilots will often fly in just for breakfast at the one-of-a-kind diner.

CHERRY CAPITAL AIRPORT – TRAVERSE CITY The Cherry Capital Airport (TVC) has a decided “northern Michigan” feel, complete with a “fireplace room.” The design is inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright. “Many of our spaces focus on the famed architect’s sensibilities,” says Susan Wilcox Olson, media and marketing consultant for TVC. The airport is uniquely positioned, serving the entirety of northern Michigan, including charming communities from Elk Rapids to Charlevoix; Petoskey, Mackinac Island and Gaylord, and Traverse City areas like Frankfort and the famed Crystal Lake corridor.

Get Connected DETROIT METRO AIRPORT metroairport.com | 734.247.7678 GERALD R. FORD INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT grr.org | 616.233.6000 BISHOP INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT bishopairport.org | 810.235.6560 CAPITAL REGION INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT flylansing.com | 517.321.6121 BRANCH COUNTY MEMORIAL AIRPORT 517.279.7050 MBS INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT mbsairport.org | 989.695.5555 CHERRY CAPITOL AIRPORT tvcairport.com | 231.590.5930 SAWYER INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT sawyerairport.com | 906.346.3308

P H OTO CO U RT ESY O F: T R AV ERS E C I T Y TO U R I S M

Upper Peninsula in Gwinn, near Marquette, and offers an array of airport service amenities with all the perks of an easy-to-navigate smaller airport. It provides access to three major hub airports with service to over 60 countries, including connections at Detroit Metro International Airport, Minneapolis St. Paul International via Delta Air Lines, and Chicago O’Hare International Airport via American Airlines (Envoy). The airport’s history is also part of its appeal. The K.I. Sawyer Air Force base, which closed in 1995, was an important Air Force installation during the Cold War, hosting B-52H bombers and KC-135 tankers of the Strategic Air Command, as well as a fighter interceptor squadron.


n I t e Me

FLINT & GENESEE Flint Institute of Arts

Hyatt Place Flint/Grand Blanc

Holiday Inn Flint - Grand Blanc Area

More Than 130,000 Sq. Ft. of Meeting/Event Space • Centrally Located • Unique Events & Festivals • Historic Attractions

The Capitol Theatre

The Durant

Kayaking in Davison Township

exploreflintandgenesee.org/meetings


R I V E R WA L K T R A I L I N G R A N D R A P I DS

MINDFUL MEETINGS IN MICHIGAN AFTER A TUMULTUOUS YEAR in the hospitality industry, priorities have shifted for many of our stakeholders. Meeting planners and attendees are making health and wellness paramount in 2021, and our Michigan venues, hotels and CVBs are here to support that quest. We are ready to meet your goals to have mindful meetings, including healthier

16 MACVB

l

Meet in Michigan // visitmichigan.org

options for meals and breaks, moving more during your travels, and creating a sustainable future for generations to come.

HEALTHY OPTIONS Meeting planners are becoming more cognizant of attendees’ needs to stay healthy while at conferences and meetings. Attendees want whole, locally sourced foods that nourish their bodies and brains. Whether it is a meal

or a break, more and more they crave fruit smoothies and avocado bars over donuts and Danishes. In Michigan, we pride ourselves on the plethora of food we can source locally. We have over 50,000 farms that produce more than 300 agricultural products, making Michigan one of the most agriculturally diverse states in the nation. Michigan is the nation’s No. 1 producer of tart cherries, asparagus and cucum-

P H OTO CO U RT ESY O F: B R I A N K EL LY

Meetings Michigan helps planners integrate wellness into meetings By Kim Corcoran, CMP, Executive Director, Meetings Michigan


We’re ready to host your next event!

Expert Planners

Walkable Downtown

Unique Venues

World-Class Attractions

krock@discoverkalamazoo.com

| DiscoverKalamazoo.com/meet


bers for pickling, and ranks near the top in producing winter squash, turnips, dry black beans and small red beans, just to name a few. With all these foods at our fingertips, it makes sourcing locally an easy decision. Jillian Manning with Traverse City Tourism explains, “Food is a big feature of the traveler’s experience here in Traverse City, since our past, present, and future is rooted in diverse agriculture. Meeting attendees have loved events with fresh, local treats, like our signature cherries.” At MotorCity Casino Hotel in Detroit, the focus is on preparing as much as possible inhouse from raw ingredients. Bulk production saves a great deal on packaging. “For example, to save labor costs, many large institutions will purchase diced celery, carrots and onions, but we process our own vegetables to save not only cost, but also packaging and waste,” says Michael Golden, executive chef. “This process rings true for many other food categories. We cut our own steaks instead of ordering individually packaged items. We use trimmings from poultry, beef, and fish to enhance

soups or pasta dishes. This makes for healthier options and increases quality. If the result is a happier customer, which means more repeat business and leaving the planet that much better off, well that’s a win, win, win in my book.”

GET MOVING In Michigan, we want to make wellness easy, comfortable and fun for all attendees. There are many ways to get moving during conferences, whether it is a morning option before sessions start, or something incorporated into the day. One easy way is to offer stand-up tables in meetings instead of only sit-down options. Adding a back row of high-top tables will do the trick and helps those who are used to working at a stand-up desk instead of the sitting version. Attendees appreciate the thought and effort. Walking meetings have also become very popular. Suzanne Sipe, sales director for the Petoskey Area CVB, notes, “We have a lot of properties that offer outdoor locations for breaks, and I think that is a major advantage for groups. We can lead a group down to the

waterfront for Petoskey stone hunting while doing a walking session. This allows [attendees] to do something unique while being outside in the fresh northern Michigan air. The change of scenery can really motivate and inspire some creative thinking.” Traverse City Tourism officials always encourage meeting planners and attendees to enjoy Michigan’s greatest asset — stunning natural settings. They encourage taking a hike at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, getting out on the water on a tall ship cruise, or doing sunrise yoga in a vineyard. Their philosophy is that it’s possible to achieve peace of mind, body, and spirit, even when attending a conference. Grand Traverse Resort and Spa also promotes healthy, active lifestyles. The resort has fitness trainers who can build a stretching and breathing element into meetings, add yoga or a personalized fitness program throughout your event.

SUSTAINABILITY Detroit’s very own TCF Center is now a Green Meetings Industry Council ASTM/APEX

S L E E P I N G B E A R D U N E S N AT I O N A L L A K E S H O R E

18 MACVB

l

Meet in Michigan // visitmichigan.org

P H OTO S CO U RT ESY O F: T R AV ERS E C I T Y TO U R I S M; C H EL S I E L E AT H ERS

C U I S I N E FRO M M OTO RC I T Y C A S I N O H OT E L


It’s time to reconnect, and what better place to do so than in Pure Michigan, where your adventure awaits you. While we stand 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. 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.


Get Connected MEETINGS MICHIGAN meetingsmichigan.com 800.210.1514

20 MACVB

l

Meet in Michigan // visitmichigan.org

Standard Certified facility. With TCF Center’s recent redesign, enough natural light comes through during daytime hours to minimize main hallway daytime lighting throughout the facility. The exhibit hall lighting uses 40 percent less electricity, and recycling bins have been placed in all high-traffic areas of the building. On the food side, My Green Michigan provides composting services and any unserved, prepared food is collected by Forgotten Harvest, a local company that delivers food to pantries, soup kitchens and shelters around southeast Michigan. If you find yourself in one of Detroit’s urban gardens, you may see honeybee hives. Many of these are maintained by Bees in the D, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to educate the public about honeybees, along with the conservation of honeybees. The group maintains 51 hives throughout Detroit, some of which can be found on rooftops and in vacant lots throughout the city. Bees in the D hosts classes and educational workshops at areas around Detroit. On the other side of the state, Grand Rapids has long been a model of sustainability. The city government plays a leading role in driv-

ing the region forward. With six of its buildings already EPA Energy-Star-certified, Grand Rapids is one of 12 U.S. cities currently participating in the Zero Cities Project, aimed at developing a policy roadmap toward a zero net carbon building sector by 2050. One of our Northern Michigan resorts, Crystal Mountain, is a leader in clean energy. It has been designed as a pedestrian- and bikefriendly village, reducing use of carbon-emitting transportation. It is also the first resort in Michigan to invest in wind energy credits, offsetting the carbon footprint of the Crystal Clipper high-speed quad chairlift to help supply the grid with more clean, renewable energy sources. Among many other initiatives, the resort uses LED lighting in accommodations and public spaces, including the resort’s 33,000-square-foot conference facility. Meetings Michigan, a cooperative marketing organization that bands together the CVBs and hotels from throughout the state, is proud to promote meetings and events in our beautiful state that believes in health, wellness and sustainability. The mission is to educate meeting planners about the variety of destinations and the plethora of activities available when having an event in Michigan.

P H OTO CO U RT ESY O F: TC F C EN T ER

TC F C E N T E R , D E T RO I T


THINKERS. MAKERS. DREAMERS. DOERS. UNITE. Ann Arbor is a vibrant university town powered by innovation. It has always attracted big thinkers across industries – leading to big ideas and bold solutions. And with extraordinary meeting spaces, an exciting culinary scene, a walkable downtown and knowledgeable staff to guide you every step of the way, Ann Arbor is the ideal destination for meetings and groups with big ideas.

Start planning at AnnArbor.org/meet


D E T RO I T R E N A I S SA N C E C E N T E R A N D P E O P L E M OV E R

NEW AND AWAITING YOU

P H OTO CO U RT ESY O F: V I TO PA L M I S A N O

Discover some of Michigan’s newest attractions and venues By Chris Williams

22 MACVB

l

Meet in Michigan // visitmichigan.org


Destination Alpena THINK OUTSIDE OF THE

MEETING ROOM

Alpena Area Convention & Visitors Bureau VisitAlpena.com/resources | 989-340-2288 | marybeth@visitalpena.com


VA N DY K M O R TGAG E CO N V E N T I O N C E N T E R , M US K E G O N

WHILE 2020 KEPT MANY TRAVELERS AT HOME, 2021 is seeing corporate meetings, weddings and other events ramping back up. As people begin to travel again, Michigan has a number of new hotels, venues and other attractions ready to welcome them. Here are just a few of the latest developments.

MEET AND RELAX In May 2021, the Edsel and Eleanor Ford House in Grosse Pointe Shores opened its first expansion in more than 90 years, a 40,000-square-foot visitor center featuring a restaurant, four event spaces and exhibition areas. “Our goal is to weave together the Ford family legacy with 21st century technology,” said Ford House president and CEO Mark Heppner. “This milestone expansion project was designed with the visitor experience top of mind. The brand-new, state-of-the-art visitor center is our commitment that Ford House will always be an inclusive community destination.” The Lake Shore Room and the St. Clair Room both open onto balconies and patios

24 MACVB

l

Meet in Michigan // visitmichigan.org

to offer breathtaking views of Ford Cove and Lake St. Clair. The Jensen and Kahn rooms are indoor spaces with access to a tented patio; the rooms can be rented separately or combined. Three conference rooms are available to meet a variety of needs for businesses. All are equipped with the latest audio/visual technology. In downtown Grand Rapids, the Amway Grand Plaza, Curio Collection by Hilton has added embellishments to its properties, taking its premier status to the next level. It has undergone a $40 million facelift, updating the glass exterior of its signature tower, which includes 659 luxury guest rooms. “Grand Rapids continues to upgrade its infrastructure to enhance the visitor experience and reinforce its status as a top three Midwest convention city,” said Janet Korn, senior vice president of

Experience Grand Rapids. The Amway and two other hotels (1,209 rooms total) connect to the city’s state-of-the-art convention center via a climate-controlled skywalk. Ten additional hotels (1,351 rooms) are located within easy walking distance, including Canopy by Hilton — part of the Studio Park project with 155 hotel rooms. It is located just south of the 12,000-plus seat multi-purpose Van Andel Arena, which celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2021. The Van Dyk Mortgage Convention Center and Delta by Marriott opened in April 2021 to offer a year-round destination for groups, businesses and travelers. The venue offers 37,700 square feet of event space, with capacity ranging from five to 2,750. These spaces offer gorgeous views of Lake Michigan, 13 breakout rooms, complimentary Wi-Fi and covered parking. “Muskegon has become a popular summer destination due to its proximity to major roadways, location on Muskegon Lake and Lake Michigan, and its growing downtown entertainment district with over 20 walkable res-


GRAND TRAVERSE RESORT AND SPA

GOLF SPA SHOP DINE MEET

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 of those things at your fingertips. You won’t believe it if you haven’t seen it. Get up and go at grandtraverseresort.com/meetings.

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


taurants and bars,” said Katie DeWeerd, director of sales. “VanDyk Mortgage Convention Center offers all brand-new, state-of-the-art, in-house audio and visual capabilities in our meeting spaces. We can cater to any event — no matter the need.” Attendees seeking lodging can stay at the newly renovated Delta Hotels by Marriott Muskegon Downtown, a 200-room hotel attached to the center that also features a restaurant and bar with outdoor patio. Across the street is the Shoreline Inn Hotel and Conference Center, a 140-room hotel that is adjacent to the Lakehouse Waterfront Grille, recently named one of Michigan’s top waterfront restaurants by MLive.com.

Hope College’s Haworth Inn and Conference Center in downtown Holland completed its $7.5 million renovation in May 2021 to debut the Haworth Hotel. “This transformational project includes all hotel and conference rooms, and it features an open and welcoming layout with a centralized lobby and various touchdown work and social spaces to connect and relax,” said Holli DeWaard, creative director at Holland Convention and Visitors Bureau.

STAY AND PLAY In addition to new event venues, hotels across Michigan also offer new options for those traveling for work or pleasure.

In Port Huron, the City Flats Hotel is located on the Black River. This boutique hotel offers several comfortable rooms, each with its own unique decor. The hotel occupies the former Michigan National Bank building, a historic piece of architecture in downtown Port Huron. Rooms on the third floor opened in 2021, and rooms on the fourth floor are expected to be available in 2022. The City Flats Hotel leverages its distinctive architecture to create a one-of-a-kind venue for gatherings. “We’re focused on a great guest experience,” said Riley Carter, the hotel’s assistant general manager. “We want it to be fun and casual; every room is just so unique here.” With room for up to 300 guests,

P H OTO: L EI G H A N N CO B B

H AWO R T H I N N, H O L L A N D

26 MACVB

l

Meet in Michigan // visitmichigan.org


PURE MICHIGAN YOUR NEXT MEETING HOME he pandemic required us to do things T differently – and because of that, we’ve become creative in the use of our incredible

outdoor spaces here in Michigan. While we stand 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. 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.

Three Reasons to Consider Michigan: •Affordable luxurious hotels and resorts, and new and renovated airports •Award-winning communities, beaches, forests, parks and the most public golf courses in the U.S. •100+ wineries and a top 10 craft beer state 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.

MeetingsMichigan.com 300 N. Washington Square • Lansing, MI 48913 734.646.0791 • kim@destinationmi.com

visitmichigan.org // Meet in Michigan

l MACVB 27


C I T Y FL AT S H OT E L , P O R T H U RO N

the ballroom maintains the building’s original marble and features to provide a gorgeous location for weddings, dinners and conferences. The hotel offers onsite catering with a number of different options, as well as stateof-the-art lighting and sound. Onsite are also several dining options, such as the Kitchen, a casual cafe offering coffee, specialty drinks and baked goods. The Bar offers indoor and outdoor seating, depending on the season, for patrons to enjoy beer, wine, liquor and small plates as they watch the Black River. The Fair Weather Grill offers a variety of lunch and dinner options to enjoy in a shaded outdoor area. The Floats is a floating barge complete with picnic tables where you can enjoy drinks. The Courtyard Marriott in Lansing Downtown is an ideal location for meetings, with 1,808 square feet of space and three

28 MACVB

l

Meet in Michigan // visitmichigan.org

customizable meeting rooms. Located in the heart of the city’s Stadium District, it’s near the Capitol and just a short walk from the Lansing Center, Jackson Field and numerous businesses. It’s also close to college campuses and hospitals, as well as popular local attractions like the Impression 5 Science Center. The clean and comfortable hotel offers 120 rooms and suites over its four floors, with a variety of amenities, including an onsite fitness center, complete with free weights, treadmill and a Peloton bike. The Courtyard Marriott is an ideal location for meetings, with 1,808 square feet of space and three customizable event rooms, including two breakout rooms. The hotel is also a popular destination for weddings, reunions, showers and social hours, with a unique menu, personalized meeting planners and more. Those making a trip “up north” can enjoy

the newly opened Fairfield Inn and Suites in Marquette. The first Marriott property in the Upper Peninsula, this lakeside hotel features 92 rooms, an indoor pool and complimentary hot breakfast each morning. The hotel is located in Marquette’s downtown area, nearby UP Health System, Northern Michigan University and local businesses. Within walking distance are also numerous unique opportunities to shop, play and eat, including Drifa, Michigan’s first craft brewing co-op. Meeting planners looking to capitalize on Michigan’s splendor to enchant their guests will find much to appreciate about this pristine area. “Lake Superior, which is right across the street, is a big draw, as is hiking and biking,” said Susan Estler, executive director for Travel Marquette. “That’s what brings people here.”


Get Connected BLUE WATER AREA CVB bluewater.org 800.852.4242

EXPERIENCE GRAND RAPIDS experiencegr.com 800.678.9859

TRAVEL MARQUETTE travelmarquette.com 800.544.4321

DETROIT METRO CONVENTION & VISITORS BUREAU visitdetroit.com 800.338.7648

HOLLAND AREA VISITORS BUREAU holland.org 800.506.1299

VISIT MUSKEGON visitmuskegon.org 800.250.9283

GREATER LANSING CVB lansing.org 517.487.6800

CO U R T YA R D M A R R I OT T L A N S I N G

visitmichigan.org // Meet in Michigan

l MACVB 29


ENLIGHTEN YOUR MIND AND SPIRIT From art museums to shipwrecks, Michigan CVBs have culturally appealing attractions. By Kelly Skarritt-Williams and Zachary Marano

G R E AT H A L L , D E T RO I T I N S T I T U T E O F A R T

30 MACVB

l

Meet in Michigan // visitmichigan.org

Detroit not only specializes in one-of-akind architecture with a variety of meeting spaces to choose from, it’s also a historical and artistic mecca. Built in 1888, the Detroit Institute of Arts is a historical landmark and one of the most renowned museums in the nation. Those looking to add an element of sophistication to their event might consider renting space at the DIA. You may choose between the Great Hall, Rivera Court, Romanesque Hall and Kresge Court, accommodating groups ranging from 40 to 1,000 guests. To get a greater feel for Detroit’s creative side, “DLECTRICITY” happens right outside the DIA’s doors every September. This celebratory festival of light and art showcases Detroit’s range of local, creative talent through illuminated art installations. For a touch of the theatrical and a superb place for holding your next meeting, The Mendel Center at Lake Michigan College in

P H OTO CO U RT ESY O F: D E T R O I T I N S T I T U T E O F A RT

WHETHER YOU ARE TRAVELING FOR BUSINESS OR PLEASURE, no visit to Michigan is complete without absorbing some of the local color. Our communities offer many culturally and historically significant attractions. Some of these venues can double as an event or convention space, providing inspiration to foster creativity for conference attendees. Others are great for planning an after-event excursion where attendees are invited to relax, explore and expand their knowledge and artistic repertoire.


Meet in Little Bavaria. Plan your next conference or work retreat in Frankenmuth and find out why so many companies keep coming back.

frankenmuth.org • 800-FUN-TOWN

visitmichigan.org // Meet in Michigan

l MACVB 31


T H E M E N D E L C E N T E R , B E N TO N H A R B O R

32 MACVB

l

Meet in Michigan // visitmichigan.org

H E N RY F O R D M US E U M , D E A R B O R N

is connected to Fischer Hall, a local landmark that can also be rented for private events. Located on the southern border of Michigan, Coldwater is a wonderful place for taking a trip into ages past. The Tibbits Opera House, built in 1882, is the second-oldest

operating theater in Michigan. The façade of the 500-seat theater has been restored to its original 19th century splendor, and it presents professional theatrical works and plays classic movies year-round. The Little River Railroad offers 1½-hour excursions on an authentic,

P H OTO CO U RT ESY O F: K AT I E C H U B B; H EN RY F O R D M U S EU M

Benton Harbor is ideal for multi-day conferences and events. Located near the shores of Lake Michigan in the southwest corner of the state, The Mendel Center is easily accessible via I-94 and is within 10 minutes of more than 20 hotels. Planners can utilize the 14,000-squarefoot Grand Upton Hall event room with flexible seating for up to 1,600 guests, the 1,559seat Mendel Center Mainstage, or the newly renovated 234-seat Hanson Theatre. Grand Upton Hall has been center stage for leaders, celebrities and dignitaries from around the world. Learn more at TheMendelCenter.com. German settlers came to Frankenmuth in 1845 and created a tiny Bavaria whose traditions and cuisine continue today. Frankenmuth is home to two of the world’s largest independently owned restaurants, Bavarian Inn Restaurant and Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth, each serving nearly a million all-you-can-eat family-style chicken dinners annually. For an immersive experience, check out the Frankenmuth Historical Museum. It


greatlakesbay

EXPLORE FLINT & GENESEE

The hardest part about finding the right location for your event or meeting in Flint & Genesee 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. Among them: • Flint Institute of Arts, Michigan’s second largest art museum • Crossroads Village and Huckleberry Railroad with historic buildings and shops, including Michigan’s oldest operating gristmill • Ferris Wheel, a modern coworking space with access to conference rooms • The Capitol Theatre, a fully restored historic venue listed on the National Register of Historic Places • Flint Farmers’ Market with meeting spaces, rooftop terrace and atrium for corporate and private events • Dort Financial Center, home of the Flint Firebirds (hockey) and Flint United (basketball)

Explore Flint & Genesee staff works with planners from many markets: sports, associations, corporate, military, fraternal, educational, faith-based, medical, government and more. Our experts provide 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. Contact the experienced team at Explore Flint & Genesee to help plan your next event. exploreflintandgenesee.org 519 S. Saginaw St., Suite 200 • Flint, MI 48502 (810) 600-1404 • info@flintandgenesee.org

visitmichigan.org // Meet in Michigan

l MACVB 33


T I B B I T S O P E R A H O US E

110-year-old steam engine train. The railroad offers charters, and groups can even rent out the entire train. Being centrally located near seven lighthouses, three Dark Sky preserve parks, multiple museums and art galleries, the Alpena area blends modern convenience with historic charm and relaxed adventure at the end of any meeting day. Kayak the serene waters of the Alpena Wildlife Sanctuary, then taste local wines or fresh microbrews in the downtown district. Hunt for 400 million-year-old-fossils, then watch the stars come out at Rockport State Recreation Area and Dark Sky Preserve. “While planning and strategy may happen inside the meeting rooms, blue sky time and big picture dreaming happen out on Alpena’s

trails and along her shorelines,” says Mary Beth Stutzman, president and CEO of the Alpena Area CVB. In addition to stunning natural scenery, Alpena boasts a robust maritime history. With a rich logging and fishing tradition, the Alpena port was once one of the busiest along the coastline, shipping fish to Detroit or lumber to Chicago. Today, those echoes of the past can be explored by studying the nearly 200 shipwrecks at rest on the bottom of Lake Huron in waters protected by NOAA Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary. In addition to the shipwrecks in Lake Huron, a few of which can be seen via diving or aboard the Lady Michigan glass-bottom boat, meetings can also be held inside the Great Lakes Maritime

P H OTO S CO U RT ESY O F: T I B B I TS O P ER A H O U S E; FR A N K EN M U T H H I S TO R I C A L M U S EU M

FR A N K E N M U T H H I S TO R I C A L M US E U M

34 MACVB

l

Meet in Michigan // visitmichigan.org


AS YOU PLAN YOUR NEXT EVENT, CONSIDER THE MENDEL CENTER IN SOUTHWEST MICHIGAN. • 14,400 sq. ft. of open floor space for trade shows & banquets • 1,559-seat & 234-seat performing arts theatres • Auxiliary meeting & breakout rooms • Event planners & professional technical staff • 10 minutes from Lake Michigan • Within 5 miles of more than 20 hotels

Learn more about hosting your next event with us. Call us at 269-927-8700 or visit TheMendelCenter.com The Mendel Center at Lake Michigan College, 2755 E. Napier Ave., Benton Harbor, MI

visitmichigan.org // Meet in Michigan

l MACVB 35


T H E G R A N D H OT E L , M AC K I N AC I S L A N D

JAC KS O N ’S H I S TO R I C P R I S O N

Heritage Center for a unique twist on standard workshops and meetings. In Jackson, meeting planners can go old-school at Forty Nine South, a historic primary school building that has been converted into a vintage yet trendy event space. Constructed in 1949, Forty Nine South caters to corporate event planners and can accommodate small business meetings, training sessions and off-site team gatherings. The main hall can hold up to 150 people and features hand-made tables. Jackson’s Historic Prison, Michigan’s first state prison, and the Michigan Theatre, both located downtown, offer amenities that appeal to groups large and small. The former prison, built in 1882, offers group tours for big and small groups, and can include lunch. The Michigan Theatre, opened in 1930, can accommodate up to 1,226 guests with various unique meeting spaces that will delight any group. “Jackson is the perfect destination for planning a unique and memorable event,” says Rachel Buchanan, marketing and development manager for Experience Jackson. “You’ll find a variety of options that meet any request, both indoor and out. And we’ll help you find it, too.” Mackinac Island is a one-of-a-kind, must-

36 MACVB

l

Meet in Michigan // visitmichigan.org

see destination whenever you are traveling in Michigan. In addition to its absence of cars and a quaint, 19-century vibe, the island is a historical mecca for many around the world. It was named the second U.S. national park in 1875, after Yellowstone National Park. Fort Mackinac served as an outpost for the British during the Revolutionary War, and was also where the first land engagement occurred during the War

of 1812. It housed three Confederate soldier prisoners during the Civil War. For meeting planners looking to bring their next event to the island, look no further than its other claim to fame: The Grand Hotel. This historic hotel offers more than 22,000 square feet of meeting space. There is usually no additional charge for the use of any meeting or function space, wireless internet, and in-house


visitmichigan.org // Meet in Michigan

l MACVB 37


audio-visual equipment when you book your event at The Grand Hotel. For something truly magical, take a trip down the Yellow Brick Road and explore the Holland Oz Project, which opened in 2019. Located directly across from the Herrick District Library in Centennial Park near downtown Holland, this project emerged after Holland hosted the International Oz Society in 2014. The project features life-sized bronze sculptures of the characters from L. Frank Baum’s “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” as well as a living mosaic composed of annual

G I L M O R E C A R M US E U M , K A L A M A ZO O

38 MACVB

l

Meet in Michigan // visitmichigan.org

plants growing on a steel 10-foot by 12-foot base, depicting the cover of the book. Not far from the Oz installation is Holland Civic Center in the west end of downtown. Built in the 1950s, the center recently unveiled a $16.8-million renovation. Today’s Holland Civic Center Place is a striking state-of-the-art 55,000 square foot multipurpose facility with the versatility to host a variety of functions and activities. Perfect for 10, 100 or 500-plus attendees, it offers five indoor meeting areas plus outdoor patios. The Gilmore Car Museum in Kalamazoo,

North America’s largest automobile museum, will appeal to any auto enthusiast. In addition to more than 400 vehicles on display, the museum hosts cruise-in nights all throughout the summer and fall, live concerts, food and drink festivals, and specially themed car shows on their expansive campus. Hosting an event at the car museum is also a breeze. The museum rents out various ballrooms that accommodate a range of guests, or you can choose to rent campus space outdoors. Whatever the interest, our members are ready to assist you in your search.


Get Connected ALPENA AREA CVB visitalpena.com 989.340.2288 COLDWATER COUNTRY CVB coldwatercountry.com 517.278.0241

HOLLAND CIVIC CENTER

DETROIT METRO CVB visitdetroit.com 800.338.7648 FRANKENMUTH CVB frankenmuth.org 800.fun.town HOLLAND AREA VISITORS BUREAU holland.org 800.506.1299 EXPERIENCE JACKSON experiencejackson.com 517.764.4440 DISCOVER KALAMAZOO discoverkalamazoo.com 269.488.9000 MACKINAC ISLAND TOURISM BUREAU mackinacisland.org 906.847.3783 SOUTHWESTERN MICHIGAN TOURIST COUNCIL swmichigan.org 269.925.6301

K A L A M A ZO O

visitmichigan.org // Meet in Michigan

l MACVB 39


HAVE A MEETING WITH MOTHER NATURE Make the Great Outdoors part of your next meeting or event By Kelly Skarritt-Williams and Zachary Marano

P H OTO S: B R I A N WA L ERS P H OTO G R A P H Y; ( O P P O S I T E) D OW GA R D EN S

S T. I V E S G O L F CO U RS E, M E COS TA CO U N T Y

40 MACVB

l

Meet in Michigan // visitmichigan.org


ALTHOUGH MULTI-DAY CONFERENCES or events can provide a change of pace and reinvigorate a team, the tedium of four walls with little sunlight all day can feel stifling. But even if your chosen space isn’t conducive to an outdoor atmosphere, an after-hours excursion or mid-conference field trip can do a lot to help attendees experience mental breakthrough. The Great Lakes State offers a wide selection of outdoor adventures that can accommodate large groups. Whether you want to hold a meeting in a natural setting or need to infuse some recreational fun, let our convention and visitors bureaus help you find the activity or space that can meet your attendees’ needs.

NATURAL SPACE TO EXPLORE For meeting planners looking to incorporate some leisure into their business trip and make it a “bleisure trip,” the Mount Pleasant Area CVB staff can help you select event space that meets your needs and budget, then help you find fun things to do when you’re done for the day. “Stretch your legs and mind and take a hike at Deerfield Park just west of Mount Pleasant,” says Chris Rowley, executive director of the Mount Pleasant Area CVB. “The park features a covered bridge and two swinging bridges and 600 acres to hike and explore. It also features two Class A disc golf courses. It was voted Pure Michigan’s most beautiful place in Isabella County. It’s a must-see while in the area.” The Kalamazoo Nature Center is considered one of the top nature centers in the nation. Open year-round, this nature preserve features indoor and outdoor activities and appeals to all ages. The nature preserve stretches 1,100 acres with 14 miles of trails offering pristine natural beauty, perfect for

W H I T I N G F O R E S T C A N O PY WA L K , G R E AT L A K E S B AY R E G I O N

hiking and cross-country skiing. Two stations — the Heronwood and Carver House — offer spaces for corporate events with space for up to 25, overlooking stunning woodland views. The Great Lakes Bay Regional CVB provides airy spaces and outdoor activities to free your mind and body. At 1,400 feet in length and fully accessible to people with disabilities, the Whiting Forest is the longest canopy walk in the country. This inviting region also has a variety of affordable and flexible hotels and meeting venues to accommodate groups or experiences. Great Lakes Bay CVB offers one-on-one guidance to help you plan a topnotch event. The area provides access to a

12,000-plus-seat multi-purpose arena as well as access to small-scale retreat spaces and conference centers with accommodations for up to 500. If you’re heading to the Flint area, kayaking and canoeing are great ways to explore that region’s rivers and lakes. The Flint River is accessible from a variety of locations in the middle of Genesee County, such as Flushing, Davison and Flint. In Flint, individuals and groups can rent kayaks and canoes from Kayak Flint located by Tenacity Brewing in the downtown area. There are more than 11,000 acres of parks and recreation space in Genesee County, from For-Mar Nature Preserve & Arboretum

visitmichigan.org // Meet in Michigan

l MACVB 41


P E TOS K E Y

in Burton to Holloway Reservoir Regional Park in Davison. “Flint and Genesee is a great place to connect with nature, people and history,” says Alaina Wiens, executive director of Explore Flint & Genesee. The downtown also boasts a range of meeting and hotel space, including the 101-room Hilton Garden Inn that opened recently inside the Savings Bank. Built in 1920, the building was Flint’s second skyscraper and offers 3,130-square-feet of space with six meeting rooms.

AFTER-HOURS ADVENTURE When seeking ways to incorporate nature into your event, Ann Arbor is always a great place to start. The University of Michigan Matthaei Botanical Gardens offers an array of biodiversity including tree groves, wildflower gardens and a stunning, 10,000-foot conservatory. The Huron River is a key feature in this area and courses around the walkable downtown area. It’s often best enjoyed from the seat of a canoe, kayak or paddleboat. For those seeking ways to help event attendees unwind after a long day’s hard work,

42 MACVB

l

Meet in Michigan // visitmichigan.org

there’s nothing like the fresh air in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula to help you clear your head. Marquette County boasts over 1,800 square miles of land and 80 miles of shoreline and is one of the most stunning places in the Upper Peninsula. “Marquette County is a community where nature’s assets are on full display through scenic vistas, rugged trails and rushing waterfalls,” says Susan Estler, executive director of Travel Marquette. “From fine food and brews to unique shops and stays — Marquette pairs a small-town feel with bigcity taste and endless adventure.” Groups can discover the mixed terrain surrounding the city on one of several trail networks. At the northwestern tip of the Mitten, the Petoskey Area communities rest along the scenic shores of Lake Michigan. There are many wonderful places to explore in the Petoskey Area including 14 wineries in Michigan’s newest American Viticultural Area (AVA), or designated wine-growing region. Add some after-hours vino to your next meeting when you book some of the 120,000-square-feet of meeting space that the Petoskey area offers.

The Blue Water Area encompasses communities that dot the shoreline of the St. Clair River and Lake Huron. Michigan’s “Thumbcoast” along its eastern shores is a great place to get outside and indulge in visiting natural and historic sights. The Fort Gratiot Light Station is the oldest working lighthouse in Michigan and provides a scenic view of Lake Huron. The grounds surrounding the lighthouse are open to the public and can accommodate groups of 200 to 300 people. There are many outdoor activities in Mecosta County that attendees can enjoy, including boating, kayaking and horseback riding. Mecosta County is also home to five golf courses, some rated by the PGM and PGA. Additionally, the Mecosta County CVB has contributed $100,000 to the development of a new mountain bike and hiking trail called the Dragon Trail. Upon completion, the Dragon will be the largest looped trail in North America. “We see the Dragon Trail project as a key investment that will bring even more Pure Michigan magic to Mecosta County,”

P H OTO S: A A R O N P E T ERS O N; I S TO C K .CO M /EH R L I F

M A RQ U E T T E CO U N T Y


Mt. Pleasant, Michigan

Meeting Made Easy. 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 and Visitors Bureau (MPACVB) 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. Plan your meeting or event at www.meetmtp.com.

MPACVB | info@meetmtp.com | (888) 772-2018

More

BRING IN ATTENDEES

IN & AROUND ST. JOSEPH

As you make plans to meet face-to-face, choose somewhere your guests want to come. 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 so much more. The excitement starts at swmichigan.org/meetings with great hotel rates and itineraries. It’s that easy.

SWMICHIGAN.ORG visitmichigan.org // Meet in Michigan

l MACVB 43


says Connie Koepke, executive director of the Mecosta County Visitors Bureau. The Grand Traverse Resort and Spa in Traverse City can help your attendees relax following a packed day. After some spa time, your attendees will feel renewed with creativity and productivity maximized. “Having a full-service spa at your convenience during a conference or convention is so rewarding,” says Dawn Olsen, director of spa and recreation operations at Grand Traverse Resort and Spa. “Taking the time to relax, rejuvenate and calm your mind and body does wonders for work productivity. Being able to offer Spa Grand Traverse as an amenity to corporate guests gives them a great work-life balance while they are here.” There are three championship golf courses located at the resort and spa, offering corporate golf team building activities available to enhance your event. Other options for groups include use of the five indoor and four outdoor tennis courts, two indoor pools, three hot tubs, a weight room and a yoga studio. Classes can be customized for groups by contacting the Health Club.

F O R T G R AT I OT L I G H T S TAT I O N, B L U E WAT E R A R E A

DESTINATION ANN ARBOR AnnArbor.org 734.995.7281

DISCOVER KALAMAZOO discoverkalamazoo.com 269.488.9000

MOUNT PLEASANT AREA CVB meetmtp.com 800.772.4433

BLUE WATER AREA CVB bluewater.org 800.852.4242

PETOSKEY AREA VISITORS BUREAU petoskeyarea.com 800.845.2828

TRAVERSE CITY TOURISM traversecity.com 800.940.1120

EXPLORE FLINT & GENESEE ExploreFlintandGenesee.org 810.600.1404

TRAVEL MARQUETTE www.travelmarquette.com 800.544.4321

GREAT LAKES BAY REGIONAL CVB visitgreatlakesbay.org 800.444.9979

MECOSTA COUNTY VISITORS BUREAU bigrapids.org 888.229.4386

44 MACVB

l

Meet in Michigan // visitmichigan.org

P H OTO S: G R A N D T R AV ERS E R ES O RT & S PA

Get Connected


G R A N D T R AV E RS E R E S O R T & S PA

visitmichigan.org // Meet in Michigan

l MACVB 45


S TAT E C A P I TO L , L A N S I N G

GIVING BACK

How members support their communities and the environment and help visitors do the same By Kelly Skarritt-Williams

CONVENTION AND VISITOR BUREAUS (CVBs) are key participants in the communities they serve. They know the ins and outs of the community and where they can best provide service or have an impact. For that reason, they are uniquely situated to help event planners find ways to give back, or make eco-conscious decisions. For meeting planners looking to bring in some environmental considerations or plan a hands-on group activity, the CVB contact can connect you with the right people and organizations to accommodate your group and meet expectations and education goals. Ann Arbor is a natural fit for an eco-friendly event. Many Ann Arbor restaurants focus on locally sourced food, plant-based cuisine and beverages, as well as sustainable

46 MACVB

l

Meet in Michigan // visitmichigan.org

approaches to packaging. Learn about exotic animals while supporting a conservancy at the Creature Conservancy, which works hard to educate visitors about the perils of

exotic pet ownership. Visitors to Ann Arbor can be environmentally conscious when choosing options for lodging, too. Many area hotels are green leaders, committed to sustainability. You will find accommodations with electric car charging stations, low-flow plumbing, energy-efficient lighting, and robust recycling programs. The Destination Ann Arbor staff is ready to help you plan your next event with sustainable options in mind. Volunteerism is often what makes a community go ’round, and the Sault Ste. Marie CVB strives to model what it preaches. “We have worked hand in hand with the Downtown Development Authority to support their Michigan Main Street Project initiative to help improve the area through renovation, beautification and a renewed spirit of volunteerism among the community,” says Linda Hoath, executive director of the Sault Ste. Marie CVB. Sault Ste. Marie CVB donates time and effort to raise money every year to support good causes in the area. “The Sault Ste. Marie CVB has assisted our youth through donations to sports teams, our veterans through a fishing club, our Chippewa County Historical Society, renovations to a historic ice rink and

P H OTO S CO U RT ESY O F: D ES T I N AT I O N A N N A R B O R; T H O M A S G EN N A R A

B O R D E R TO B O R D E R T R A I L , A N N A R B O R


in digital format!

LIVE HYPERLINKS to restaurants, hotels, activities and more! ZOOM images and text for easy reading.

M I C H I GA MEET IN

2021/2022 Michi gan Association of Convention

visitmichigan.org

and Visitor Burea us

N

Meeting Planners Guide


so much more. On top of helping groups of people, we have always been committed to helping a healthier, more active community by donating to trail systems and water trail systems too,” Hoath says. For some CVBs, being environmentally responsible is one way they give back to their communities. “We are committed to helping our region protect and conserve our tourism assets,” said Mary Beth Stutzman, President and CEO of the Alpena Area CVB. “We advocate for responsible development, especially along the shorelines of Lake Huron. We also recently donated $5,000 to Alpena to help repair erosion and damage caused by high wind and wave action along our shoreline.” Marquette County also is committed to preserving the natural environment, ensuring that its lovely current views remain pristine for tomorrow’s generations, and encourages visitors to do the same. “Marquette County

asks visitors to pledge that they will respect the trails and lakes and observe the ‘leave no trace’ principles,” said Susan Estler, executive director of Travel Marquette. The Greater Lansing Convention & Visitors Bureau Services team can share multiple resources with event planners looking to give back while they are in town. “From raking leaves at the zoo to packing items at the food bank, the GLCVB can make those connections,” says Tracy Padot, vice president of marketing communications for the Greater Lansing Convention and Visitors Bureau. As the first CVB in Michigan to implement a certified tourism ambassador program in 2010, the organization has more than 500 frontline hospitality staff trained to help accommodate any request a group may have. The GLCVB team strives to provide a positive visitor experience leading to happy attendees which creates content planners and, ultimately, repeat bookings.

Get Connected ALPENA AREA CVB visitalpena.com 989.340.2288 DESTINATION ANN ARBOR AnnArbor.org 734.995.7281 GREATER LANSING CVB lansing.org 517.487.6800 SAULT STE. MARIE CVB saultstemarie.com 800.647.2858 TRAVEL MARQUETTE travelmarquette.com 800.544.4321

P H OTO CO U RT ESY O F: S AU LT S T E. M A R I E C V B

FI S H I N G TO U R N A M E N T I N SAU LT S T E . M A R I E

48 MACVB

l

Meet in Michigan // visitmichigan.org


PHOTO COURTESY NDUBISI OKOYE

DETROIT IS A BLACK WOMAN | MURAL BY NDUBISI OKOYE

DETROIT IS MORE THAN A DESTINATION. IT’S A CONVERSATION. We have a simple but powerful pledge for meeting attendees who come to Detroit: When you hold your event in our city, you’ll leave a better person — and you’ll leave Detroit a better place. That’s because convention tourism in Detroit is a win for everyone. Attendees can revel in our world-class facilities, amazing hotels and exciting restaurants. They also connect with our greatest resource: the people who live here and make our communities so dynamic. We’re proud to be the largest Black-majority city in the U.S., home to 50,000 Black-owned businesses and a one-ofa-kind culture of music, art and history. In turn, our local citizens and enterprises — small, large and in-between — prosper when visitors come.

Top Left to Bottom Right: Rochelle Riley (Arts and Culture Director, City of Detroit); Tony Whlgn (Whlgn House); Charlie G (Content Creator & Influencer); Kwaku Osei-Bonsu (EastEats).

Learn more about our commitment to helping Detroit thrive.

NOW MORE THAN EVER, IT’S GO TIME.


DREAM GRAND GO Top 3 Midwest Convention Destination MeetingSource.com, 2020