• Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • Digg
  • Pinterest
  • Print Friendly
  • reddit
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Tumblr


What’s Up North…
News and Information from Traverse City, Michigan 
July-September 2014

A free news tip service from Traverse City Tourism
1-800-TRAVERSE or www.TraverseCity.com
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • Digg
  • Pinterest
  • Print Friendly
  • reddit
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Tumblr

Traverse City Tourism Named “Best CVB in Michigan”
Michigan Meetings + Events Magazine has named Traverse City Tourism the best CVB in the state of Michigan. Each year the magazine’s readership of more than 20,000 convention and meetings industry professionals vote on their favorites in 21 different categories.“Excellent service is the key to any organization’s success,” wrote editor Alexa Stanard. “Just ask Traverse City Tourism. The city’s status as a top destination is, in no small part, thanks to the bureau’s efforts, which our readers recognized by naming it Best Convention and Visitors Bureau.”Also named best in their categories were seven other Traverse City entities: the Grand Traverse Resort & Spa(Best Hotel with Meeting Space/Over 200 Rooms), ECCO (Best Meeting Event Outside Detroit without a Hotel), Short’s Brewing Company(Best Craft Brewery/Brewpub), Chateau Chantal Winery(Best Winery), Grandview Catering (Best Caterer), Shanty Creek Resorts(Best Golf Resort and Best Service), and Celtic Transport Logistics(Best Transportation).

In addition, two Traverse City meetings professionals were named to the magazine’s Hall of Fame for their exemplary performance. Margaret Morse of the Park Place Hotel received the magazine’s lifetime achievement award, and Allison Beers of Events North was named Best Special Events Planner.

Other Awards and Recognitions
The Americinn Traverse City was awarded a 2014 TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence for its consistently high-scoring visitor reviews. It is currently listed as #2 out of 28 hotels in Traverse City. ”We’d like to thank all of our past guests who took the time to complete a review on TripAdvisor,” said general manager Nick Trahair. “There is no greater seal of approval than being recognized by one’s customers.”

Chateau Chantal took away seven gold medals at the 2014 Tasters Guild International Wine Competition – the most of any Northern Michigan winery – for its 2012 Reserve Pinot Gris, 2012 Reserve Chardonnay, 2012 Pinot Blanc, Tonight Sparkling Wine, Celebrate Sparkling Wine, Nice Red, Cerise Cherry Port.

Anti-Aging Treatments Available at Grand Traverse Resort and Spa 
Spa Grand Traverse at the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa has begun a partnership with Traverse City’s Center for Skin Care to provide safe, noninvasive beauty treatments utilizing Injectable Filler and BroadBand Light technology. Spa Grand Traverse is the first resort spa in Northern Michigan to offer these types of services.

TC Visitor Center Installs Cycle Repair Station
Cyclists passing through Traverse City’s West Bay waterfront won’t have to look far to make quick adjustments or repairs to their bikes, now that the Traverse City Visitor Center has installed a new “Fixit” bike repair station beside its main entrance. The unit includes all the tools necessary to perform basic repairs and maintenance, from changing a flat to adjusting brakes and derailleurs.  Tools and air pump are securely attached to the stand with stainless steel cables and tamper-proof fasteners, and hanging the bike from the hanger arm allows the pedals and wheels to spin freely while making adjustments.

Leelanau, Sleeping Bear Heritage Trails Extended   
A new five-mile section of paved nonmotorized trail has been installed in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, doubling the Sleeping Bear Heritage Trail (which opened in 2012 with a four-mile stretch from the Dune Climb area to the village of Glen Arbor). The trail, open to hikers, cyclists, skaters and wheelchair users, will eventually run for 27 miles. Meanwhile, the Leelanau Trail, which runs from Traverse City to Suttons Bay, has been extended about a mile to Dumas Road, at the northern limits of Suttons Bay.

Food Trucks Continue to Proliferate
Just one year since Traverse City officials eased regulations on food trucks operating in the city, the mobile restaurants have rapidly grown from a single truck to at least 15 vendors – and several more on the way. The Little Fleet, a Front Street bar that hosted several food trucks last summer, has expanded its lot to accommodate eight full-time trucks this year, including newcomer Antonio Simão’s Portuguese-influenced A’s, Porterhouse Production’s family-friendly truck Curbie, and “brunch anytime” eateryToasted. 

Elsewhere in the city, chef Spencer Boyles is launching a Latin-themed Sombrero Verdetruck, while Goodwill Industries of Northern Michigan is opening  Mi Fresh Start and  Desmond Berry – an environmental director with the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians – is opening the Berry Family Enterprises food truck near Suttons Bay, with fresh local whitefish and such unique items as deep-fried pickles.

More Restaurants Opening
Paul and Amanda Danielson, owners of Trattoria Stella, have opened a new two-story restaurant, The Franklin, at the southwest corner of Front & Cass streets in downtown Traverse City. The new restaurant features a beautiful, 120 year old back bar rescued from a barn in  Leelanau county, a 100-seat second-floor outdoor patio  overlooking the street and a 40-seat second-floor indoor dining area.

Shanty Creek Resorts has opened The River Bistro,  a new restaurant at The Lodge of Cedar River.  Overlooking the 18th green of the Cedar River gold course, it features pool tables and other classic pub games, 45 regional and international beers, fresh squeezed fruit cocktails, and more.

Traverse City gets its first pressed juicery with the opening of The Raw Juice Companyin the former Loading Dock building. Meanwhile, food truck owner Simon Joseph has  opened Harvest in the alley between Front & State streets, serving lunch and dinner, and  Edany BLT (breakfast, lunch and takout) is opening on West Front.

A Flurry of New Leelanau Peninsula Restaurants, too!
New eateries and drinkeries this season on the Leelanau Peninsula include theThunderbird Café in Lake Leelanau, offering soups, salads, wraps, sandwiches and desserts, Tucker’s of Northportserving lunch and dinner, with boutique bowling and an arcade. The Streetside Grille is opening in the former Stony Point Pub in downtown Suttons Bay, which will gets its first craft brewery this summer, when Steve and Matt Lutke open the Hop Lot Brewing Company, featuring  10-14 of their own ales and a traditional German style beer garden with an ‘Up North’ twist.  Suttons Bay also gets its first food truckBerry Family Enterprises, specializing  in sandwiches and tacos made with freshly caught whitefish and is open seven days a week.

231 Outfitters, billed as “the biggest surf shop on the Great Lakes,” has opened in the former Bay West Antiques building on Grandview Parkway. An extension of The River at nearby Clinch Park, the shop specializes in stand-up paddleboards, kayaks and bikes (rentals, resale and repairs) along with such beach items as bathing suits, flipflops and sunglasses.

Grand Traverse Distillery has opened a tasting room at 215 E. Front in downtown Traverse City.  Later in the summer, Latin-Asian fusion taqueria Georgina’s is moving out of its cramped quarters on East Front to the former location of Phil’s On Front.

The Northport Creek Golf Course, scheduled to open July , is being billed as the first solar powered golf course in the country. Designed by award-winning golf architect Jerry Matthews, this nine-hole course has solar-powered golf carts and a solar irrigation system.

McLain Cycle & Fitness now offers visitors the ability to reserve bicycle rentals online through a program called Rent a Bike Now, which allows users to click on any state, check out rental bicycle inventory and reserve a bike online before ever leaving home on vacation. “It’s convenient for the customer and quicker for our staff to get our customers on their way to a great bike ride,” said Kris McLain. “I’m amazed when I see where people are coming from.  Just this week I saw reservations from Florida, Illinois, Arizona, California, Montreal and Michigan.”

Expansions and Improvements
Forty-seven guestrooms at the Traverse City AmericInn were completely remodeled, and the hotel has expanded their breakfast offerings. The local Howard Johnson’s andKnights Inn have also undergone extensive renovations, and two other nearby lodging facilities, the Fairfield Inn and Baymont Inn, have renovated their lobby and public spaces.  A floor-to-ceiling renovation of the lobby space at Traverse City’s Park Place Hotel has also been completed.

The Cherry Tree Inn and Suites has just completed renovation of its second building luxury suites and studios,  including new bathroom layouts with double sinks and quartz countertops, tile showers with quartz accents, rain glass accents and  TV mirrors, as well as expanded kitchenettes with two-burner cooktops, stainless steel refrigerators, quartz countertops, and place settings for four, plus new carpet and furniture.

The former State Street Grille, now renamed The Yard, has undergone an estimated $60,000 renovation that includes new flooring, lighting and tabletops, remodeled bathrooms, installation of $10,000 in LED, high-definition TVs and a makeover of its outdoor patio, which will soon feature a live music stage and new paint, signage and design.  Kilkenny’s Irish Public House  on West Front Street has also overhauled its look and menu. Its dark wood paneling has been replaced with lime-green, lit-bottle walls, the back bar has been replaced, six new TVs added, and a new craft cocktail menu introduced (Blue Tractor Food Shop on Union Street, has invested in similar interior upgrades.)

West Bay Beach Resort, the former Holiday Inn West Bay, is introducing two all-new food and beverage venues. View at West Bay Beach Resort — an “upscale entertainment lounge” — replaces the former Shimmers nightclub, while Day Club at West Bay Beach Resort is an indoor-outdoor club and coffee bar occupying the space previously held by Wingers Sports Bar.

New Faces, Promotions

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • Digg
  • Pinterest
  • Print Friendly
  • reddit
  • LinkedIn
  • StumbleUpon
  • Tumblr
AmericInn Traverse City has hired Stacey Boyer as Executive Housekeeper. She will lead the housekeeping and maintenance departments of the hotel and serve on its management team. Boyer is a Northern Michigan native. Former Grand Traverse Resort and SpaExecutive Meeting Manager Duke Rosendahl has been promoted to National Sales Manager. At Shanty Creek Resorts, several key staff members have been [promoted. Andrew Reh is now Vice President – Resort Services, Lindsey Southwell is Director of Marketing,  Andy Hoopfer is Executive Chef at Summit Village, and Michel Newton is Executive Chef at  Cedar River and Schuss Villages.

Elmbrook Golf Course is 50 years old this year. Founded in 1964 by five area business leaders, it was carved through 150 acres atop one the region’s highest elevations, With wide views of Grand Traverse Bay, it’s a challenging,18 hole par 72 course that is enjoyed by golfers of all abilities. Open to the public, Elmbrook remains a popular golf destination with both visitors and locals.

The Dennos Museum Center is lauding its two summer exhibitions: the first solo museum exhibition in the US by Korean sculptor Seungmo Park, featuring his meticulously cut MAYA imagery and aluminum wire wrapped sculptural forms,  and “How to Return,” an exhibition of Contemporary Chinese Photography showcases the creative minds working in photography today in China. Organized by the Dennos in conjunction with M97 Gallery in Shanghai.

Blue Angels Return to the National Cherry Festival
The National Cherry Festival will kick off its 88th annual celebration (July 5-12)  with a highly anticipated, Independence Day weekend return of the U.S. Navy Blue Angels  air show on Saturday, July 5 and Sunday, July 6 over West Grand Traverse Bay.  The Blue Angels flight team demonstrates the choreographed refinements of Navy-trained flying skills while exhibiting graceful, aerobatic maneuvers like the four-plane diamond, opposing solos, and the six plane delta formation.

The Cherry Festival is Traverse City’s signature event, drawing as many as 500,000 attendees from around the country. (It’s been listed among USA Today’s Top Ten Festivals for several years running.)  Everything is located conveniently within walking distance, and since most of the events are free, it offers more than a week of affordable family fun. Best of all, it’s located on the city’s beautiful waterfront, surrounded by lovely wide beaches and just a block from the downtown shopping district.

Traverse Symphony Orchestra to Perform  Outdoor Concert at GT Commons 
The Traverse Symphony Orchestra is holding a first-ever outdoor concert called TSO@theCommons on July 19 at the Grand Traverse Commons. It will feature TSO’s largest orchestra of the season —  72 musicians — performing in a picnic setting on the Historic Front Lawn, overseen by maestro Kevin Rhodes. Tickets for the event go on saleApril 7 and are $35 for the general admission area (where patrons can bring blankets or low-back chairs) or $95 for VIP tickets, which include access to a covered dining area, cocktail tables, backstage viewing, and more.

Former Presidential Chef Stars in  2014 Taste of Traverse City Festival
Former White House chef Walter Scheib will preside over a special “White House Dinner” at the second annual Taste of Traverse City Festival, Aug. 29- 31. The three-day Labor Day weekend event will begin Friday evening from 6 to 9 p.m. with the Downtown Grub Crawl — a “sip, sample & shop” tour celebrating the bustling epicurean and shopping destinations of downtown Traverse City  — continuing Saturday at the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa, where participants can observe, learn and partake of culinary samplings, chef demonstrations, seminars, wine, beer and spirit tastings, shopping, and entertainments.

Saturday evening’s main event is the White House Dinner, also held at Grand Traverse Resort & Spa. The festival concludes Sunday with The Best of the Brunch, a “Brunch Throwdown” competition from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Hagerty Center on West Grand Traverse Bay. Teams of chefs, farmers, and beverage companies will compete together to prepare a perfectly paired and presented brunch station.

Other Coming Events:
July 2-27 — Horse Shows by the Bay
A prestigious annual, multi-week summer event staged at Flintfields Horse Park in beautiful Traverse City, Michigan. Horse Shows by the Bay features thousands of the nation’s best horses and riders competing in the International Olympic disciplines of show jumping and dressage.

July 3-6 — Cedar Polka Fest
This Polish-American Leelanau Peninsula community kicks up its heels at a four-day party with hearty food, drink and continuous polka music and dancing.

July 7-8 – Detroit Red Wings Development Camp
Get an up close and personal look at the Detroit Red Wings during their annual Development Camp at Centre ICE Arena, including some of the club’s top prospects and draft picks.

July 29-Aug. 3 Traverse City Film Festival
Come and celebrate the love of movies and the art of film making. It’s an exciting time when Hollywood comes to Traverse City!

Aug. 2-9 Northwestern Michigan Fair
Exhibits, barn dance, 4-H live stock shows, carnival, Grand Stand shows, tough truck competition, great food. Midway open 10am-11pm.

Aug 3 Glacial Hills of Bellaire Cycle Race
The first mountain bike race at Bellaire’s Glacial Hills Pathways, sponsored by Shanty Creek Resorts and Short’s Brewing.

Aug. 14-17 — 45th Annual Buckley Old Engine Show
This event has over 700 antique gas and steam tractors, cars and trucks — and a working 1923 steam locomotive that carries passengers around a mile of track.

Aug.  16 — Peshawbestown Traditional Pow Wow
The Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians holds its annual Pow Wow featuring native singers, dancers, artists and artisans.

Aug. 22-23 — 6th Annual Traverse City Summer Microbrew & Music Festival
6th Annual Summer Microbrew & Music Festival at The Village at Grand Traverse Commons. Live music, great local food, and craft beer education will take place throughout the festival as well.

Sept 19-21 — Schooner Festival
Schooner Fest 2014 is scheduled for September 19-21 and will include a parade of tall ships on Friday, Sept 19 and two days of deck tours, cruises aboard the sailing vessels, and related activities.

Mike Norton, Media Relations Manager
Traverse City Tourism
P: (231) 995-3909
F: (231) 947-2621




Maralyn D. Hill, M.Ed.,  The Epicurean Explorer

Executive Editor, LuxeBeatMag.com

June Digital Edition now online at http://luxebeatmag.com/magazine/june-2014/

Freelance Lifestyle Journalist

International Food Wine & Travel Writers Association (IFWTWA)

Board Member, Co-Chair Conference & Media Trip Committee, Past President

Member: Society of American Travel Writers (SATW)

Member: Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ)

Blogs: Where and What in the World & Success with Writing


Follow me: @maralynhill


FB: http://www.facebook.com/The.Epicurean.Explorer,,  http://www.facebook.com/WhereandWhat.intheWorldhttp://www.facebook.com/Success.With.Writing

Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/maralynhill

We welcome press releases on the food, wine, travel, and items related to the hospitality industry. We receive emails with more than we can post to our service. If you would like to post a press release, please click the the submission tab to get the form to upload your release. You can also upload three photos. It will go in pending and be scheduled, unless it is unappropriate. This will enable more of you to have your releases up in a timely manner.