Wednesday, September 6, 2017

City approves Phase 1 of Veterans Park Pavilion Project

The Boyne City City Commission approved Phase 1 of the Veterans Park Pavilion Project at their meeting on August 29th. Phase 1 will include expansion of the footprint of the pavilion as well as removal of the fireplace and patching of the roof. The overall facade of the pavilion will be updated to tie in to the look of the new city facilities building.

In a memo to the City Commission, City Manager Michael Cain stated, "Working with Ray Kendra of Environmental Architects, the committee explored various options off the original designs to reduce costs and break it into phases while ultimately meeting the project's original objectives."

The project was awarded to local contracting company Kroondyk Construction, for a cost of $244,405.71. Work will begin right after Labor Day, and will be completed by May 1, 2018. Bob Kroondyk of Kroondyk Construction has stated he anticipates having the work completed faster than what was specified. The pavilion will not be open to the public during construction.

The ad-hoc pavilion committee, made up of several community members, will seek additional funds though grant opportunities and fundraising efforts to make future phases of the pavilion project a reality.

"The committee couldn't be more thrilled to have the community's vision of the Pavilion Project move forward," stated Becky Harris, committee member and Farmers Market manager.

Future phases would allow for modifications to the restrooms, a commercial kitchen and elimination of some, or all, of the support posts, to create a wide-open community event space.

For more information about the pavilion project, or to donate towards Phase 2, contact Kelsie King-Duff at

Bob Mathers Ford plans 100-year anniversary party Sept. 22

The auto dealership that ultimately became Bob Mathers Ford was originally started on September 22,1917. And they will be celebrating that 100-year anniversary from 12 noon to 6 p.m. on Sept. 22, 2017. It has been Bob Mathers Ford since 1973, and here’s the history of how that came about.

A century ago, the dealership was called Northern Auto Company. Bob Mathers worked there during his high school years in the late 1940's. Later, while living and working in Flint, he met Shirley Cunningham, and they were married in her hometown of Charlevoix on December 19, 1953. Bob and Shirley started their family in Flint where Cheri, Trish and Wendy were born. In 1962, they returned to Boyne, where Bob Jr. was born. They opened Mathers Sinclair on the corner of Lake Street and Water Street where Fifth Third Bank is now located. Robert repaired and sold used cars at his gas station and in 1972 they purchased the Body Shop from the Ford garage. The following year in the fall of 1973 Bob and Shirley purchased Dick Coté Ford and changed the name to Bob Mathers Ford. They sold the gas station in 1975 to the William Lindsay, who converted it to an insurance office. Robert G. Mathers passed away at the age of 76 on April 8th, 2005. Shirley passed away March 19, 2008, at the age of 76.

The dealership is now owned by the four Mathers siblings - Robert, Cheri, Trish and Wendy. Robert is now the General Manager, and daughter Wendy Mathers Reidel is the office manager. Robert and Wendy have been with the dealership since 1979 and 1981, respectively. The dealership has gone through several changes throughout the years, but the focus on customer satisfaction has always stayed the same.

> Historic pictures and more family history, including the story of how In 1936 Robert F. Mathers bought a 1935 two-door Ford from Northern Auto, trading in a cow, a 1929 Chevrolet and some cash. To close the deal Mathers then walked the cow to Deer Lake where John Parker, the dealership manager, had a farm.

> News-Review feature story.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Red Mesa Grill celebrates 20-Year anniversary in Boyne City

On September 16, 1997, Mary Palmer, Fred Moore and Jim Cartwright opened the Red Mesa Grill and changed Boyne City forever. Many said that they were crazy to open a Latin American restaurant in a little, up-north, blue collar town. The eclectic restaurant painted the storefront bright red and the community didn't embrace it right away; it was a big change for Boyne City. Nonetheless, with a lot of hard work and a lot of great staff, the Red Mesa Grill quickly became one of the most popular restaurants in Northern Michigan.

Mary, Fred, and Jim went in with the cornerstone philosophies of: 
  • We want to be the best place to work in the community.
  • We want to be the most fun and professional place to work in the community.
  • We want our employees to love their jobs.
  • If we take care of our employees, we know that our guests will be well cared for.
Those philosophies took them far. Many say that the Red Mesa helped start the tourism boom that Boyne City has seen in the last several years. Boyne is now a hip little town with a thriving downtown. With Red Mesa Grill, restaurant group Magnum Hospitality was born. Magnum Hospitality went on to open Pearl's in Elk Rapids, Red Mesa Grill in Traverse City, and Café Sante in Boyne City. 

After 18 years, the original owners were given the opportunity to sell Magnum Hospitality to long-time restaurateur Steven Rossi and partners. Steve came in with the promise of continuing the cornerstone philosophies that have proved so successful for so many years. Steve and partners have the commitment to keeping Magnum Hospitality thriving for another 20 years and beyond.  

Red Mesa will be celebrating their  20-Year Anniversary on September 16, 2017. It will be a "Tropical Sunsplash" themed party with live music all day including the main act -  
Universal Xpression, an excellent reggae band from Detroit. They are thanking all of their loyal guests by offering 20% off their regularly priced bill all day.

> For more information contact: Red Mesa Grill, 117 Water Street, Boyne City, 231.582.0049.

Monday, August 14, 2017

VIDEO: City manager provides a preview of new City Hall

City Manager Michael Cain gave the Chamber a sneak preview tour of the new City Hall - watch our video. The video shows the room where City Commission meetings will be held plus an adjacent rooftop patio - both with spectacular second-floor views of Lake Charlevoix and Veterans Park. The city is tentatively planning to show the building off to the public with a dedication ceremony and open house tours, on Friday, Sept. 1. The facility also includes the fire, police and ambulance departments, city museum, city administration offices, MSU Extension plus the 100-year-old La France fire engine, and the historic city clock and bell.

City approves industrial district for Van Dam plans

Steve Van Dam / Photo courtesy Petoskey News-Review
From the Petoskey News-Review: City leaders have taken the first step toward a possible future property tax incentive for a well-known Boyne City business that has plans to expand its operations. At its regular semi-monthly meeting July 11th, the Boyne City City Commission voted 4-0 (commissioner Hugh Conklin was absent) in favor of a resolution creating a sixth industrial development zone for the property on which Van Dam Custom Boats and the Boyne Boat Yard are located on Division Street. The measure was a necessary first step if the business wishes to seek a future tax abatement from the city in connection with planned growth on the site. Business co-founder Steve Van Dam told the commission that there are two tiers to the company's plans. He said in the short term the company is planning to add about 4,720 square feet in production and office space to the building that houses the custom boat business. Full story.

Boyne Mountain names Mark O'Brien vice president of lodging

Mark O'Brien
Boyne Mountain Resort President/General Manager Ed Grice has announced the appointment of Mark O'Brien as Vice President of Lodging. O'Brien has 20 years' experience in operating full-service, luxury and boutique hotels as a General Manager, and is accredited as a Certified Hotel Administrator. As a Michigan State University graduate, O'Brien launched his career as a front desk supervisor at the New York Hilton, advancing to Assistant Director of Front Office Operations. He continued his growth serving as Director of Rooms Revenue Maximization and Front Office Manager at Waldorf-Astoria, then earned his first General Manager role in 1996 at Hotel Wales. He has also led operations for The Maritime Hotel, Hampshire Hotels and Resorts, and most recently for The H Hotel in Midland, a Four Diamond Hotel, under the Wyndham Hotel Group. O'Brien serves on the Michigan State University School of Hospitality Business Alumni Association Appointed Board of Directors, as well as Northwood University Hospitality School's Board of Directors. O'Brien can be reached by calling 231.549.6069 or emailing

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Sara Manchester: "Boyne City was a natural fit for me and for Create"

Sara Manchester
From the Petoskey News-Review: Starting the newest art-centric organization in Boyne City, Sara Manchester recently opened Create: Community Arts Studio, a nonprofit arts and social service organization that seeks to connect community members through art. Create opened in October 2016 and has quickly become an attraction in Boyne City for kids, adults and volunteers of all ages. Although Manchester is looking toward the future of Create, it is her lifelong work in the arts that helped make Create a reality. “I think my beginnings really steered the directions of things,” Manchester said. “I realized, either through my own experiences or through support of other people, that I was an artistic person. “As you bumble through life, and are trying things, you find something you really love. My thing was art,” she said. Manchester said that the help and support of people helped solidify and cultivate her love for the arts. “A lot of people were important in my steering towards the arts. One of them was my high school art teacher and one certain experience was being accepted into Interlochen and being able to create with other artists,” she said.
“Boyne City was a natural fit for me and for Create," she added. "I wanted to give back to the community and I also felt the community was well suited for an idea like this. It’s turned out bigger than I thought it would.” Full story.