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.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Great Lakes Energy celebrates 80 years

Great Lakes Energy, headquartered in Boyne City, celebrates 80 years of service this year. Electricity first came to many parts of rural lower Michigan in 1937 and greatly improved the quality of life for farmers and rural residents. The work of four separate electric cooperatives (Top O’ Michigan in Boyne City, O&A in Newaygo, Oceana Electric in Hart, and Western Michigan in Scottville) helped make that possible. Through mergers, the four joined in 1999 to become Great Lakes Energy, one of the largest electric cooperatives in the country and the largest in Michigan. Great Lakes Energy has over 14,000 miles of power line (third largest of all electric co-ops in the United States) that deliver electricity to over 123,000 members. Great Lakes Energy has nine offices throughout its 26 county service area, employs 235 people and remains a locally-owned cooperative governed by the member-owners it serves.

Museum supporters seek founding board members for new nonprofit

The City of Boyne City is excited about the community's goal to form a new nonprofit organization with a board of directors, executive director, support staff, membership and an organized pool of volunteers. In the plan, leadership and management of the new heritage center will be transferred to the new board, who will take over the former duties of the Historical Commission. The next step is to find interested and passionate people to form that founding board of directors. Those with passion, vision, optimism, expertise, connections and a strong sense of teamwork will make all the difference in these crucial formative days. If you are interested in serving on the new board, contact Kecia Freed at 231-622-2492 or
   "Boyne City's Historical Museum is at a breathtaking point of opportunity," Freed said. "With dedicated space in our beautiful new municipal complex, we can transform the museum into a flagship attraction and heritage center for Boyne City and surrounding areas. The vision is an interpretive center and for all things historical in our area - sharing knowledge, resources, energy and ideas with the library, schools, historical groups and businesses."
> More information and board application form.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Final phase of Avalanche Trails expansion under way

From the Top of Michigan Mountain Bike Association: The next and final phase of Avalanche trails is under way. Dirt Artisans are on site and have already completed over 2000 ft. of the final connector loop that will tie together all the new trails at Avalanche. Early reports are that this is now available for mountain bike riding and it's going to be fun. In addition, they are completing the improvements to the trails that were built last year and firming up the various sandy spots that remained. They are a great team of professional builders and are committed to making this trail exactly what was desired. TOMMBA volunteers have trail signage materials on their way and will also soon have clear directions installed at each signpost. Thanks to all of you for your contributions and to all the volunteers who are out there clearing trail, building trail, designing signage, fundraising, financial management, board member time, providing input, and generally helping to make our trails better every year. Details.