Sunday, March 4, 2018

Save the dates for two regional business events

> May 22 - Regional Business After Hours at Antrim Dells
The three Chambers of Commerce in Charlevoix County will hold their "Swing Into Summer" Regional Business After Hours from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 22 at Antrim Dells in Ellsworth. For the past 20 years, the Boyne, East Jordan and Charlevoix Area Chambers of Commerce have teamed up to host this joint Business After Hours to provide networking opportunities for the entire county. This year, as we enter a new decade, we have some even bigger plans in the works, which we'll announce soon. Antrim Dells is located at 12352 Antrim Drive in Ellsworth. 
> May 11 - NLEA Annual Luncheon at Boyne Mountain
Join over 700 guests involved in the economic vitality of our area for an exciting afternoon luncheon on Friday May 11, from 11:30am to 1:30pm at Boyne Mountain Resort in Boyne Falls, hosted by Northern Lakes Economic Alliance (NLEA). This celebration of regional economic development will feature a keynote speaker, live entertainment, prestigious awards and recognition, and plated lunch.  Individual tickets are $25, and $250 for a table of 10. Receive special Early Bird Rates if you purchase tickets now through April 11: $20 for individual tickets and $200 for a table of 10. This celebration of regional economic development will feature a keynote speaker, live entertainment, prestigious awards and recognition, and plated lunch. Call 231-582-6482 with questions. Reserve your ticket or table here .

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Boyne Coop True Value celebrating 100th anniversary with major remodel

  2018 is going to be a big year for Boyne Coop True Value. They are celebrating their 100th anniversary with a major remodel of their store, and they are going into the tool and equipment rental business. They are nearly done with the remodeling, which started in December at the store located at 113 S. Park St. 
  Owner Jennifer Hughes said they decided to start offering rentals because customers kept asking about it. They will have a wide variety of rentals, including mowers, tillers, dethatchers, jackhammers, floor sanders, power washers, generators, ground augers and carpet cleaners. A big emphasis will also be renting tents (20x30 ft. and 20x40 ft.), tables and chairs. In fact, they are offering package deals for graduation parties starting at $250, including free delivery. 
  A major anniversary celebration will culminate on June 23rd; details will be announced. For information about the store or the new rentals, call (231) 582-9971.
Baby Chick Days are coming up May 4th-6th with pre-orders due by Monday, April 9th. 

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Library celebrates 100 years with history talk, reading challenge, author visit

The original Boyne District Library before 2001 expansion.
  On April 20, 2018 the Boyne District Library will be celebrating 100 years in their historic Carnegie Library building. A variety of special programs are planned to commemorate this historic anniversary.

  In 1912 the Monday Study Club, which is still an active organization in Boyne City, purchased the private library of a Petoskey lawyer who was moving west. In 1913, the club donated this collection to the public school library, and Myrtle White was hired as the librarian. Because of rapid population growth in Boyne City, in 1916 a new home was sought for the library. The Carnegie Corporation agreed to give $15,000 for the construction and furnishing of a new library building to be located at the corner of Main and Park streets. Construction on this new building began in 1917, and a grand opening was celebrated on April 20, 1918. In 2001, the library completed an extensive renovation project funded by the Mark K. Peabody Foundation.
READING CHALLENGE - The library has issued a reading challenge to patrons of all ages to read 100 books between January 1, 2018 and December 31, 2018. Patrons may meet this challenge as individuals, or they can form a team. Team members can keep track of their reading online by going to, click on "Online Reading Log for Centennial Reading Challenge" and complete the survey for every 10 books you read. Participants will keep track of the books read throughout the year and once they, or their team, has reached 100 they will all receive a commemorative T-shirt and be entered for a chance to win $100 in Chamber Checks from the Boyne Area Chamber of Commerce.
BOYNE READS - Throughout this Spring, the library is sponsoring "Boyne Reads" with patrons and community members along with students and staff from the Boyne middle and high schools, reading the book "The Art of Racing in the Rain" by Garth Stein. On Monday, April 16th, the author will present school assemblies during the day, along with an evening program hosted at the Boyne City High School Performing Arts Center at 6:30 p.m. Dinner with the author will precede the evening program, also at BCHS.
HISTORY PROGRAM - On February 3 at 3 p.m. Library Director Monica Kroondyk will present a program about the history of the Boyne District Library, from its simple beginnings to the beautiful, renovated district library that exists today.
ICE CREAM SOCIAL - An ice cream social and birthday party on Saturday, July 28 will conclude the celebration of 100 years of Boyne District Library's service to the Boyne City community and surrounding townships.  
> If you have any questions, or further information about the history of the Boyne District Library, call Monica Kroondyk at 231-582-7861 or send an email to

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Boyne City named winner in MEDC’s Michigan Main Street Photo Contest

Great news! Boyne City has been named a winner of the Michigan Main Street Photo Contest sponsored by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. Boyne City was the winner of the Promotion category, which focused on photos that display Main Street community events and local downtown image-building campaigns. The city will receive $1,000 for its winning submission. The photo was taken by local photographer Kim Mettler during the Boyne City Harvest Festival.
“These photos visually represented the heart and soul of our Michigan Main Streets and gave communities an opportunity to showcase their downtown revitalization efforts and accomplishments as Main Street communities. MEDC received many strong submissions and the judges had a hard time deciding on winning images,” said MEDC Senior Vice President of Community Development Katharine Czarnecki. “Boyne City’s submission, which shows a unique community event that demonstrates Michigan Main Street communities’ aim to ensure and promote downtown as the heart of the community, best represented the Promotion category.”
In order to submit photos, a community had to be either a Select or Master Level Main Street Community in the Michigan Main Street Program. Administered by MEDC, the program provides technical assistance for communities desiring to develop their own local Main Street program by utilizing the Main Street Approach™ – a common-sense approach to tackling the complex issues of revitalization by capitalizing on downtown’s history and identifying the unique assets of the community itself. For more information on the Michigan Main Street Program, visit
The Michigan Main Street Photo Contest was created to allow communities to showcase their downtown revitalization efforts and highlight their accomplishments as Main Street communities. The contest was an opportunity for Main Street communities to highlight the work they are doing and get local people interested in what their community has to offer. The contest ran from September 11 and December 22, 2017, and had five separate segments, each running for three weeks. Boyne City joins four other communities – Howell, Portland, Blissfield and Wayland – to be announced as winners in MEDC’s photo contest.
For more information, please contact Kelsie King-Duff, Boyne City Main Street Executive Director, 231.582.9009 or via email at

Friday, January 19, 2018

Chamber honors community leaders, installs board

CONGRATULATIONS to the award winners from the Chamber Annual Awards Gala! From left are Michelle Cortright, Sally Roselli Business Leadership Award; her son Michael Cortright, Young Entrepreneur of the Year; Denise Holmes of Boyne Eta Nu Charities, Community Pride Award; Bob Mathers, Heritage Award; Becky Harris, Volunteer of the Year; Mike Castiglione, Entrepreneur of the Year, and Michael Doumanian, Outgoing Chamber Board President. (Photo by Kim Mettler of Michigan Barefoot Memories Photography.)

A crowd of more than 300 people attended the Boyne Area Chamber Annual Awards Gala at Boyne Mountain Thursday night, enjoying great food and drink, entertainment and the presentation of awards to community leaders and organizations. The Chamber Board of Directors was installed by Mayor Tom Neidhamer, with Chris Bandy of Local Flavor Bookstore serving as president for the year ahead. Michael Doumanian of Boyne Mountain was honored for serving as president for the past year and a half. Full boardHere are the award winners, as determined in online voting by 425 people:

> Entrepreneur of the Year Award - Mike Castiglione of Stiggs Brewery & Kitchen conducted a beautiful renovation of the historic railroad building and turned it into a great bar and restaurant, which opened in January 2017. Not only does Mike brew great beers, but he has innovative ideas like "Brew School" and "Brewing Up Business," as well as event ideas for the community. Already, he is working with other organizations and groups to promote downtown and give back to the community with things like a pub crawl to benefit the Cancer Crusaders and cosponsoring the 'Fat & Flurrious" fat tire bike race on January 20th. He was also awarded historic tax credits, which is a testament to his hard work in historic preservation, as these credits are rarely awarded to projects smaller than $5 million.

> Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award - Michael Cortrighttook over North Country Cycle Sport last year, the business where he purchased his first bike at age 9, worked as an employee, and finally took the risk to become the owner - right out of college. With the increasing popularity of Boyne area bike trails, NCCS is meeting a need for repairs and rentals and Michael broke revenue records in his first year as owner. He promotes Boyne as a trail town and has personally taken on grooming trails at the Boyne City School Forest and Avalanche Preserve. He has organized the "Fat & Flurrious" fat tire bike race that will debut on January 20th and he is also working with local volunteers to start a bike share program, which should debut this spring.

> Heritage Award - Bob Mathers is general manager of Bob Mathers Ford, which celebrated its 100th anniversary in 2017. The auto dealership was originally started on September 22,1917, and has been Bob Mathers Ford since 1973. The dealership is now owned by the four Mathers siblings - Bob, Cheri, Trish and Wendy. Bob has been with the dealership since 1979. The dealership has gone through several changes through the years, but the focus on customer satisfaction has always stayed the same. Bob, like his father, has been a classic car enthusiast and has long been a member of the Boyne Thunder Committee, which has been a major fund-raiser for Camp Quality, Challenge Mountain and Boyne City Main Street.

> Community Pride Award - Boyne Eta Nu Charities is being honored for the impactful fundraising projects that they organize each year. Dress for Chill, now in its 10th year, provides outerwear for preschool through 4th graders. This year, they provided 167 children with warm winter gear. Lights of Love, now in its 30th year, is Eta Nu's holiday event that raises money to benefit Hospice of Northwest Michigan. And Eta Nu volunteers participate as clowns in the 4th of July parade to raise money for fireworks, including a total of $5,000 in 2017. 

> Volunteer of the Year Award - Becky Harris. Her work on the Boyne City Farmers Market, Veterans Park Pavilion Committee, Challenge Mountain board, and Main Street board only scratches the surface of Becky's volunteer hours for our community. She has donated more hours than can be counted this year, stepping in as the interim Farmers Market Manager. She has not taken a paycheck, and has kept the market going as strong as ever, including the start of the renovation of the Veterans Park Pavilion and moving the indoor winter market to City Hall.

> The Sally Roselli Business Leadership Award - Michelle Cortright of Harbor House Publishers is one of Boyne's most successful business women. She is generous with her time on several community boards, including Boyne City Main Street, the Charlevoix County Community Foundation, Leadership Charlevoix County, Evangeline Township, the Economic Development Corporation, and the Boyne Area Chamber board. Michelle recently started a local initiative that promotes positivity and civility in our community, particularly in organizations dealing with the public. She is an extremely positive driving force in the Boyne Area. 

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

3 new businesses are thriving in Boyne City

The owners of three Boyne City businesses that opened in 2017 all say they are thriving. 
> Stiggs Brewery and Kitchen will be celebrating its first anniversary Saturday, January 20th as they cosponsor the inaugural Fat & Flurrious fat bike race along with North Country Cycle Sport. Owner Mike Castiglione said his first year revenues exceeded projections and he is very happy, although he chuckled, saying “I wouldn’t recommend having a baby at the same time you open a new business.” His wife Jessica gave birth to their first child Henry on March 5th, just over a month after the business opened.

Celebrating the approval of federal historic tax credits
 at Stiggs Brewery last year were from left, City Manager
Mike Cain,  Stiggs owner Mike Castiglione, Main Street
Exec Director Kelsie King-Duff, and Chamber Executive 
Director Ashley Cousens. Castiglione says the support of
the city and community has been "awesome."
Opening in late January worked out well, since that is not a busy time of year. “Being that we were the new kids on the block it was better that we started in the slow season. That gave us time to regroup and establish good routines before the busy summer season,” Castiglione said. 
Stiggs is the only brewery in Boyne City, and Castiglione thinks that his business plus the opening of Boyne City Taproom and 7 Monks Taproom in mid-2016 has established Boyne City as a beer lovers destination. “I think we will all do well, playing off each other to bring the beer geeks into town.”
A number of promotions have helped bring customers into Stiggs. They have a Mug Club loyalty program, monthly beer dinners, monthly fly-tying events with Brian Kozminski, as well as an upcoming cigar/beer pairing event on Feb. 3rd. They have teamed up with local businesses to brew branded beers for Coldwell Banker and Boyne Country Provisions, and a North Harbor Real Estate brew is coming soon. Special events in addition to Fat & Flurrious include a Summer Kickoff Party planned for June 16th, and a repeat of Stiggtoberfest on October 13th.
Castiglione said the City of Boyne City has been “awesome and easy to work with” in getting his business started, approving sidewalk dining and helping him get approved for federal historic tax credits for the building at 112 S. Park St.

Dana Betchek of Bliss Salon
> Bliss Salon & Spa opened April 11th at 210 S. Lake St., Suite B. Owner Dana Betchek said, “Since opening this past April, we were able to kick off our year during a quieter season, which was nice while we were still getting used to our space and developing our team. When we opened, we started with one part-time team member and one full time. We currently have four full-time team members and one part-time, so we've more than doubled our team since opening. Boyne City is definitely more hopping in the summer time so we are anxious to go into 2018 fully staffed and ready to rock. The seasonality of the town some people may see as a downfall, but we are working hard to build our local clientele and are servicing clients from not only Boyne City but East Jordan, Charlevoix, Walloon and Petoskey. We feel that with time, we will be able to keep our store very busy year round.”
“We have not had a hard time finding staff. We've worked really hard and continue to work hard to build a reputable salon and spa where professionals would want to continue their career. Plus, being a team-based salon enables us to work a lot more efficiently as our guests are encouraged to have a "team" of stylists or "glam squad" instead of just one stylist. We use social media as a tool to attract new talent, which has worked well for us.”
“We pride ourselves on educating our guests for exactly what they need for take home care. We guarantee all of our products and also offer products that are not easily found online and stay more exclusive to the salon. Our guests also love that we offer loyalty points that they can use towards services or take-home care.”
“We love Boyne City and are happy to be here and look forward to many years to come!”
Forgotten Treasures on S. Lake Street.

> Forgotten Treasures opened May 3rd at 209 S. Lake Street. This new Consignment/Resale Store features a full line of women's and children's clothing as well as furniture, antiques and collectibles. Before starting her own store, owner Anna Burkhart worked weekends for similar stores owned by her mother for the past 14 years.
“My first year in Boyne has been wonderful,” Burkhart said. “The summer months were a good start for the business and sales since then have stayed steady. As expected, there is a slowdown in the winter months but with the nature of my business I have found some great return customers - local and weekend regulars - and even new customers with the change of seasons.”
“There's been a lot of support from everyone. The chamber has done a great job keeping me informed of events and checking in to see how things have been as well as Kelsie from Main Street. It truly has been a great town to open a business in. Boyne really does understand the importance of being involved with its businesses and keeping them supported.”
“I have been asked if I need any help multiple times and honestly I believe Boyne does what it is supposed to do. They have created a diverse area that people from all over enjoy coming to. They hold multiple events all year long to keep the community involved and bring customers out. This is not a town that just sits back and hopes that things happen. They have done an awesome job of growing the area into a year-round destination.”

Monday, January 8, 2018

"Boyne Thunder is the world's best poker run"

By Matt Trulio, columnist for Trulio is the founder, editor-in-chief and publisher of, a daily news site that covers the high-performance powerboat realm.
That the New Year is less than a week away has me in a reflective state of mind. It’s either that or the 15-year-old single-malt scotch I’ve been enjoying of late—I can’t quite tell and I reckon it doesn’t much matter. Reflection, nostalgia and, OK, sometimes purely meandering thoughts come with the territory of being a twice-weekly columnist. Your job, as said columnist, is subtraction. Find one clean thought, hone it down and go with it.
   So here’s what I woke up with this morning: Boyne Thunder is the world’s best poker run. And as hard as I tried to shake that dangerous notion from my head—for I know that expanding on it in this column will only bring trouble—I couldn’t. In fact, the more I turn it over in my head, the more I believe it to be true. So here goes.
In the past 20-plus years, I’ve covered every major poker run in North America, including a few that no longer exist, firsthand. (The exception to this is the Texas Outlaw Challenge, though I have reported on it, and I hope to remedy that in 2018.) I found something to love about all of them. Each event has its own character.
   But for years, I’d been rallied (more like brow-beaten and harassed) by friends in Michigan and elsewhere to come cover the Boyne Thunder Poker Run in the northern part of the state. So this summer, I embedded myself in Boyne City for the July 4 week that finished with the annual event.
   What did I love about Boyne Thunder? A better question would be: What didn’t I love about it?
   Boyne City is quaint and charming, but cool and vibrant (hence the proliferation of good brew pubs in town). Lake Charlevoix, Round Lake and Lake Michigan are breathtaking and the Northern Michigan countryside—from coastal dunes to inland pastures and farmland—is gorgeous. The 125 catamarans and V-bottom and center consoles in the Boyne Thunder fleet are as high-end as you’ll find any event around the country, and the people involved are as cordial as they come.
   Despite the big hardware show in town for the weekend, Boyne Thunder never feels like a big show. On the water and off, the event retains a decidedly relaxed small-town vibe.
In short, during Boyne Thunder Poker Run the performance-boating community actually feels like a real community. Of course, friends hang with friends and there’s nothing wrong with that, but there is atmosphere of inclusion at the Boyne Thunder that I’ve not experienced at any event of its kind. Combine that atmosphere with all of the above and you have my pick for the world’s best poker run.
   I know this column will get me in trouble. The upside? I likely won’t have to deal with the repercussions of it until next year. Plus, I still have some of that 15-year-old single-malt scotch left.
> Online version of this column.