Monday, October 17, 2011

Boyne City: Small-town growth with character

There’s a lot going on in Boyne City. The city’s population surged by more than 6 percent in the last decade, new businesses are open, a factory is under construction and the list of community events never ends. Some say Boyne City is the “jewel of Charlevoix County,” but it’s irrefutable that the town bucked economic trends in recent years and found its niche as a popular place to visit, live or retire. Boyne City’s population increased by 6.6 percent since the 2000 turn-of-the-century census and now stands at 3,735 residents, more than 14 percent of the county’s total population. That bucked trends across the county and region, where population loss dominated. “I think we’re beating most of the trends out there,” said Michael Cain, city manager. Cain attributes the city’s success to community planning efforts. Boyne City keeps an active and award-winning Main Street program to benefit its downtown region, high-speed broadband Internet cables will soon run through town and persistent infrastructure upgrades all combine to poise Boyne City for continued growth, Cain said. “We’re trying to make sure we have a year-round economy that has year-round success,” he said. Full story from Petoskey News-Review

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Boyne City downtown seeks spot on National Register of Historic Places

Commissioners in Boyne City unanimously agreed to seek recognition for a portion of downtown to be listed as a district on the National Register of Historic Places. The general study area is South Lake Street to Main Street, Water Street from Lake Street to the Dilworth Hotel, the 100-block of South Park Street and a portion of Main Street between Lake and Park streets. If approved, the proposed district would be listed among the cultural resources across the nation that are most worthy of preservation. Full story from Petoskey News-Review.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Bay Winds Credit Union breaks ground for Boyne City office

David Leusink, president/CEO of Bay Winds Federal Credit Union has announced that construction on its new Boyne City branch is underway at 308 N. Lake St. Company officials said It will “help lead the way in the revitalization of the NoBo (North Boyne) business district.” The branch will feature dialog stations, a state-of-the-art customer service concept. Construction is being facilitated through local contractors and is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2012 at a cost of $1.4 million. At 9,000 transactions a month Bay Winds has outgrown its current facility in the Glen’s Plaza. Dialog banking will provide an ideal mix of technological efficiency in an environment of that fosters dynamic customer service. “We feel it optimizes the best of hi-tech and hi-touch,” said Leusink. The traditional teller line is being replaced with dialog stations thereby creating a side-by-side service environment that is more flexible, functional and consumer friendly. Attending a ground-breaking ceremony on Sept. 16 were CEO David Leusink, city officials, credit union board members and members of Team Boyne, the Main Street economic restructuring committee. Bay Winds website.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Hand-crafted skis now being made in Boyne City as 2 companies move to town

Shaggy's Copper Country Skis will be hosting an Open House at its new factory/showroom on Saturday, Sept. 10. The new facility is located at 01170 M-75 South in Boyne City between Challenge Mountain Resale and the BP Gas Station. The event will start with a ribbon cutting at 1 p.m. and continues until 6 p.m. The Open House will feature an unveiling of the 2011/12 lineup for Shaggy's Copper Country Skis. Factory tours will be offered, detailing how each ski is handcrafted in Boyne City. Shaggy's will also be giving away free swag including T-shirts and stickers. A drawing will be held for a free pair of skis from the newly unveiled lineup. Shaggy’s is an independent ski company founded in South Lyon, Michigan in 2005. Shaggy's handcrafts snow skis from the start of the core to the layup and final tuning of the skis. Company owner Jeff Thompson said, “We are a family operation that puts our heart and soul into our product. There is no outsourcing at Shaggy’s; we are American-made and we are Pure Michigan.” For more information visit

Additionally, John and Shari Thompson will open the doors of their construction company, Thompson Home Construction, at the same location. Moving their successful construction business of 26 years (from South Lyon) to Boyne City, the couple hopes to serve the community with fast and reliable service. Both licensed Residential Builders, John and Shari bring 26 years of experience in residential and commercial construction. Additionally, John’s 33 years of carpentry experience (rough framing and trim) allow him to accomplish virtually any carpentry job.
To contact either Shaggy's Copper Country Skis or Thompson Home Construction, call (231) 459-4322 or (231) 330-2854. 

Northwestern Bank loan center opens in Boyne City

Northwestern Bank’s Loan Center in Boyne City opened for business on Aug. 25, 2011. The storefront office is located at 104 S. Lake Street, just off Water Street in the downtown retail district and will offer commercial and residential mortgages, business loans, home equity lines of credit and other consumer loans. “We’re excited to be expanding our lending presence in Charlevoix County and in the Boyne City area,” said Northwestern Vice President Steve Weber, who will be managing the Loan Center as well as Northwestern’s Charlevoix office. Joining Weber is Northwestern Bank Mortgage Loan Officer Jessica Porter, who brings more than 10 years of mortgage lending experience. The Boyne City location also has a 24-hour full-service ATM and can accept deposits from Northwestern Bank customers. In addition to the Loan Center in Boyne City, Northwestern serves the Charlevoix and Emmet County areas with an office in Charlevoix, three locations in Petoskey, one in Bay Harbor, and one in Harbor Springs. Northwestern Bank was chartered in 1955 and is now the largest independent community bank in Northern Michigan. A growing financial institution with more than $885 million in assets, the bank is one of the leading mortgage, consumer, and commercial lenders in the region. Based in Traverse City, Northwestern Bank offers complete banking, investment and trust, and employee benefit services from 27 offices throughout northern Lower Michigan. Northwestern is known for its "I can do that!" approach to service, which empowers employees to make decisions on the spot to meet customer needs and exceed their expectations. For more information on Northwestern Bank, go to or call (231) 459-4305.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Medical equipment company to expand to Boyne City, creating up to 100 jobs

(From the Petoskey News-Review) A Michigan-based medical equipment manufacturing company is set to expand to Boyne City. Precision Edge produces high quality medical tools in Sault Ste. Marie and intends to build a new factory this year in Boyne City for a total building and equipment investment of $5.8 million. The company hopes to by January occupy the new building set to be constructed in Boyne Air Business Park and have 30 workers on the payroll to start and 75 to 100 by 2016, said John Truckey, company president. The company announced its plans at Tuesday's Boyne City Commission meeting. Full story.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Boyne City woman living in a lavender paradise

Just a bit off the beaten path where many GPS devices are rendered virtually useless, Linda Longworth has created a lavender paradise and handmade cottage industry, one fragrant plant at a time. Longworth’s cousin, Jan Ruback, wrote to tell me about the farm that features a whole line of handmade lavender-based products and offers craft classes after I put a call out to readers for “made in Michigan” destinations to visit this summer. I’m glad Ruback got in touch because a stop at Lavender Hill Farms in Boyne City during a recent vacation with my family proved to be a fabulous handmade destination. Full story from the Grand Rapids Press.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

4 candidates for 3 Boyne City Commission seats

The filing deadline has passed and there are 4 candidates for 3 open seats on the Boyne City Commission. Delbert “Gene” Towne is running unopposed for a two-year term on the  commission. Earlier this year, Towne was appointed to fill the seat vacated by Dan Adkison, who moved out of the city, and there were two years remaining on his term. The other 3 candidates are running for two, four-year terms. They are: Mark Dole,owner of Pineapple Cottage Care; Derek Gaylord, jail administrator for the county Sheriff’s Department; and Tom Neidhamer, retired teacher and Planning Commission chairman. One additional candidate had filed a petition, but it was found that he had not been a registered voter in the city for a full year, as the city charter requires; so his name will not appear on the ballot. Not running for reelection are Mayor Chuck Vondra, who is stepping down after 12 years on the commission, and Commissioner Mike Cummings, who has served for four years. The Boyne Area Chamber thanks them both for the major time and effort they have devoted to public service for the betterment of Boyne City.
> The election is Nov. 8, and the Chamber will hold a city candidates forum at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 25, at the Boyne District Library Community Room.

Chambers unveil Leadership Charlevoix County program

A new Leadership Charlevoix County program is being organize by the county’s four chambers of commerce, including the Boyne Area Chamber. The goal of the program is to to identify new and emerging leaders while strengthening individual leadership skills and increasing awareness of community needs. Leadership Charlevoix County will consist of an orientation, full-day monthly sessions from September through May, and a graduation ceremony. Topics for the sessions include: Connecting with Your Governmnt; Health and Human Services; Economic Development; Education Today; Building Your Tool Box; Arts, Culture and Philanthropy; Your Environment and Natural Resources, and Where Do We Go from Here? Each session will cover various skills associated with leadership and will include community leaders, businesses, and projects throughout the county. Funding to help launch the program was provided in a grant from the Charlevoix County Community Foundation. Website: Application form. The deadline has passed for participating in the inaugural 2011-12 program, however if you would like more information about next year's program, contact Jim Baumann, executive director of the Boyne Area Chamber, 231-582-6222, or Mishelle Shooks, program coordinator of Leadership Charlevoix County, at the Charlevoix Chamber of Commerce, 231-547-2101.

Pride of Baltimore tall ship returns to Boyne City

The Pride of Baltimore II tall ship will be returning to Boyne City the weekend of July 29-31.  Last August, the Pride of Baltimore and the schooner Lynx visited Boyne City, and large crowds turned out to see them up close. That visit and this year’s were arranged by Wally Kidd of Kidd & Leavy Real Estate. Kidd's late father Jack lived in Baltimore and was one of the founders of the organization that oversees the Pride of Baltimore II, which is a reproduction of an 1812 era privateer. Sponsors making this year’s visit possible are Catt Development, Northwestern Bank, Friends of the Boyne City Library, American Waste and the Wally and Margy Kidd family. Ship tours will be available daily at a charge of $5 for adults; children 12 and under are free. Two-hour daily sails around Lake Charlevoix will be available at $50 for adults and $30 for ages 6 to 12; reservations can be made online or by calling 888-557-7433. Opportunities for business or group receptions, both sailing and dockside, are also available; for information, call Wally Kidd at 231-439-2800 or 231-838-2700 (cell). Photos from last year. *  Pride website.

Lt. Governor coming to Boyne City for 1910 Building ribbon cutting

Lt. Gov. Brian Calley is scheduled to come to Boyne City July 20 for a ribbon cutting ceremony at the 1910 Water Works Building at the intersection of Park and Division Streets. The public is invited to attend the ceremony at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday. Calley is attending because state grants helped improve the city water system and restore the 100-year-old building. News-Review article.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Stroll the Streets of Boyne for music, magic, mirth

Stroll the Streets, every Friday night in the summer
From the Petoskey News-Review: Stroll the Streets will fill downtown Boyne City with music and entertainment 6-9 p.m. every Friday from June 24 through Labor Day weekend. This is the eighth year for Stroll the Streets, which is organized by the Boyne City Main Street Program. "We originally wanted to find a way to bring people downtown to see what Boyne City has to offer," said Karen Guzniczak, event organizer and founder. "Getting off the ground was real tough, but now it's an extremely popular event." Music ranges from traditional folk to jazz and rock. Other activities include magicians, caricature artists, face painting and balloon twisting. This year there are new acts coming in as well as returning favorites. It has grown to include seven to eight musicians each time, according to Guzniczak. The lineup for June 24 includes Beer Bottle Blues Band, Harbor Hoe Down, Harry Colestock, June Bug, Kelly Beck, Kowalske Family Band, Lake Street Ramblers, Ruby Williams and Friends, and The Vermeers. Full story.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Wildwood Rush zipline canopy tour opens near Young State Park

From the Petoskey News-Review: A pair of local builders have an altogether new venture -- or adventure -- under way. Todd Wright, of Boyne City, and Andy Poineau, of East Jordan, opened Wildwood Rush Friday, a zip line canopy tour business across the road from Young State Park, just north of Boyne City. Their 50 acres there once were intended for an eco-friendly housing development, but instead became an eco-centered tourist attraction. "Last year, we built a zip line for our own amusement," Wright said. The idea literally launched into the sky from there. Now the builders have 12 guides on the payroll and expect to capitalize off the new business's proximity to the state park and its well-established ability to draw in tourists to the Lake Charlevoix shoreline. It's basically a captive audience. "Being close to the park is awesome," Wright said.. Full story.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Creating options for the future at Boyne District Library

In an effort to enhance the long-term viability and potential growth of the Boyne District Library, its board of trustees recently purchased the property at 214 Ray Street, next to the Library and the city parking lot. While there are no immediate plans for the property, the board wanted to create options for the future. The library serves the people of Boyne City, Evangeline and Bay townships, and parts of Eveline and Wilson townships. The library was renovated and expanded in 2001. While it has served the community’s needs well in the past 10 years, the number of library users has increased by more than 80% (based on statistics from the library’s annual State Aid Report), the need for library resources is growing, and there are indications that future expansion may be needed. “Some days in the summer we are so busy that it’s hard to find a place to sit,” said library director Cliff Carey. “Our meeting rooms are often booked with four different meetings in one day. The public computers are full, the children’s room is humming with activity and our resources are fully utilized.” News story.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Massage therapist opens Elite Energetics in downtown Boyne

The Chamber and Main Street welcome Karen Wright and Elite Energetics to the Boyne City downtown business community. She is a nationally certified massage therapist and massage instructor who graduated from one of the top schools, Boulder College of Massage Therapy, in 2002. A Michigan native, Karen spent the last eight years at top resorts in Orlando. She specializes in therapeutic treatment work, heeling sole massage (full body massage with the feet), and achieving a state of relaxation. "My goal is to add to the quality bodywork in this area while building lasting relationships. I will work with you to reduce muscle soreness, increase performance and range of motion, and balance your mind/body/spirit." Elite Energeticsis located in the historic railroad building at 112 S. Park St. and Karen can be reached at 231-675-0015 or by email at

Friday, May 13, 2011

Dunagain's Antiques and Collectibles opens in SOBO

From the Petoskey News-Review: Wanting to add to the interesting businesses in the SOBO district of Boyne City, Michael Sehr opened Dunagain's Antiques and Collectibles on May 1.  I think when you see a town without an antique shop, there is just something missing. It's a great draw for Boyne City and a wonderful draw for this neighborhood. An antique shop was needed in the SOBO district," said Sehr. Located in the former Boyne Valley Printing building at 209 S. Lake St., the shop is filled with antique and rustic furniture, a selection of vintage clothing and accessories, pottery and a variety of retro lamps, to name a few of the items. Along with Sehr, there are six vendors in the store. "For the circle of collectors that I know, I want them to have a really nice place to sell their items. The only reason I started to sell antiques is so that I could keep buying them," laughed Sehr. Full story.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Boyne City building vibrant downtown with innovative Main Street program

Reprinted from the Harbor Light newspaper: Boyne City, located less than an hour southeast of Harbor Springs, has spent the last decade in headline-grabbing transformation. Once a gritty, worn center for trades of times past - lumber yards, tanneries, and a chemical plant marked its Lake Charlevoix shores - the village has escaped a decline that has swallowed so many Michigan towns. In doing so, the town has provided a model, showcasing a keen eye toward the future - one that its neighbors, Harbor Springs among them, might consider. Full story.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Say bon appetit to Michigan as culinary tourism soars

(From, the website of Booth Newspapers) Soon you’ll be able to spend a weekend “glazing and grazing” — firing a pottery plate one day and enjoying locally grown gourmet food on it the next. Or there’s the “Boyne Appetit” weekend, designed like a pub crawl but instead visits the kitchens of top chefs. Or a tour of a dozen Frankenmuth food venues (cheese makers, pretzel rollers, brewers and more), all guided by a free smart phone application. Those outings, plus a Michigan chestnut tour, a brewery tour (with driver) of Southeast Michigan and many others, are being developed across Michigan, thanks to inspiration offered earlier this month at the state’s first Culinary Tourism conference. Full story

"Boyne Appetit" promotes restaurants and local foods

(From TV 9 & 10 News) Every small Northern Michigan community is known for something and Boyne City wants to be known as a great place to eat.  Community leaders met with a consultant last summer who helped highlight high points in the community. Boyne City just launched a new culinary tourism initiative called Boyne Appetit. The purpose is to promote the area's restaurants and local foods. See TV news video.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Midwest Living picks Cafe Sante as one of the best new restaurants

Boyne City, Michigan: Cafe SanteMidwest Living magazine has named Boyne City's Cafe Sante to its list of Best New Midwest Places to Play, Eat and Stay - here's what they said: "Cafe Sante patio, how do we love thee? Let us count the ways. Lake Charlevoix waves. Hypnotic fire ring. Truffled mushroom pizza. European and Michigan brews. Sigh." Pictured here is Chelsea Sykes, one of Cafe Sante's servers. Details from magazine website.

Boyne City in race for national Main Street of the year

(From the Petoskey News-Review) The city of Boyne City has been selected as a semifinalist for the 2011 national Great American Main Street Awards. Since 1995 the National Trust for Historic Preservation has chosen 10 semifinalists a year from a nationwide pool of applicants who are later narrowed to five finalists, and Boyne City is one step away from joining the short list of elite winners. "It's great recognition for what we've done in the community. This will draw attention to what we have here and it will benefit everyone," said Hugh Conklin, Boyne City Main Street Program manager. In September the Boyne City Main Street program was selected as the best program in the state based on its achievements throughout the year and the use of the Main Street's approach to development.  According to Conklin, after Boyne City won the state-level achievement they were encouraged to apply for the national award. Full story.