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.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Boyne Theater restoration plans revealed

From the Petoskey News-Review: An April 29th event at the Boyne Theater brought glimpses of restoration plans for the building, and also generated more than $7,500 to benefit the Charlevoix Area Humane Society. Theater owner Rich Bergmann revealed plans for the property on Saturday. The original venue opened in 1904 and became a movie theater in 1907. In 1916, it was cleaned and remodeled before being sold by the family in 1927, and renamed the Boyne Theater. The theater operated until 2006. While renovations are costly, the renovated building will have promising features both inside and out. Blueprints for a one-room theater include features such as a projection screen, theater seating for 290 people, a performance stage, a dance area, a bar with seating, new restrooms and handicap accessibility. The rehabilitated venue will feature hospitality service and have use of a liquor license. Full story.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Perking up: Coffee shop adds Boyne City location

From the Petoskey News-Review: An expansion effort is brewing for a Northern Michigan coffee shop, which plans to soon open new outlets in East Jordan and Boyne City to complement its downtown Petoskey location. 

"We are so passionate about Northern Michigan and excited to be expanding into two more really cool towns!" said Brittany McNeil, who owns North Perk Coffee with husband, John. "Though the vibes are pretty different, both East Jordan and Boyne City drew us in because we felt like they had niches ready and waiting for a coffee shop: a need for open, casual work and meeting spaces for the community to nestle into." 

North Perk's owners opened the Boyne City location - at 202 S. Lake St., next to the 7 Monks Taproom beer bar - on June 20th. "Boyne City has been steadily growing and we’ve watched other strong businesses open locations and do well while serving and adding to the community, and we are excited to add more value to downtown Boyne with our shop," McNeil said. Full story.  North Perk website

Monday, June 12, 2017

Specials at 22 eateries for Restaurant Week, June 12-18

Mark your calendars for Boyne Area Restaurant Week, June 12-18 and again in the fall for the week of October 16-22. Here are details on the June restaurant special offersThis is your chance to try new restaurants and food products. Restaurants, bars, delis and sandwich shops will all be offering specials: Two-for-one prix fixe meals for $35 or less at large restaurants and more great specials from the others. Here are the 22 participants:

  • 7 Monks Taproom
  • Barrel Back, Walloon Lake
  • B.C. Pizza, North and South
  • Bella Vita
  • Big E's Smoke Shack 
  • Boyne City Bakery 
  • Boyne City Taproom 
  • Boyne Country Provisions/Wine
  • Emporium & Market 
  • Boyne River Inn 
  • Cafe Santé 
  • Everett's, Boyne Mountain 
  • Forty Acres Tavern, Boyne Mountain 
  • Friggy's SoBo Pub 
  • Fustini's Oils & Vinegars 
  • Horton Bay General Store 
  • Pine Lake Lodge 
  • Porter Creek Fish House 
  • Red Mesa Grill 
  • Stiggs Brewery & Kitchen 
  • Thick 'n' Juicy Diner 
  • Trophy Room Pub & Pizzeria at Boyne Mountain 
  • Whi-Ski Inn, Boyne Falls
Flier with the list of all 22 participating restaurants/markets.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Five candidates for three City Commission positions

City candidates

Five candidates will be competing for three Boyne City Commission seats in the November election. Filing petitions by the April 25th deadline were: Chad Culver, 1035 Lakeview Dr.; incumbent Ron Grunch, 400 Silver St.; Sally Page, 817 E. Main St.; Andy Smith, 6 W. Main St.; and Dean Solomon, 859 Deer Run Dr. Incumbents Laura Sansom and Gene Towne are not running for reelection, so there will be at least two new commissioners. We asked each candidate to provide us with some brief background information:
> CHAD CULVER - I am excited with the opportunity to serve the people of Boyne City. I have lived in Boyne City for 20 years with two children going through our school system and two more currently in high school and middle school. My main goal is to find a way to help our citizens by supporting your voice as our community continues to grow and evolve. After over 20 years in public education, I now own and operate a car wash in town as well as work for Bluegreen Resorts at Boyne Mountain. My family and I love Boyne City and want only the best for our beautiful small town and those visiting our city. I would be proud to serve as City Commissioner and am interested in hearing the concerns of residents.
> RON GRUNCH is the only incumbent running for reelection. He has served on the City Commission for 18 years, include a period as mayor. "My motivation is to 'keep the dream alive. We have a great team working for you - city staff and management, City Commission, Team Boyne, and the greatest group of volunteers in Northern Michigan. Boyne City has a great business model. And I would like to, God willing, continue as a member."
> SALLY PAGE - "My roots in Northern Michigan date back to 1962, but my permanent move back to the area came in 1987 when my husband and I moved from New Mexico to Harbor Springs and I became Office Manager for the Emmet County Prosecutor's Office in Petoskey. I held that position until I retired in 2013. For the last 12 years I have lived in Boyne City. I moved here to be closer to my children, who both lived in Boyne City at that time. My daughter Liz has been co-owner of Lake Street Market since 2004. At the urging of friends in the community, I decided to run for city commissioner because I felt that my years of government experience spanning 40 years would lend itself well to such an undertaking. My goal for Boyne City would be to make it serve all its citizens, and to involve the entire community, from the youngest to the oldest. I believe that a strong community spirit, including those who have lived here all their lives and those who are relatively new, is vital to that success."
> ANDY SMITH - " I have been living year-round in Northern Michigan for three years, but have been spending portions of my years in Boyne City since 1999. My career in Northern Michigan began with Boyne Resorts. I currently work for the Round Lake Group, LLC, managing marketing efforts for the Boyne City Taproom, the Lake Charlevoix Brewing Company, and the Bridge Street Taproom. I see serving as a commissioner as a great opportunity to get involved in the community and help share my ideas and opinions on how we can all work together to grow the community in sustainable and successful ways. I would like to work with the community to find ways to facilitate sustainable growth as one of the premier cities in Northern Michigan. Boyne City is not just a beautiful vacation destination, it is an incredible place to call home and offers a multitude of recreational pursuits of wellness. I will work with the community to further develop these healthy outlets for people, young and old alike."
> DEAN SOLOMON is the recently retired head of the Boyne City MSU Extension office. "Since moving to Boyne City 11 years ago, my family and I have grown to love the area - its beauty, friendly people, and can-do attitude. We truly live in a special place. I'm really excited about the possibility of serving on the City Commission and helping Boyne City continue to grow and meet our future challenges."

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

New Visitors Guide promotes Boyne Area 20,000 times

The Boyne Area Chamber's new Visitors Guide/Business Directory has just arrived, featuring a birds-eye photo of a Stroll the Streets car show on Water Street last August. The Chamber will distribute 20,000 copies of the new guide to members, highway Welcome Centers and high-traffic locations around Northern Michigan. "We encourage our members to keep the guide handy and to support the businesses and organizations listed in it," said Chamber Executive Director Ashley Cousens. The publication was produced by Harbor House Publishers in cooperation with the chamber. It is also available as a digital magazine, which contains interactive content, including page-turning, links to websites and video, as well as a full search function. To view the digital publication click here. Help us promote local businesses and the Boyne Area by spreading the word. Why not include this link as part of your email signature?
> MOBILE APP - The Visitors Guide mobile app is available in the iTunes App Store. Search for Boyne Visitors Guide and download to your iPhone or iPad.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Future leaders sought for new class starting in August

Applications are now being accepted for the 2017-18 Leadership program, which begins with an orientation in August and an overnight retreat on Beaver Island in September. The program then continues with one day-long session per month through next May. 
WHAT'S IT LIKE? Recent program graduate Ashley Cousens, executive director of the Boyne Area Chamber, says "Leadership Charlevoix County is a great way to learn more about what services and resources the county has to offer. For me, the value was not only in the information provided, but also in the opportunity for self-reflection. How often do we carve out time to reflect on our lives and careers, without being prompted? This program requires self-reflection and as a result many participants experienced important transformations throughout the nine months."
Another graduate, Emily Selph, says LCC is "an amazing program, which has given us an opportunity to embark, both individually and as a class, on this journey, this chance to come together as strangers, to connect, to grow, and to accomplish something that will truly make a difference."
APPLICATIONS and more details are available at or by calling Ashley Cousens at the Boyne Chamber, 231-582-6222.
REFER A FUTURE LEADER - If you know someone who is a good candidate for LCC, email and we'll be glad to invite them to apply.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Boyne City Farmers Market opens outdoor season

Boyne City Main Street is pleased to announce the Boyne City Farmers Market outdoor season will start Saturday, May 6. More than 35 vendors will be in attendance for opening day of the outdoor season, in Veterans Park. Market hours are 8 a.m. to Noon. The first Wednesday market of the season will take place May 10 and the outdoor market will be open every Wednesday and Saturday, throughout the summer. 

During peak season the market features more than 65 regular vendors - all local, serving seasonal fruits, vegetables, and herbs; gourmet baked goods and preserves; eggs and cheese; honey and maple syrup; proteins, fish, potted annuals, perennials, trees and shrubs, and cut flowers; plus a juried craft market with unique hand-made items for your home or a special gift.

“We are really excited to move back outside for the season” said Market Manager Erica Tosch. “The amount of fresh local produce already available is amazing, and we’re getting more every week.”

The market will be accepting Bridge Cards (SNAP - Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) for the sixth year. Customers swipe their card at the market booth and receive tokens to shop with. Eligible foods include all SNAP eligible food products, just like in the grocery store. The market also partners with Fair Food Network’s Double Up Food Bucks program. The program allows for up to $20 per market day in SNAP assistance to be matched dollar-for-dollar. For example, if a customer swipes their Bridge Card for $20 in tokens, the $20 will be given to them, plus another $20 in Double Up Food Bucks tokens, to spend at the market.

“Doubling the value of SNAP assistance spent at our market helps people bring home more locally grown fruits and vegetables. It’s really a great program as it helps low-income consumers eat healthier, local farmers gain new customers, and more food dollars stay in the local economy,” Tosch said.

The 4rd Annual Food Truck Rally will take place Thursday, July 13 from 6-9 pm at Veterans Park. Over 25 local food and beverage stations as well as live music will fill the park. The cost is $10 per person, which includes two beverage tickets. Children under 12 are free.

The Friends Farm Meals are always a highlight of the season, breaking bread and toasting the farmers and others who make Michigan’s agricultural community so vibrant. This year’s event on August 12 will take place at Bear Creek Organic Farm and features food from Pigs Eatin’ Ribs. Look for more information at the market booth. Proceeds raised from these events will be used to help fund the Community Pavilion.

The Boyne City Farmer’s Market is a program of the Boyne City Main Street and governed by an eleven member committee consisting of vendors and community members. For more information on the market, visit or contact market manager Erica Tosch at 231-330-0139 or Main Street at 231-582-9009.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Bliss Salon & Spa opening on Lake Street

Dana Betchek
Bliss Salon & Spa will open Tuesday, April 11 at 210 S. Lake Street, Suite B. The salon will be offering salon and spa services including hair, nails, skin and massage. Owner Dana Betchek has had impressive success with her original Bliss location in Gaylord. "We've had tremendous growth. When I started three years ago, it was just me and two staff members, and now we have 12 people on staff." Asked why she chose Boyne City for her first expansion location, Dana said, "I've been in love with Boyne City for a long time. We come over to Boyne on weekends and I've really been impressed with how the downtown keeps growing and improving." Besides Dana, who specializes in hair styling, her staff in Boyne City will include Mechelle Gardner, specializing in nails; Dawn Jones, who has 19 years experience doing massage; and Megan Mollette, specializing in hair and eyelash extensions. Dana is excited to get the new business up and running and she is planning a grand opening and ribbon cutting in June. Phone  (231) 497-6066  |

Monday, April 10, 2017

Meet and greet new Main Street director in new office

Kelsie King-Duff
Everyone is invited to come check out the new Main Street office at 120 Water Street and meet the new director, Kelsie King-Duff from 4 to 6 p.m. Thursday, April 13th. Fustini's will be providing snacks, featuring an array of their different products. Main Street and Fustini's are excited to partner for this event, and want to show off the new Main Street office, which is located inside Fustini's. Kelsie King-Duff started as the Main Street executive director January 30th after being selected from a field of over 40 applicants for the position. More about the new director To contact Kelsie at the Main Street office, call 231-582-9009 or email

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Open Space park funding is a top city budget priority

From the Petoskey News-Review: Developing a city budget is always a complex task, but this year Boyne City officials must also decide how they will come up with about $1.6 million to buy property for a waterfront park. City staff and the city commission recently began hammering out details of the annual budget and finding the money to purchase the property at 475 North Lake St. - currently known as the Open Space park is at the top of the to-do list. In December, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Trust Fund Board approved a grant of up to $2.4 million to help pay for the purchase of the property. City manager Michael Cain has estimated that the "worst case scenario for what the city would need to raise to pay for its share of the purchase is about $1.6 million to $1.7 million." Full story.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

"Big step forward for downtown:" Catt buys Sportsman

Glen Catt of Catt Development Company came to Tuesday's Boyne City Commission meeting and announced that he has purchased the Sportsman and the adjacent former Little Lena's restaurant. Catt told the commission that he expects to do some building clean-up and planning this year, but major changes and occupancy probably won't take place until 2018. City Manager Michael Cain introduced Catt, saying: "Downtown Boyne City took another big step forward when Catt Development purchased the buildings at 116 and 118 South Lake Street.... The two-story building was built in the early 1900's and one of its early occupants was the Princess Theater.  Although I've heard many stories about the thriving businesses that were there not that long ago, they have struggled in recent years, and the buildings show it. We have seen time and again what Glen Catt and Catt Development, working with the Boyne community, have been able to do for our community. The results have been amazing - Café Santé, My Community Dental Centers, Alpine Chocolate Haus, Kidd & Leavy Real Estate, seven waterfront cottages, 7 Monks Taproom, Northern Michigan Sports Medicine and Bliss Salon, which is scheduled to open on Front Street this spring. And apparently he's not done yet. Their continued investment in and working with Boyne City is a major part of our ongoing resurgence." News-Review story.

Main Street Façade Grant applications now available

Northern Homes Community Development Corporation received a façade grant last year to assist with improvements at The White House, 417 Boyne Avenue. Pictured from left to right: Barb Lane-Harrington and Jane MacKenzie, Northern Homes staff; and Kelsie King-Duff, Boyne City Main Street Executive Director.
Applications for Boyne City Main Street’s 2017 façade grant program are now available. The façade grant program provides matching funds for Main Street District property owners and tenants to improve the facades of their buildings, in order to maintain the architectural character and economic viability of downtown.
To begin the process, interested property owners or tenants must meet with the Boyne City Main Street Executive Director and Design Committee Chair to discuss the scope of the project. An application must then be submitted by April 27, 2017. After a competitive review process by the Design Committee and Boyne City Main Street Board a decision will be made to which projects receive funding. For every dollar awarded the applicant must spend an equal amount. Individual grant amounts will be up to 50 percent of a project’s cost. A total of $15,000 is available for the 2017-18 cycle.
“The continued support of this program stands as a great example of Boyne City Main Street’s commitment to our community,” Michelle Cortright, Boyne City Main Street chair said.
Funds are provided by the Boyne City Main Street Program with dollars raised through Boyne Thunder. There is no set minimum or maximum number of projects per year. Eligible items under the façade program include, but may not be limited to: removal of siding that was used to cover original building materials, exterior brick or wall surface repair, pointing of brick/mortar joint repair, window and/or door replacement/repair, any architectural details in need of repair and/or replacement.
“The Design Committee looks forward to reviewing the applications for what is always an array of exciting projects and developments for our downtown,” Kelsie King-Duff, Boyne City Main Street Executive Director said.
The grant program seeks to encourage private investment through the rehabilitation and improvement of facades within the Boyne City Main Street District, to encourage good design that will serve as quality examples, and to preserve the architectural character that is distinctive to Boyne City. By improving the appearance of the building facades, the program aims to improve the economic viability of the downtown.
For more information about Boyne City Main Street and the façade grant program, visit or email

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

40 years afloat: Wooden boat maker reaching milestone

Steve and Ben Van Dam
From the Petoskey News-Review: Through four decades of building wooden watercraft, Van Dam Custom Boats has put priority on continuous improvement in how it approaches projects. As the Boyne City-based company prepares to mark its 40th anniversary this year, founder Steve Van Dam sees that desire for quality as a key factor in the operation's longevity. "We really embrace that, trying to make everything better," Van Dam said. Through the years, Van Dam Custom Boats has pursued projects as large as a 55-foot sailboat, and as distinctive as a wooden 33-foot speedboat capable of traveling 100 mph. The company has tackled projects for a U.S. customer base extending from coast to coast, as well as one international order. Full story.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Walkabout Sculpture Show wants you to vote for your favorite

Vote for your favorite, take a photo, take a selfie, write an essay
Walkabout sculpture
"Free Fall" Walkabout Sculpture in Sunset Park.
Boyne City's Walkabout Sculpture Show is again asking people to get involved by voting for their favorite, taking a picture, taking a selfie, or (if you're a student) writing an essay. "We are encouraging people to get involved in several ways," said sculpture committee member Becky Harris. "First, people can vote for their favorite piece either online at or by picking up a brochure at downtown businesses in Boyne City, taking a tour of the pieces and completing the ballot." The People's Choice Award of a $1,000 prize will be presented to the winning artist at the culmination of the show in June. "Second, we are continuing our photography contest open to all amateur or professional photographers. This year we will have two photo contest categories: selfie photo and regular photos. Additionally, we will be introducing a student essay contest on why students think the Walkabout Sculpture Show is important and which sculpture is their favorite and why." The winner for each photo and essay category will receive $100. All photo and essay entries must be posted on the Boyne City Main Street Facebook page. The photo and essay contests will run from now until March 17, with the winner announced and recognized at the Second Annual Boyne Bee Event on March 22. The winner will be chosen by the Walkabout Committee. 
> For more information call 231-582-9009 or email

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Chamber honors community leaders, installs board

CONGRATULATIONS to the award winners from the January 19th Chamber Annual Meeting! From left in the photo are Ashley Cousens, Chamber executive director; Scott MacKenzie, Volunteer of the Year; Mark Kowalske, Heritage Award; Sara Manchester, Young Entrepreneur of the Year; Pat O’Brien, Sally Roselli Business Leadership Award; Elizabeth Looze and Bill Aten of Challenge Mountain, Civic Pride Award; and Mike Cain, tied with Mark Kowalske for the Heritage Award. Not pictured is Entrepreneur of the Year Rich Bergmann of Boyne City Taproom. Photo by Kim Ritsema Photography

A record crowd of 340 people attended the Boyne Area Chamber Annual Meeting 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 State Senator Wayne Schmidt, with Michael Doumanian continuing to serve as president for the year ahead. Full board. State Representative Triston Cole and numerous other civic and business leaders also attended. 

Here are the award winners, as determined in online voting by 355 people:
Sally Roselli Business Leadership Award - Pat O'Brien gives more than money to the community. He is the chair of the Main Street Board, a member of Team Boyne, sponsors numerous events including Chamber Expo, 4th of July race shirts and more. He supports almost every event in Boyne City and gives cash and sponsorships to many organizations. He and his team are consistent cheerleaders for Boyne City and active participants in community events.

Entrepreneur of the Year - Rich Bergmann of Boyne City Taproom has made a success of a restaurant location that has struggled in the past. He is strongly invested in the local community, as evidenced by a strong entertainment lineup, their showing videos of BCHS football games, hiring local young people and training them, and advocating for more affordable housing to address needs expressed by his employees. Rich has brought a nice new energy to the local restaurant scene and is also known to be environmentally conscious.

Young Entrepreneur of the Year - Sara Manchester orchestrated an amazing transformation of the old Depot building and started a non-profit organization: Create Community Arts Studio. The studio not only greatly improved a historic building that had fallen into disrepair, but also provides creative space for the entire community. With a specific focus on school children, Sara has designed artist-in-residence style experiences for kids to participate in after school. This beautiful building and the programs it houses will benefit Boyne Area kids for years to come.

Heritage Award for ongoing contributions (tie) - Mike Cain has been the City Manager for 14 years. He has brought in over 9 million dollars in grant funding to help improve buildings, infrastructure, and community programs over the years and most recently secured a grant for 2.4 million dollars to go toward purchase of the Open Space on Lake Street, which will remain a public park open space forever. He has been a constant advocate for business and economic development in Boyne City and shows no signs of slowing down.
Heritage Award for ongoing contributions (tie) - Mark Kowalske of Coldwell Banker Schmidt Realtors has been involved in the Boyne City community for 40 years. He came up with the idea for Buff up Boyne, a spring cleaning initiative that helps our community prepare for the busy tourist season. He was one of the founding members for the DDA/Main Street program, is one of the main sponsors for Stroll the Streets, wrote a motivational book called The Boyne Advantage, and sponsored the a song contest that produced over 55 songs written about Boyne City.

Community Pride Award - Challenge Mountain invested in the community in a big way when they purchased the mostly empty building on M-75 and within 8 months opened a new resale store. The renovated building exterior is a great improvement to the M-75 corridor and the store is meeting a need to provide gently used quality household items, clothing, furniture, books, and sporting goods. Proceeds from the store support year-round adaptive recreation opportunities for children and adults living with disabilities at no cost to participants, families, or schools.

Volunteer of the Year - Scott McKenzie is a long-time major ambassador and cheerleader for Boyne City. He is a member of Boyne City Kiwanis and volunteers as auctioneer at many events. He is always willing to spend his time helping any project that benefits Boyne City, including the Mushroom Festival. He is present at just about every event in Boyne.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Boyne City Main Street hires executive director

Kelsie King-Duff
   Boyne City Main Street has hired Kelsie King-Duff as the program's Executive Director. Ms. King-Duff was selected from a field of over 40 applicants for the position and comes to Boyne City after two years with the City of Allegan and its Positively Allegan program. While working in Allegan King-Duff helped double the size of their Farmers Market and oversaw the operation of the city's two theaters, one showing first-run movies and the other serving as a venue for community functions and live performances. She also helped relaunch Allegan's long dormant Bridgefest community festival, which attracted thousands of participants. 
   King-Duff said, "I look forward to many collaborations in the Boyne City community, and am excited to get started." She and her husband are looking forward to moving to Boyne City and enjoying the Northern Michigan lifestyle. “In my free time I enjoy skiing, hiking, kayaking, and just being outside in general.” 
   She participated in three interviews as part of the hiring process and was unanimously recommended by the program's four-person executive search panel and unanimously approved by the Main Street Board at a special meeting on December 29th. King-Duff becomes the Boyne City Main Street program's fourth Executive Director since its establishment in 2003. She will start work in Boyne City on Monday, January 30th and after that can be reached via email at or by phone at 231.582.9009.
   Main Street Board Chairperson Pat O’Brien expressed his and the entire board’s pleasure with King-Duff’s hiring and looks forward to her becoming an important part of the Boyne City community and building on the ongoing successes and important work of the Boyne City Main Street program.