Saturday, September 15, 2012

Owners offer historic Boyne Theater to city for restoration

The Boyne Theater in downtown Boyne City, originally built in 1903, may soon see restoration efforts and use again. Thursday, Brian Asher, owner of the building that houses the theater and an adjacent business, the Thirsty Goat, announced his desire to donate the theater to Boyne City's Main Street program so that it can be restored and used as an arts venue. The theater and restaurant are located in an area of Boyne City called the SoBo, or South Boyne, arts district. "As an arts district, having an open theater and performance venue would be a benefit to Boyne and the surrounding communities," said Asher. Boyne City Main Street will consider the offer and investigate the potential of the building, said Hugh Conklin, Main Street manager, after the announcement by Asher at the State of the Community luncheon at Sommerset Pointe Yacht Club Thursday. "This is an opportunity for us to restore a historic landmark and add vibrancy to our downtown," said Conklin, "It's a tremendous opportunity." Full story from the Petoskey News-Review.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Charlevoix County is nation's first official "Connected Community"

Residents of Charlevoix County can take pride in knowing that they have become the first “Connected” certified community nationally under Connected Nation’s Connected community engagement program. The announcement was made August 22 at a broadband planning meeting held by the Charlevoix County Broadband Team at Boyne City High School. The Michigan Public Service Commission chairman, Connected Nation president, and dozens of community leaders were in attendance as results from the assessment and future plans for broadband expansion were unveiled. Michigan Public Service Commission Chairman John D. Quackenbush had the following to say about this important event:

“Charlevoix County can be proud to be the first community that has completed the broadband certification process offered by Connected Nation. Joining together, they determined that the benefits of broadband would make this community a more attractive one – a community with a better business environment for economic development, improved healthcare, enhanced education, and an efficient government.”

This certification comes after a months-long planning process involving more than 36 community stakeholders representing key economic sectors. A major step forward in closing this digital divide came when officials decided to enroll in the Connected community certification program through Connect Michigan.

The Charlevoix Action Plan includes projects to expand digital literacy, build awareness for the benefits of broadband, and assist businesses with websites and social media, as well as improving the online presence of local governments, among other entities. Connected certification affords a community an avenue to discuss its success and pursue opportunities as a recognized, technologically advanced community. More info.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Morel's Bistro: A wish come true for new Boyne City restaurant owner

New restaurant Morel's Bistro between Boyne City and Walloon Lake at 273 Old State Road, is the wish-fulfillment of executive chef and owner Brett Cuper. He worked for two decades as a pharmacist, but became dissatisfied with corporate life. What didn't change is his love for "Up North" life with its wintertime skiing and summertime attractions, he said. "We decided it was time to make a change," he said. Cuper knew the area well, as did his wife, Jennifer, and their sons, Alexander, 21, and Matt, 15. They were long-time vacationers here. "We just fell in love with Boyne City and decided to buy a house here," he said. Cuper earned a culinary degree at Ashworth College in Pennsylvania and the family moved from Ann Arbor to the Boyne Valley to realize his long-cherished dream of being a restaurateur. "I wanted to create a casual, fine-dining experience, so I designed my idea of an American bistro. We hope it will become a venue for anniversaries and birthdays, a place for family gatherings and celebrations, a place where people feel comfortable and will want to come back to. My love of cooking is my creative outlet." 
> Morel's Bistro will host the Boyne Area Chamber's Business After Hours networking event from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 18. The public is invited to attend. Admission and hors d'oeuvres are complimentary and there will be a cash bar. Full story from Petoskey News-Review.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

10-plus businesses open in Boyne City this year

The Boyne City community is home to 10 new businesses so far this year. It’s an impressive list that promises to add to the vitality of our community. And there are really more than 10, because the Boyne Wellness Station includes 6 health practitioners within. The Chamber and Main Street congratulate them all and wish them all the best of luck:
  • Boyne Parasail, Joshua Grove and Mike Koteskey, One Water Street Marina, (231) 881-6000, 
  • Boyne Wellness Station, 112 S. Park St. - 6 natural health practitioners (News-Review story)
  • The Brook Retirement Community, Cindy Goddard, 701 Vogel Street, (231) 582-4300,
  • JEMZ Consignment Shop, Liz Sivak, 500 N. Lake St., Suite F, (231) 582-2700
  • Meg McClorey Pottery, 211-1/2 S. Lake St., (248) 635-5851,
  • Morel's Bistro, Bret Cuper, 273 Old State Road, (231) 582-1170,
  • Northern Michigan Premier Properties, Ted and Pam Macksey, 44 N. Lake St., (231) 459-4404,
  • Precision Edge Surgical Products, Milt Kniss, 1448 Lexamar Dr., (231) 459-4304,
  • Red Carpet Mobile Autowash and Detail, 231-459-5609
  • The Thirsty Goat, Brian Asher, 220 S. Lake St., (231) 268-4628

Friday, June 15, 2012

"" websites unveiled

No amount of pro-motion of Boyne City is too much… especially in the digital world where multiple links enhance web presence. MetroAlive, a company you may have met at the Chamber Business Expo in April, is dedicated to promoting Boyne City merchants through their “city websites.” They have built a  website to highlight the greater Boyne City area, emphasizing high quality photography and video. Following their photo sessions, they add new businesses to their “city site” at affordable prices, which also gives the participating business their own website. Participating businesses will also be handing out cards that, when completed by visiting other businesses, can be turned into the Chamber for a gift certificate drawing. They may contact you to discuss the “Welcome To Boyne City” program or you can contact Laurie (586-817-8001) or Scott (313-215-0089) to get more information.
BUSINESSES FEATURED on WelcometoBoyne include: Huff Pharmacy, BC Pizza, Upsy Daisy Floral, Boyne Coop and the Tackle Box, Water Street Cafe, Boyne Avenue Greenhouse and Florist, Sunset Grill, Country Now & Then/Up the Lazy River, Sommerset Pointe, No Boundaries, en vogue salon and Local Flavor Bookstore - plus more in progress that will be unveiled soon. Click here to check out all the new websites.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Thirsty Goat Restaurant opens to enthusiastic crowds in downtown Boyne City

The Thirsty Goat, Boyne City’s newest downtown restaurant at 220 S. Lake St., tried to have a soft opening Thursday, but a big crowd of locals turned out for dinner… wanting to be among the first to check it out. All were treated to great food, and a great beer and wine selection – come out and see for yourself this weekend. The owners commissioned local sommelier Ed Brehm of the Wine Emporium to select and write their new wine list. Ed commented: “Featuring vino from California, Washington and Oregon, their list is approachable and the wines are delicious. Lots of choices by the glass too. They've done an absolutely fantastic job of giving the building and the outdoor space a facelift. The menu features Northern Michigan fare in ‘New American Tavern’ style and the restaurant will be very family friendly (there's even a Wii for the kiddies).”  HOURS are Tuesday-Saturday from 11 to 10 and Sunday Brunch is 11 to 2. Their phone number is 231.268.4628.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Boyne Parasail opens with “sky high” experience

The new Boyne Parasail is scheduled to open June 1. “What a great addition to summer fun in Boyne City, said Chamber Executive Director Jim Baumann. “Best of luck to young entrepreneurs Joshua Grove and Michael Koteskey, Boyne City residents who have spent months training and planning for this exciting new endeavor.” They have some special offers for opening  week - check their Facebook page or their website, “Soaring at heights of up to 500 vertical feet above Lake Charlevoix, flyers will experience unique and rare views of what Pure Michigan has to offer,” Grove said. “Looking inland you will see superb views of Boyne City, Young State Park, Sommerset Pointe Yacht Club, Whiting Park, lakefront homes, and the calm waters in Horton Bay.” According to their website, “Boyne Parasail’s team of Coast Guard-licensed boat captains and crew are trained professionals with complete dedication to safety and putting a huge smile on your face. Before your ride, the captain and crew explain all safety procedures and will answer any questions you may have. You ascend and descend directly from the deck platform at the rear of the boat. As you gently lift off, you are cradled in brand new harnesses that hold you safely and securely. Your ride quickly becomes an exciting yet tranquil experience like no other.” INFO and RESERVATIONS: Call 231-881-6000. Open daily 9 a.m. to sunset at the One Water Marina, just west of Cafe Sante.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Boyne City woman's life changed -- one cookie at a time

(From the Petoskey News-Review, April 13, 2012) About a year and a half ago, Sari King had her life flipped upside-down. At the age of 56, she went through a divorce, was diagnosed with breast cancer and was working a dead-end job. But she turned her personal tragedy into a lifelong dream with one cookie at a time. "I always wanted to do something creative and be self employed. I was forced to reinvent myself on so many levels, why not go with this too," King said. King took her longtime love of helping others, wholesome foods and baking, and turned it into a new business venture -- Crazy Woman Cookies. The company works as a division of Green Plate Catering, a business started by her daughter, Jesse. Full story.

Short-distance move in works for Boyne City's Classic Instruments

(From the Petoskey News-Review, April 3, 2012) During the decade in which John McLeod has owned Classic Instruments, the Boyne City business has established a global reputation — and its growth is prompting a short-distance move to roomier quarters . Creating instrumentation for classic cars, boats and other vehicles that maintains the style of the vehicle while offering state-of-the-art technology is the company’s goal, and a team of graphic designers, computer-aided design drawers and operators, and engineers makes it happen. McLeod said he started out with just a couple of employees, and the business has grown to include a full-time staff of 27. The company has also outgrown its current location at 1299 M-75 South in Boyne City, and will be relocating to Boyne City’s nearby industrial park. There, it will take over existing office space, with plans to build a custom shop covering 8,000-plus square feet during the next couple of years. McLeod said the transition will happen gradually. Currently, carpenter Cliff Parker is working on renovating the office space. Full story.

Credit union opens new Boyne City branch

(From the Petoskey News-Review, March 30, 2012) Bay Winds Federal Credit Union recently relocated its Boyne City branch office to a newly constructed building at 308 N. Lake St. The credit union sees keeping pace with Boyne City’s growth as pivotal to continued success in a highly competitive marketplace. The all-new, full-service branch features two drive-through lanes as well as a drive-up ATM. As a way to provide personalized service, Bay Winds has replaced the traditional teller line with dialog stations at the Boyne City branch. This approach involves a side-by-side service environment intended to be more flexible, functional and member-friendly.  “This approach to banking is a great way to provide the highest level of service without losing the personal touch Bay Winds is known for,” said David Leusink, president/chief executive officer of the credit union.  Full story.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

1910 water works building rehab project honored with Governor's Award

Boyne City is among a handful of Michigan communities to receive a 2012 Governor's Award for Historic Preservation. City officials recently rehabilitated the 1910 water works building on Division Street and returned it to its original use. Now the 102-year-old structure stands as not only an historical landmark, but also evidence that communities can preserve their history and still address current citizen needs. "We can achieve a goal if we work hard together. Any time you achieve a goal like that, it gives you the ability to put another feather in our hat," said Michele Hewitt, who sits on the city's historical commission board. Boyne City officials built the water works building after the need for an expanded water system became apparent in 1909, following a decade of population growth during the logging industry's local boom. The building became the city's second water works station for the south side, as another water works station already covered the northern end. Officials added the building to the National Register of Historic Places in 1998 and in more recent years returned it to functional use as a water works facility. Full story from Petoskey News-Review.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Precision Edge plant up and running in Boyne City

A new factory in Boyne City’s industrial park ramped up production of surgical tools in recent weeks. Precision Edge Surgical Products operates from a newly constructed, 38,500-square-foot building at 1448 Lexamar Drive, having invested about $6 million in the facility. “We’re here because (Precision Edge’s existing plant in Sault Ste. Marie) became full because of their growth year over year,” said Milt Kniss, operations manager at the new plant. During the past two decades, the market for the types of surgical tools Precision Edge produces has grown by about 6 to 8 percent annually, Kniss noted. For now, production at the Boyne City plant focuses on surgical burs, which are drill-like tools used for cutting and debris-removal purposes during orthopedic surgeries. Precision Edge currently employs 14 people — 10 on an hourly basis and four salaried — at the new plant. “Frankly, we think we’ve got some real talent out here right now,” Kniss said. “People are what make a business.” The company plans to bring additional production to the plant this summer — involving surgical drill pieces — and Kniss expects three to four jobs to be added by that time. The company anticipates more production and employment increases late this year at the Boyne City site. Eventually, Kniss expects the plant’s workforce to number about 200. Full story from Petoskey News-Review  *  Photo gallery.

Friday, February 10, 2012

County leaders work to boost area’s broadband access, adoption and use

A new plan is in the works to stimulate growth in the area economy and enhance the quality of life for Charlevoix County residents through increased access, adoption, and use of broadband technology. Leaders of Charlevoix County are working to identify technology needs and opportunities by becoming a participant in Connect Michigan’s Connected community certification program.
  “Representatives from governments, schools, libraries, and chambers of commerce throughout Charlevoix County are teaming up with the Northern Lakes Economic Alliance, the Michigan Public Service Commission and their Connect Michigan program to encourage increased broadband system development and usage in the county,” said Michael Cain, city manager for Boyne City. “We have been working to increase broadband availability in our communities and throughout the entire county for several years and are excited by this new approach offered by Connect Michigan.”
  Charlevoix is a county with lush landscapes and abundant water resources. Many are attracted to the area, but are technologically challenged — particularly in rural areas — because of limited options for broadband services due to natural topographical barriers and a highly dispersed population base, which makes it difficult for providers to make a business case for expanding their networks.
  "The Northern Lakes Economic Alliance hopes to help local communities further the dissemination of broadband throughout the county and region” said Jan Kellogg, NLEA economic development specialist.  “We feel that by working together with Connect Michigan we will be able to identify collaborations and activities that will lead to better broadband coverage and usage."
  “Through this program communities across Michigan are aiming to accelerate the access, adoption, and use of technology to foster an environment that is ripe for improving the economic, educational, healthcare, and governmental resources available to residents and businesses,” said Eric Frederick, Program Manager for Connect Michigan. “The Connected program will help Charlevoix County build awareness of broadband’s benefits and expedite broadband development.”
  Connect Michigan’s community engagement program will guide Charlevoix County through an assessment of its overall broadband and technology status, using criteria that parent organization Connected Nation has developed as a “community certification” model. The program helps train regional team leaders and supports the formation of community planning teams made up of various sector representatives with the goal of creating an actionable plan for expanding the access, adoption, and use of broadband. 
  “Broadband is a great tool, but only if you know how it can help you and have it available,” said Cain. “Connect Michigan is offering all of us in Charlevoix County a great opportunity to work on both the supply and demand ends of broadband and we are looking forward to taking advantage of it.”
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About Connect Michigan:  As a public-private partnership, Connect Michigan partners with technology-minded businesses, government entities and universities to accelerate technology in the state. The work of Connect Michigan is made possible by support from the Michigan Public Service Commission. For more information about what Connect Michigan is doing to accelerate technology in Michigan’s communities, visit
> Follow Connect Michigan on Facebook or Twitter.

300 attend as Boyne Chamber honors business and community leaders

Chamber Board President Ed Grice.
Nearly 300 people braved the cold and snow to attend the Boyne Area Chamber of Commerce annual dinner at Boyne Mountain Resort. Officials handed out six major awards at the Thursday evening event to honor local residents and business operators who made a significant impact in the community during the last year. Those recognized included local volunteers, business experts and community leaders:
Volunteer of the Year - Cindi Malin of CindiFranco's Cool Stuff
·         Community Pride Award - Boyne City 4th of July Festival Committee
·         Entrepreneur of the Year - Todd Wright and Andy Poineau of Wildwood Rush Zipline Tour
·         Young Entrepreneur of the Year - Kelly Woodard and Ryan Houghton of Bella Vita restaurant
·         Heritage Award - Ray and Karen Guzniczak of Country Now & Then/Up the Lazy River
·         Sally Roselli Business Leadership Award - Mary Palmer, Fred Moore and Jim Cartright of Magnum Hospitality (Cafe Sante and Red Mesa Grill)