Wednesday, December 23, 2015

MEDC approves million-dollar grant for the Dilworth Hotel

All smiles after the MEDC grant was approved are, from left: City Manager Michael Cain, MEDC staffer Dan Leonard, Dilworth owner Bob Grove, Mayor Tom Neidhamer and City Commissioner Hugh Conklin.
Officials at the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and the Michigan Strategic Fund Board have unanimously approved a $1-million community development block grant for job creation and blight elimination for the Dilworth Hotel in Boyne City. Officials from Boyne City including Michael Cain, City Manager; Hugh Conklin, City Commissioner; Tom Neidhamer, Mayor; and Lori Meeder, Main Street Director, joined Bob Grove to offer support of the project to the MSF board.
The community development block grants (CDBG) were created to help encourage private development in underutilized and vacant buildings. Redevelopment projects like the Dilworth Hotel have extraordinary costs above and beyond normal development costs such as environmental remediation of lead and asbestos, selective demolition and façade stabilization, as well as major upgrades for barrier free access and fire suppression systems compliance.
Without support from funding options like CDBG, Brownfield and Local Reimbursement programs, investments in historic renovation projects would not be possible.
“The need for public and private partnership is key to community development. Financial support from the state and local level is critical to make this investment financially feasible,” said Michael Cain, City Manager of Boyne City.
The Dilworth Hotel sat vacant for more than seven years and there has long been vigorous public support for bringing this community asset back to its original glory. It is a landmark with strong ties to Boyne City’s history. Its location at the entrance and main corridor into downtown has kept this a top priority for the community for many years.
“This is really a catalyst for future projects and redevelopment and will help spur economic development in and around the community. We are so fortunate to have someone like Bob Grove who has a keen interest and passion for bringing the Dilworth back to the way it was 100+ years ago,” added Lori Meeder, Main Street Director.
Work has begun to stabilize the brick façade and the roof system before winter with window repairs to begin soon. “The plan is to fix all of the existing windows instead of replacing them. My goal is to renovate the hotel with historical integrity. I have studied all of the original features and attributes and will work to keep the Dilworth true to its original character,” said Bob Grove, owner and developer.
The 103 year old Dilworth Hotel opened in 1912 and has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since the mid-1980s. Once completed, the three story, 28,000 square foot hotel will provide much needed accommodations with 26 rooms, a restaurant, a banquet room and a pub. Discussions have begun with a management group to operate the hotel.
> For more information, contact 231.582.9009 or email

Main Street kicks off crowdfunding campaign for Boyne River sculpture

The Boyne City Main Street Program is organizing an exciting new project called "The Last River Draw." A life-size bronze sculpture of a logger will be placed on the edge of the Boyne River pulling a log with a pike pole used in the early lumbering era. The idea for the sculpture came from Tony Williams, who asked Martha Sulfridge, a local sculptor, if she would be willing to create and build it. "This will be a wonderful representation and reminder of our lumbering heritage and an engaging way to bring art to our public spaces," said Lori Meeder, Main Street Executive Director. "This project ties in with our Walkabout Sculpture Show installed in June, 8 temporary pieces on loan from Michigan artists. This will make our first permanent piece."
"The Last River Draw" project is being spearheaded by the Main Street Design Committee. The committee is currently building awareness and financial support for the sculpture project. The Michigan Economic Development Corporation has approved a matching grant through its "Public Spaces, Community Places" crowdfunding initiative. Once a short video is produced outlining the project, it will go live through an online fundraising platform known as Patronicity ( This social media mechanism of fundraising allows community members to make individual contributions of any size through an online campaign. The total project cost is $50,000 and if the community can raise $25,000, the MEDC will match the $25,000.
Tony Williams, a sub-committee member whose grandfathers were both lumberjacks in the Boyne Valley, pointed out that "We have already received support from a number of local residents and from the Charlevoix County Community Foundation. We are very grateful to all who have supported this and see the value of such a timeless piece of art that will be enjoyed for years to come. We welcome and appreciate all donations toward this effort. For every dollar someone donates, the MEDC will match that with a dollar. It's a great opportunity to leverage our local support." Lori Meeder added, "What makes our community really special is caring and compassionate people that help every day with their financial support, time and talents. We are extremely fortunate in that regard."
> Anyone wishing to donate or learn more can email or call 231.582.9009.

Boyne Appétit! initiative starts with Wine Wednesdays

The Boyne City Main Street program and Chamber of Commerce are collaborating on a new initiative to promote the exceptional restaurants and other food establishments in this area. Called "Boyne Appétit!," the program is run by a steering committee consisting chefs, managers and community volunteers interested in promoting the Boyne City area as the "foodie" destination in Northwest Michigan. They have developed a logo and aFacebook page. Soon you will be seeing window clings featuring the logo and website on the windows and doors of local restaurants and food businesses. The Boyne Appétit! Committee has been meeting since October and its coordinators are food writer and volunteer Cynthia Janssens and Alana Haley, the marketing manager of Porter Creek Fish House. 
Boyne Appétit! will kick off  in 2016 with Wine Wednesdays, set to begin January 6. On the first Wednesday of each month, from 5-7 p.m., local restaurants and wine purveyors will have wine tastings and serve complimentary appetizers. Those currently participating are the Boyne Pub, Café Sante, Northern Table, Porter Creek Fish House, Red Mesa Grill, Boyne River Inn, Lake Street Market and The Wine Emporium. Nate Jason from Café Sante and Mark Warner from Northern Table are coordinating Wine Wednesdays and inviting other area restaurants to participate. "We plan to issue a punch card and once participants have visited all of the restaurants, they will be eligible to win a prize," adds Warner. 
A Boyne Appétit! website is being developed ( and will contain extensive information about each restaurant or retail business (everything from detailed hours to whether or not they cater) -- information that is not now available in any one place for visitors to our community. It is anticipated that in the spring a brochure will be printed containing all of this information to distribute to visitors to the Boyne City area. Funding is being sought to print this brochure. The initiative involves restaurants and retail food purveyors in Boyne City, Boyne Falls, Advance and Walloon Lake.
> For more information on Boyne Appétit!, contact Cynthia Janssens at 989-942-7265,, or Alana Haley at 231-350-2962,

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Forty Acres Tavern opens at Boyne Mountain

It has a taste for every appetite and a beer for every acre. Introducing Forty Acres Tavern at Boyne Mountain Resort. Sit slopeside on Saturday, Dec. 12,  from 5-9 p.m. for the Grand Opening Celebration of this newly renovated tavern - equal parts watering hole and refueling station. Learn the story behind the name and sample the menu - elevated pub fare with a roster of 40 beers. Register to win a Ski & Stay package that includes dinner at Forty Acres Tavern with the winner chosen at 9 pm. It's forty-acres-worth of fun! Menu, details and the story behind the name.

Fustini's store opens in downtown Boyne City

Manager Charlene Hunt, right, and
assistant manager Michelle Sulak.
Although they are currently open, Fustini's new Boyne City store will be celebrating their grand opening on Saturday, Dec. 12th at noon. They will be sampling tasty appetizers Fustini's style, and are giving double bottle points on existing Frequent Buyer Club accounts. The new Boyne City location will be managed by Charlene Hunt with the assistance of Michelle Sulak. Charlene is currently the manager of the Petoskey location and has been with the company for over six years. Michelle has been with the company for five years. Both have many years experience in the food industry and are passionate about food and flavors. Stop in and see them anytime for recipe, flavoring, and gift ideas.