Tuesday, April 26, 2016

What’s the secret to Boyne City’s surprising renaissance?

From the Northern Express: For decades, the word Boyne was synonymous with resort — as in, Boyne Mountain Resort and Boyne Highlands Resort. The four-season ski and golf properties were the primary economic driver of the region and the main reason tourists found themselves in the small enclave of Boyne City.

In the last 10 years, something has shifted in this community of just less than 4,000 residents. Visitors still flock to the resorts, but now they’re also likely to be strolling Boyne City’s downtown streets in the summer, taking in winter concerts at Freshwater Art Gallery, lining up for dinner outside Café Sante or checking out the renovations at the Dilworth Hotel and Glen Catt’s SoBo Development. Some of those visitors will even consider moving to the resort town; Boyne City is one of the few Michigan cities that grew in population in the last decade, outpacing even Traverse City.

So what’s the secret to Boyne City’s surprising renaissance? Community leaders highlight three key ingredients in the city’s recipe for success:

  1. Boyne City Main Street program - The city became one of the first communities in the state to be accepted in the program in 2003.
  2. Hometown Heroes - a commitment from local residents such as Bob Grove and Glen Catt to invest in the community.
  3. Team Boyne - a network of community leaders and residents who meet regularly to support entrepreneurs and discuss opportunities and challenges.
Full story.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Last River Draw crowdfunding campaign surpasses its goal

It came down to the final few days, but the Boyne City river sculpture crowdfunding campaign reached its goal – and then some. The campaign will support a project to create a life-size bronze sculpture of a logger near the mouth of the Boyne River drawing in logs, depicting the early lumbering era.
With the crowdfunding campaign coming to a close, the goal of $25,000 was not only reached, it was exceeded with more than $29,000 raised. The $25,000 will be matched by two state agencies that sponsored the effort, bringing the total amount available for the project to $54,000. “We had such an outpouring of support in this last week,” said Lori Meeder, executive director of the Boyne City Main Street Program. “I had multitude people call to ask where we were at and how much we still needed – ready to make up the difference, so that we didn’t jeopardize the matching grant. This is truly a community project that is near and dear to so many.” The additional funds will help pay for permits, possible cost overruns and to support the city’s Walkabout Sculpture Tour, which The Last River Draw will now be a part of as a permanent piece.
            During the last push of the campaign, Meeder received a call from Bob White in Colorado. Bob had been watching the progress for several weeks and inquired about the benefits of the Lumber Baron $2,500 level. This sponsor level allows the donor to have their name on the plaque that will be placed by the river sculpture. After more discussion, Meeder discovered that Bob was the great nephew of William H. White, the lumber baron who is credited with starting the lumber industry in Boyne City. “This was just so fitting and special that his donation helped put us over the goal and he is a descendant of the White Family. It really doesn’t get any better than that,” Meeder said.
More than 500 people donated to the crowdfunding effort. Besides the many online donations, there were fundraising events at Boyne River Inn, Café Sante, BC Pizza/BC Lanes, Northern Table, the Boyne Bee at Friggy’s SOBO Pub, the Girl Scouts’ Penny Drive, and that a bottle drive at Family Fare. Major donations came from the Boyne Area Chamber, the Lions Club, the Rotary Club, Freshwater Art Gallery, the Charlevoix County Community Foundation, Pat O’Brien & Associates, Boyne City Hardware, Wildwood Rush Zipline, Barden Lumber, The Wood Shop, Boyne City Gazette and Lakeside Properties. The sponsoring agencies providing the $25,000 funding match are the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and the Michigan State Housing Development Authority
“There are so many people to thank but I have to mention one who truly stands out - Lindsay Regan, our fundraising chair,” Meeder said. “From the beginning of our campaign she was a champion for the project. She put all of her energy and enthusiasm into it.” said Meeder. Sadly, Lindsay passed away on April 6th but by then it was clear that the funding goal had been reached. She also saw the Boyne Bee Champion Plaque go up for public display on the Pat O’Brien building.
For more information on this project, contact Lori Meeder at mainstreet@boynecity.com or 231.582.9009.

Art festival features Plein Air Paint-Out, Sidewalk Chalk-Out

The arts will be celebrated in Boyne City at the 7th annual Boyne City SOBO Arts Festival, June 24 and 25, in Sunset Park on the shore of Lake Charlevoix. “In the spirit of its original mission of encompassing all arts, this family friendly interactive art festival is about creating an experience through art. Stations will invite guests to interact in a variety of art forms in an engaging, entertaining and collaborative environment,’ said Becky Harris, co-chair of the committee.
We invite artists of all skill and experience levels to become involved through participation in two different competitions. The Plein Air Paint-Out Competition will take place June 25, from 8 am to 3 pm. The artists will be inspired by the beauty of historic Boyne City and Lake Charlevoix. All work must be completed 100% ‘en plein air’ – outdoors and during the competition hours. Artists will arrive with their own blank canvas to be stamped prior to beginning the competition. The event will bring in art lovers and collectors, as well as those who want to participate in the community-centered event planned for downtown Boyne City. Judging will take place at 4:30 with a reception and exhibition planned for 5:00 p.m. to celebrate the artists, announce the winners and award prizes. The public is invited to enjoy the paintings, all of which will be available for sale. First, second and third place cash prizes of $200, $100 and $50 will be awarded in the open class and a first place prize of $50 will be awarded in the student class.
New at this year’s Festival is the Sidewalk Chalk-Out Competition. The artists' palate will be the sidewalk surrounding Sunset Park downtown Boyne City along the shores of the Boyne River and Lake Charlevoix. Artist of all ages and abilities – from the beginner to experienced chalk artist - are welcome. There will be an adult (16 years and older) and a junior division with an open theme. The contest will run from noon to 4 pm with winner announced at 4:30 with a reception and exhibition planned for 5 p.m. to celebrate the artists, announce the winners and award prizes. Fee to participate is $10 per square. Cash prizes will be awarded to first second and third places for the adult division of $200, $100 and $50, respectively, and first place cash prize of $50 for the junior division. All awards are by Peoples’ Choice. There is a free family doodle area, for those who wish to just come and play.

Cost to enter either competition is $10. To pre-register (required) and get complete set of rules, go to www.soboartsfestival.com, call Becky Harris at 231-330-2704 or email mainstreet@boynecity.com. Send the $10 fee to SOBO Arts Festival, 319 N. Lake Street, Boyne City, MI 49712 or pay when you have your canvas stamped.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Defying trends, Boyne City grows while others don't

From the Petoskey News-Review: Growth has been a part of Boyne City's story for more than a century, so at least to some extent it should not be a surprise that the lakeside community's most recent boom wasn't stymied by the Great Recession. In the early 1900s, the timber industry spurred growth in Boyne City. About 100 years later, strategic development and so-called "placemaking" efforts are driving business and population growth in and around Boyne City. "Our area has been a resort area for a zillion years," said Northern Lakes Economic Alliance president Andy Hayes. "Boyne City, over all that time, was really more of a blue-collar town. If you look at the last 15 years or so, Boyne City has really transitioned. People are discovering, 'Oh, this is a cool little place.'" Those who work in economic development, like Hayes, say the steady success is just as much about a unified approach as it is about opportunity and location. "This community understands placemaking as an economic development tool," Hayes said. "When they do stuff, whether it be the schools or the parks or the downtown, they understand it's all about making it a cool place where people want to live. It's not just for the tourists." Full story.