Thursday, December 21, 2017

Community leaders to be honored at Annual Awards Gala

Find out who wins our awards for leadership, entrepreneurship, volunteerism and more - at the Boyne Chamber's "Toast to the Town" Annual Awards Gala on January 18th (Details and registration). Our members and newsletter are picking the winners. More than 300 people have responded to our survey and voted for the best of Boyne. As one survey respondent commented: "It was difficult to vote with so many dedicated nominees." Here  are the nominees in six categories:
> Sally Roselli Business Leadership Award
 Lynda Christensen of Lynda's Real Estate
 Michelle Cortright of Harbor House Publishers
 Jane MacKenzie of Northern Homes
 Jeff Wellman of North Harbor Real Estate
> Entrepreneur of the Year
 Gildas Berrou of Boyne City Bakery
 Mike Castiglione of Stiggs Brewery & Kitchen
 Jeff and John Thompson of Shaggy's Copper Country Skis
> Young Entrepreneur of the Year
 Erika Blackwell of Center of Attention Photography
 Anna Burkhart of Forgotten Treasures
 Michael Cortright of North Country Cycle Sport
 Emerson Meyer of the Waffle Cabin
> Heritage Award
 Michelle Cortright of Harbor House Publishers
 Ralph Gillett of Ralph Gillett CPA
 Bob Mathers of Bob Mathers Ford
> Community Pride Award
 Boyne City Rocks
 Boyne City Varsity Football
 Eta Nu
 Kiwanis Club of Boyne City
> Volunteer of the Year
 Bob Alger of Boyne Thunder Committee
 Kecia Freed of the Boyne Heritage Center
 Becky Harris of the Boyne City Farmers Market
 Patricia May of Challenge Mountain & Boyne City Food Pantry

Friday, December 15, 2017

'Fat and Flurrious' fat tire bike race planned for Jan. 20 at Avalanche

Plans are in the works for an Avalanche Fat Bike Race to be held in Boyne City on Saturday, January 20th. An online Facebook contest came up with "Fat and Flurrious" as the race name. The event is being organized by North Country Cycle Sport owner Mike Cortright and also involves Stiggs Brewery and Kitchen, which will be  celebrating its first anniversary that day. The start and finish is behind North Country Cycle Sport and in front of Stiggs Brewery on Park Street in downtown Boyne City. After the race, Stiggs will host a race awards party that will also celebrate the brewery's anniversary. 
The fat bike race course is 6 or 10 miles (Sport and Open Class) on the professionally-designed and built singletrack trails at Avalanche Mountain, which is a 300-acre city park at the south end of town. "This will be the most challenging Fat Tire Bike Race in the Lower Peninsula," Cortright says. 
Proceeds from the race will benefit the Top Of Michigan Mountain Bike Association, the group that spearheaded a major expansion of trails at Avalanche over the past couple of years. Watch a video of the race course through the snow -
> REGISTRATION and more details are online at
It's a spectacular view from the top of Avalanche Mountain.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Everyone agrees: Earlier Than The Bird was "best ever"

Pajama-clad shoppers jammed the Chamber office to get souvenir coffee mugs at 7 a.m.
The consensus from downtown business owners is that this year’s Earlier Than The Bird shopping event on November 18th was the best ever with record crowds and record sales at most of the 29 participating businesses. The event is sponsored by the Boyne Area Chamber and Boyne City Main Street. Anyone wearing pajamas for the event was eligible to stop at the Chamber office to pick up one of 216 souvenir coffee mugs, which were designed and purchased by Main Street. The mugs were gone in record time by 7:37 a.m. Chamber exec director Ashley Cousens said “It was insane. People just flooded in at 7 a.m. and didn’t stop until the mugs were gone.”
Karen Guzniczak of Country Now & Then/Up The Lazy River brought the idea for the event to Boyne City 10 years ago after attending a Main Street national conference in Chicago. She still helps organize the event as chairman of the Main Street Promotions Committee and she said this year’s event was the best ever. “Our sales were almost double from last year,” she said. “The customers were coming in as soon as we opened our doors, the weather was really nice and people were very excited and having fun. We heard from several of our customers that this was their first time participating in the event and they would definitely be back next year and would be bringing friends and or family members.”
Shoppers lined up before 7 at inspired living.
> Lori Harrington, 52 Weekends: "Thanks to the weather and advertising, the sale was awesome. Everyone seemed to have a really good time and were wearing pajamas. They LOVE the mugs. Keep up the good work. I even had some of my old Petoskey customers that came to the sale. Your team does an excellent job!”
> Jessica White, Boyne City Hardware: “From 7-11am our sales were up over $1,000 compared to last year. And this is AFTER giving our storewide discounts. Up over $2,500 for the entire day compared to last year. GREAT DAY!
> Leslie Neilson, inspired living: “I think this was the best year so far! We had our usual line-up out in front of the store starting at 6:30 and by 7:15 we had a loooonnnnggg line of customers in the store until at least 8:00 with two people ringing people up. Pretty steady until at least 9:00. People seemed to be in good spirits even while they were waiting. I could tell people were really having fun with it. Two thumbs up!”
> Cindi Malin, Cindifranco’s Cool Stuff: "This is my favorite event. We served over 80 servings of oatmeal! Sales were insane but then we were selling at 30% below cost. We will have 60% off on in-stock items during this Friday's Open house."
> Mary Faculak, Mary’s of Boyne: “Earlier Than The Bird was the BEST ever! We were busy right at 7 am and did not slow down until 11ish! So many new people, people who have participated every year, three generations of families shopping together, many people from out of town. Ladies who have made this event an annual outing for their group of friends. People were having so much fun and were so appreciative of the sales, treats and door prizes. Truly a Currier and Ives event and scene in our town."

Friday, November 10, 2017

Solomon, Grunch, Page elected to Boyne City Commission

Boyne City voters elected Dean Solomon, Ron Grunch and Sally Page to the City Commission, and the regional school enhancement millage passed in the November 7th election. Grunch, an 18-year commission veteran, was reelected, and Solomon and Page will begin serving their first terms next Tuesday, Nov. 14th, at 7 p.m. Incumbents Laura Sansom and Gene Towne decided not to run for reelection, opening the opportunity for Solomon and Page. Solomon is the recently retired head of the Boyne City MSU Extension office and has lived in the city since 2006. Page served as office administrator for the Emmet County Prosecutor's Office for 25 years before moving to Boyne City in 2004 to be closer to her children, including Liz Glass, co-owner of Lake Street Market.
The unofficial vote totals were: Dean Solomon - 368, Ron Grunch - 367, Sally Page - 315, Andy Smith - 206, Chad Culver - 178.  News-Review story.
> Voters also cast their approval for the Charlevoix-Emmet Intermediate School District's regional enhancement millage. Unofficial results show the proposal passing in Emmet, Charlevoix and northern Antrim counties, with a combined total of 5,648 yes votes (56.7%) and 4,324 no votes for all three areas.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Leaders give updates at State of the Community event

A record crowd of 190 attended the event.
From the Petoskey News-Review: Representatives from five different governmental and business groups offered a wealth of information on activities around the Boyne City area and Charlevoix County at the Boyne Area Chamber of Commerce’s annual State of the Community event. Speakers included Boyne City Manager Mike Cain, County Commissioner Chris Christensen, School Superintendent Patrick Little, Main Street Executive Director Kelsie King-Duff, and Hotel Walloon Marketing Manager Allison Bond. Boyne Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Ashley Cousens, who recently completed her first year in the chamber role, said the event drew its largest attendance ever with 190 people on hand, provided an update on chamber activities. Full news story. Photo album.
> Full text of City Manager Michael Cain's remarks.
> Full text of Allison Bond's remarks about Walloon Lake.
> Thanks to our sponsor, 4Front Credit Union.
Chamber Executive Director Ashley Cousens
Main Street Executive Director Kelsie King-Duff

City Manager Michael Cain

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Stiggs Brewery & Kitchen receives Federal Historic Tax Credits

Boyne City’s Stiggs Brewery & Kitchen has been awarded Federal Historic Tax Credits through the National Park Service. The tax incentive is used to offset federal income tax equivalent to twenty percent of the total qualified renovation cost, and remains good for 20 years. 
Stiggs Brewery & Kitchen started the Historic Preservation Certification in 2015. The three-phase process is available for historically certified buildings, such as the Boyne City Railroad Office Building, which Stiggs operates out of. In order to receive certification, stipulations needed to be met. This included keeping the building feeling like a railroad office, but also functional as a brewery and kitchen. No exterior changes could be made, such as vents through the walls, elevated patios, or changes in design that would take away from its historical relevance. 
“This is a huge win for Stiggs and Boyne City, as it seems it is usually very difficult for project under $5 million to receive historic tax credit,” Kelsie King-Duff, Boyne City Main Street Executive Director, said. 
Harold Remlinger, AIA Principal Architect, along with the team of design professionals, at DesignTeam Plus LLC did an excellent job keeping the building historically relevant and transforming it into Stiggs Brewery & Kitchen. Boyne City’s Todd Wright, from Wright Building & Design, was the general contractor.
Walking through the main doors visitors immediately get a feel for the old Boyne City, Gaylord & Alpena Railroad Headquarters. A corridor leads down the center with glass partitioned dining rooms and a kitchen to the right, and a large open dining room to the left featuring original wood floors, wood walls with 15 foot windows and a wood ceiling. 
“Stiggs is fortunate to operate out of a building circa 1899, and excited to keep carry on the building’s legacy,” Mike Castiglione, Stiggs Brewery & Kitchen Owner, said.  
Stiggs Brewery & Kitchen is one of two building on the National Register of Historic Places in Boyne City’s Central Historic District. An array of other buildings contribute to the Central Historic District being named as a whole to the Register. The building was originally part of White Timber Logging Company camp and was on the north side of the river. Except for the building, the entire camp burnt in 1916. It was picked up and moved in 1917 to its current location at 112 South Park Street in downtown Boyne City. At the time of the move it became part of the Boyne City, Gaylord and Alpena Railroad. After the railroad, 112 South Park housed the local paper, real-estate office and a wellness center until renovations for the brewery started in the fall of 2015. 

PHOTO: Mike Castiglione holds up the Historic Preservation Certification from the National Park Service. Pictured from left to right: Mike Castiglione (Owner, Stiggs Brewery & Kitchen), Ashley Cousens (Executive Director, Boyne Area Chamber of Commerce), Kelsie King-Duff (Executive Director, Boyne City Main Street), Mike Cain (City Manager, City of Boyne City).

Monday, October 2, 2017

Candidates forum recording: 5 compete for 3 City Commission positions

Five candidates will be competing for three Boyne City Commission seats in the November 7th election. All participated in an October 18th Candidates Forum sponsored by the Boyne Area Chamber and the Boyne City Gazette. 
> Listen to audio recording from the Gazette.  Youtube video from Petoskey News-Review.
> UPDATE - Solomon, Grunch and Page win city election
The candidates are: 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."
My roots in northern Michigan go back to 1962 and after a career in the legal world, from court reporter in Washington DC, to office administrator for law firms in California and New Mexico, my husband and I moved to northern Michigan in 1987. I managed the Emmet County Prosecutor's Office for 25 years. To supplement my income I also played piano for the Presbyterian Church in Harbor Springs, the Northern Michigan Chorale and for several musicals at the Little Traverse Civic Theater and in area high schools.
"Being widowed in 1996, I eventually moved to Boyne City in 2004 to be closer to my children and grandchildren. At 62, I bought my first home, a little cottage up the hill on Main Street. My son Josh and his family live nearby in Charlevoix, and my daughter Liz is a co-owner of Lake Street Market.
"Since entering the race for a seat on the Board of Commissioners, I have met with many of my fellow citizens to learn their concerns – everything from preserving our town's history, to providing more affordable housing, to protecting the open space park on the waterfront for the enjoyment of everyone. We live in a vibrant, relatively young, and growing resort community with a strong and creative community spirit. My goal as a commissioner would be to continue in that spirit and to listen to and serve all the citizens, from the youngest to the oldest; from those who have lived here for generations and those who are new to Boyne City.
"It would be an honor to serve as a commissioner, and to I look forward to the chance of giving back to the community as we go forward."
> 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 in marketing for Boyne Resorts. 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 in 2006, 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. Two of our three children graduated from Boyne City High School. I recently retired from Michigan State University Extension after a 35-year career.  Eleven of those were in the Boyne City office as the Charlevoix County Extension Director, then as a natural resources and local government educator. Over the years, I’ve really enjoyed serving on the Boyne City Farmers Market Committee, facilitating the Boyne City biennial community goal-setting meetings, organizing and guiding the Boyne City to US 31 trail steering committee, working with local organizations to protect Lake Charlevoix and helping the Boyne Area Chamber during their annual planning sessions. I was also a member of the Charlevoix County Planning Commission for four years. 
As city commissioner, I will work hard to expand housing choices for Boyne City residents, protect our wonderful natural resources, promote Boyne City as a great place to live and do business, create more ways for residents to have a voice in Boyne City’s direction, and seek funds to complete the Veteran’s Park Pavilion renovation and improvements to the new Open Space.
I'd be honored to serve on the City Commission and help Boyne City continue to grow and meet our future challenges. Learn more about me at

Friday, September 29, 2017

Wine Emporium/BC Provisions to add Fustini's tasting bars

The staff at Boyne Country Provisions/the Wine Emporium & Market is excited to announce that are again be offering the great products of Fustini's Oils and Vinegars. Although Fustini's closed its Boyne City retail store at the end of September, The Wine Emporium has installed two Fustini's "tasting bars" (pictured).
"We are excited about this opportunity," says Fustini's Founder/Owner Jim Milligan. "Ed and Kristine Brehm at Boyne Country Provisions carry a large array of quality wines and edibles. Adding our oils and vinegars is a natural fit."
The Wine Emporium is offering customers the Top 10 Fustini's favorite oils and vinegars, as well as 3 fresh crush single varietal extra virgin olive oils, Fustini's cookbooks and accessories. Customers are able to taste all of the delicious products free of charge in the Wine Emporium deli area. Pricing is the same as in the Fustini's retail stores, and qualified purchases count towards the Fustini's Frequent Buyer Club member rewards programs. In addition, customers may order any of Fustini's extensive product line and pick them up at the store at no additional charge. Fustini's products make perfect gifts for the "foodie" on your holiday gift giving list.
The Wine Emporium & Market is located at 123 Water Street. They are open 364 days a year; 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Mon.-Thurs., 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Fri. & Sat. and Noon to 6 p.m. on Sundays.
> The Fustini's store location at 120 Water Street is now available for rent. Anyone interested should contact Wes Dilworth at 231-582-6886 or Flier with details.

RE/MAX transitions to North Harbor Real Estate in Boyne City

Long-time Boyne City Realtor Jeff Wellman is excited to announce the transition from RE/MAX Resort Properties to North Harbor Real Estate. "For the past 25 years our company and associates have been honored to work with RE/MAX, building strong relationships with business associates, and serving our clients in the community.
In addressing both the current market shift and future demands, we have decided to emphasize the luxury market that is quickly evolving in the Northern Michigan region. Wellman announced a new partnership with Jay and Lora Higdon, who have doctorates in organizational leadership training and experience in global real estate. "We will work together to support and build a real estate team that can service customers of all levels and address lifestyle needs," Wellman said. "The team, community commitment and personalized service continue with a focus on enhanced leadership training and customer service in the local and global real estate market.
Wellman noted that his long-time RE/MAX co-owner Gary Deters will continue as part of the sales team. " I'm thrilled and I can speak for everyone at North Harbor Real Estate; that we are grateful you will continue being part of our team as you transition from ownership to full-time sales.  Thank you for your honesty in every situation. Thank you for teaching us all to live with the highest of integrity. Thank you for your incredible patience when sales agents, staff and myself ask your advice daily. No matter how busy you are, you always take time to help."

Thursday, September 28, 2017

20 choices for Boyne Appétit Restaurant Week

Locals and visitors alike have the chance to try new restaurants and food products from 20 participating businesses Oct. 16-22 in celebration of Boyne Appétit! Restaurant Week. Boyne area businesses are preparing amazing menu specials and offers to be featured for one week only.
"This is the fourth Restaurant Week that we have offered since Boyne Appétit! was organized two years ago," said Cynthia Boal Janssens, volunteer coordinator of the event. "We find that the community really supports this and that the restaurants are quite busy in what is usually a somewhat slow business period." Click here for details on each restaurant's special offers.
Participants include:
  7 Monks Taproom
  B.C. Pizza North & South
  Barrel Back
  Bella Vita
  Big E's Smoke Shack
  Boyne City Bakery
  Boyne City Taproom
  Boyne Country Provisions/The Wine Emporium & Market
  Boyne River Inn
  Cafe Sant
  Everett's at Boyne Mountain
  Forty Acres Tavern at Boyne Mountain
  Friggy's SoBo Pub
  Pine Lake Lodge
  Red Mesa Grill
  Stiggs Brewery & Kitchen
  The Venue Sports Bar at BC Lanes
  Thick 'N' Juicy Diner
  Trophy Room Pub & Pizzeria at Boyne Mountain
  Whi-Ski Inn
> Boyne Appétit! Restaurant Week is sponsored by the Boyne Area Chamber of Commerce and Boyne City Main Street.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

City approves Phase 1 of Veterans Park Pavilion Project

The Boyne City City Commission approved Phase 1 of the Veterans Park Pavilion Project at their meeting on August 29th. Phase 1 will include expansion of the footprint of the pavilion as well as removal of the fireplace and patching of the roof. The overall facade of the pavilion will be updated to tie in to the look of the new city facilities building.

In a memo to the City Commission, City Manager Michael Cain stated, "Working with Ray Kendra of Environmental Architects, the committee explored various options off the original designs to reduce costs and break it into phases while ultimately meeting the project's original objectives."

The project was awarded to local contracting company Kroondyk Construction, for a cost of $244,405.71. Work will begin right after Labor Day, and will be completed by May 1, 2018. Bob Kroondyk of Kroondyk Construction has stated he anticipates having the work completed faster than what was specified. The pavilion will not be open to the public during construction.

The ad-hoc pavilion committee, made up of several community members, will seek additional funds though grant opportunities and fundraising efforts to make future phases of the pavilion project a reality.

"The committee couldn't be more thrilled to have the community's vision of the Pavilion Project move forward," stated Becky Harris, committee member and Farmers Market manager.

Future phases would allow for modifications to the restrooms, a commercial kitchen and elimination of some, or all, of the support posts, to create a wide-open community event space.

For more information about the pavilion project, or to donate towards Phase 2, contact Kelsie King-Duff at

Bob Mathers Ford celebrates 100-year anniversary

The auto dealership that ultimately became Bob Mathers Ford was originally started on September 22,1917. And they will be celebrating that 100-year anniversary from 12 noon to 6 p.m. on Sept. 22, 2017. It has been Bob Mathers Ford since 1973, and here’s the history of how that came about.

A century ago, the dealership was called Northern Auto Company. Bob Mathers worked there during his high school years in the late 1940's. Later, while living and working in Flint, he met Shirley Cunningham, and they were married in her hometown of Charlevoix on December 19, 1953. Bob and Shirley started their family in Flint where Cheri, Trish and Wendy were born. In 1962, they returned to Boyne, where Bob Jr. was born. They opened Mathers Sinclair on the corner of Lake Street and Water Street where Fifth Third Bank is now located. Robert repaired and sold used cars at his gas station and in 1972 they purchased the Body Shop from the Ford garage. The following year in the fall of 1973 Bob and Shirley purchased Dick Coté Ford and changed the name to Bob Mathers Ford. They sold the gas station in 1975 to the William Lindsay, who converted it to an insurance office. Robert G. Mathers passed away at the age of 76 on April 8th, 2005. Shirley passed away March 19, 2008, at the age of 76.

The dealership is now owned by the four Mathers siblings - Robert, Cheri, Trish and Wendy. Robert is now the General Manager, and daughter Wendy Mathers Reidel is the office manager. Robert and Wendy have been with the dealership since 1979 and 1981, respectively. The dealership has gone through several changes throughout the years, but the focus on customer satisfaction has always stayed the same.

> Historic pictures and more family history, including the story of how In 1936 Robert F. Mathers bought a 1935 two-door Ford from Northern Auto, trading in a cow, a 1929 Chevrolet and some cash. To close the deal Mathers then walked the cow to Deer Lake where John Parker, the dealership manager, had a farm.

> News-Review feature story.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Red Mesa Grill celebrates 20-Year anniversary in Boyne City

On September 16, 1997, Mary Palmer, Fred Moore and Jim Cartwright opened the Red Mesa Grill and changed Boyne City forever. Many said that they were crazy to open a Latin American restaurant in a little, up-north, blue collar town. The eclectic restaurant painted the storefront bright red and the community didn't embrace it right away; it was a big change for Boyne City. Nonetheless, with a lot of hard work and a lot of great staff, the Red Mesa Grill quickly became one of the most popular restaurants in Northern Michigan.

Mary, Fred, and Jim went in with the cornerstone philosophies of: 
  • We want to be the best place to work in the community.
  • We want to be the most fun and professional place to work in the community.
  • We want our employees to love their jobs.
  • If we take care of our employees, we know that our guests will be well cared for.
Those philosophies took them far. Many say that the Red Mesa helped start the tourism boom that Boyne City has seen in the last several years. Boyne is now a hip little town with a thriving downtown. With Red Mesa Grill, restaurant group Magnum Hospitality was born. Magnum Hospitality went on to open Pearl's in Elk Rapids, Red Mesa Grill in Traverse City, and Café Sante in Boyne City. 

After 18 years, the original owners were given the opportunity to sell Magnum Hospitality to long-time restaurateur Steven Rossi and partners. Steve came in with the promise of continuing the cornerstone philosophies that have proved so successful for so many years. Steve and partners have the commitment to keeping Magnum Hospitality thriving for another 20 years and beyond.  

Red Mesa will be celebrating their  20-Year Anniversary on September 16, 2017. It will be a "Tropical Sunsplash" themed party with live music all day including the main act -  
Universal Xpression, an excellent reggae band from Detroit. They are thanking all of their loyal guests by offering 20% off their regularly priced bill all day.

> For more information contact: Red Mesa Grill, 117 Water Street, Boyne City, 231.582.0049.

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.

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.