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Better & Better

Page 68

Welcome to Mackinac and the 2015 Detroit Regional Chamber Policy Conference. My family and I, along with close to 700 staff members, are honored to host our state’s most prestigious policy and networking event.

This winter, we were busy continuing our Cupola Suites project on the fourth floor of the hotel. You might remember, last year we added the Musser Suite in honor of my father on the far west end of the fourth floor.

Soon after we closed last November, we began raising the roof, adding four bedrooms and two parlors that stretch between the Musser Suite on the far west end of the hotel and the Cupola Bar in the center of the hotel.

The suites are very flexible in configuration with entrances into the king-bedded rooms through a lovely parlor, creating a spacious one-bedroom suite with the ability to connect to a room with two queen beds to create a two-bedroom suite.

The parlors will feature a sleeper sofa, wet bar and large seating area. The rooms will be decorated by our longtime interior designer Carleton Varney of Dorothy Draper & Company in New York. All of the guest rooms and parlors feature dormers for additional seating and beautiful views of the Straits of Mackinac.

From the exterior, the dormers will stretch from the Cupola Bar to the far west end of the hotel. In future winters, we will make similar renovations from the Cupola Bar to the east end of the hotel. With the help of our longtime architects – Gene Hopkins and Tamara Burns of Hopkins Burns Design Studio – once the project is complete, it will bring the hotel back to the way it looked as late as 1915, with dormers stretching across the roofline. The slight difference is that those dormers were on the third floor of the hotel while these will be one level higher.

As you look down from the world’s largest porch, you might notice that our Tea Garden looks slightly different this year. New sculpted stonewalls now define the flower beds. The project was the inspiration of my sister, Mimi Cunningham, who had the vision and has worked with horticulturist Dr. Bob Schutzki from Michigan State University for what will be a wonderful addition to Grand Hotel.

We continue to collaborate with a number of valuable partners in 2015. With our friends at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, we have created the Live Healthy Live Grand brand that offers healthy menu items on all of our menus, as well as exercise opportunities to enjoy while with us on Mackinac. Feel free to take home the planner that is in your guest room.

We are also pleased that our ice cream partner, Hudsonville Ice Cream, will again produce a special seasonal flavor called Grand Hotel Pecan Ball. The ice cream flavor was created to honor our famous Grand Pecan Ball dessert served at all Grand Hotel restaurants for the last 60 years. Hudsonville produced twice the amount this year, so look for it in grocery stores from Memorial Day through Labor Day.

Please have an enjoyable and productive visit to Mackinac. If there is anything that our staff or I can do to make your stay more comfortable, please do not hesitate to ask.

R.D. Musser III
President, Grand Hotel