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Revamped and Refreshed

Sushi, revamped porch and refreshed rooms at  Grand Hotel attendees

By R.D. Musser III

Page 60

Welcome to Mackinac and the Detroit Regional Chamber’s 2016 Mackinac Policy Conference. My family and I, along with our 700 staff members, are honored to host our state’s most prestigious policy and networking event.

During your stay on Mackinac, I hope you’ll have the opportunity to try our new restaurant, Sushi Grand. Located next to The Gate House restaurant, Executive Chef Hans Burtscher is excited to add a full service sushi bar/restaurant to our dining options.

With the help of Carleton Varney of Dorothy Draper & Co., Sushi Grand will be a truly authentic sushi bar experience. The ceiling will feature a stylized hand-painted map of Asia on a gold background with hand-painted faux bamboo walls and an elaborately carved gilded grand entrance along with a floor texture that resembles a wading pool, and the lights above the sushi bar are made of Japanese conical straw hats. It will be a truly unique setting to enjoy sushi on Mackinac.

You’ll also notice when you venture out onto the Front Porch that the west side (toward the bridge) was redone this winter. The old flooring and steps were removed and taken down to the original foundation from when the hotel was built. The steps will be — as always — carpeted in red, and the porch flooring will be covered and sealed by a Tremco product. Some 50 years ago when it was last done, the Tremco product only came in gray, so it was painted green after it was applied. They now make the product in our Grand Hotel green color, and we think our guests will notice our new porch when they’re not admiring the beautiful view of the Straits of Mackinac and the Mackinac Bridge.

Something that we are also hopeful you’ll notice is the largest commitment to refreshing our guest rooms in my career. Hundreds of pieces of white furniture were repainted, and we replaced draperies, wallpaper and carpeting in many rooms. We renovated a number of bathrooms, as well.

Temporary paint shops were set up on guest-room floors to paint the furniture, as the most time and labor involved is typically when transporting the pieces of furniture. Our paint contractor, St. Onge Latex & Groove, came up with an innovative system that allowed us to move furniture a shorter distance, which increased productivity dramatically this past winter.

We continue to collaborate with a number of valuable partners in 2016, including our friends at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan with the Live Healthy Live Grand partnership. Healthy choices are indicated on all of our menus, and exercise and relaxation opportunities are pointed out in the planners that are in our guest rooms. Also, our ice cream partner, Hudsonville Ice Cream, has developed a new “Grand Hotel Summer Celebration” flavor for the upcoming summer season. Look for it in grocery stores and at Sadie’s Ice Cream Parlor.

I feel Grand Hotel is in the best shape it’s ever been in — just in time to welcome you for this year’s Mackinac Policy Conference. If there’s anything that our staff or I can do to make your stay more comfortable or enjoyable, please do not hesitate to ask.

R.D. Musser III President, Grand Hotel