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Tasting Michigan - INN the news 05.31.09

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JunieBJones (JBJ)

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Tasting Michigan
Akron Beacon Journal - Akron,OH,USA
The winery/bed-and-breakfast with its 11 rooms sits on a ridge, surrounded by vineyards and cherry trees. You can see bays to the west and to the east. ...
 

JBloggs

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I have yet to visit Michigan in any form or fashion. I have never had any connection there or reason to go there. We do have guests from Michigan, but not really that often.
 

Penelope

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I think, that as of last year, Michigan was second only to North Dakota in number of people LEAVING the state. It was a MASS EXODOUS. I lived there for 17 years, 14 years ago. It sure is different now than it was then...very sad to see
 

GeorgiaGirl

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I grew up in Southern Michigan. When I go back to visit relatives it looks exactly as it did when we left 16 years ago.....
 

aieechihuahua

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We have regular guests from Kalamazoo who have been coaxing us up there for years. The even sent us a beautiful book about Michigan to entice us. It loks like a beautiful and diverse state. They've sent us Maple Syrup from there, and I didn't even know about that either. Someday we'll make it up.
 

Don Draper

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My sister's boyfriend (who we are all REALLY hoping will become our brother-in-law
) is from Kalamazoo, and his pics of his home state are just amazing. They had the most beautiful white Christmas last year. We get a fair amount of visitors from that state as well and they all tell us about the great b&b's they have. We'd love to make the trip some day!
 

Penelope

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The Western side of MI and the Eastern side are totally different. The western half (almost to Lansing) is not feeling the effects of the economy nearly as badly as the eastern/southeastern side. It is painful to see.
I agree about the beauty of the western half. It is absolutely gorgeous. A little farther north, towards Traverse City and up into the Mackinaw area are stunning. (they grow great cherries, too ;) )
 

cherry64

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I live in West Michigan by Grand Rapids. I love it here, but even the west side is experiancing alot of economic issues. We could definatly use a boost, but at the risk of being political, our govenor sucks and keeps dragging us down.

Anyways....There are a bunch of really great b & b's around and some really great winery's too. My DH and I normally just stay in state for vacations and head North to the Pentwater/Traverse City area. It is a great vacation destination. I love the Cherry Festival in July at Traverse City. I wish I could go every year.
 

Penelope

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I live in West Michigan by Grand Rapids. I love it here, but even the west side is experiancing alot of economic issues. We could definatly use a boost, but at the risk of being political, our govenor sucks and keeps dragging us down.

Anyways....There are a bunch of really great b & b's around and some really great winery's too. My DH and I normally just stay in state for vacations and head North to the Pentwater/Traverse City area. It is a great vacation destination. I love the Cherry Festival in July at Traverse City. I wish I could go every year.
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cherry64 said:
I love the Cherry Festival in July at Traverse City. I wish I could go every year.
Don't forget about the Tulip Festival in Holland! :)
 

gillumhouse

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I was there one year when I was in high school we took a trip around the Lake. Started in Chicago with a visit to my aunt & family as usual and then up through Wisconsin to Mackinaw (camped at a campground under the bridge and lathough we were dying to go in the fort could not afford it), across the Bridge and to Clare to cisit another aunt and then to Charlotte to visit some Army friends of my parents.
We took our kids to Greenfield Village, then DH & I went back again that year, and I was last there in 1994 with some ladies on the way to Maine for 3 days on the Lewis R French (wonderful schooner).
We went for a walk when in Clare - in the country near there to be specific- and saw a sign that said HILL. We walked over a mile looking for the hill! To us West Virginians we never SAW a hill there and definietly nothing that rated a sign to warn! Here if there is a sign saying HILL it is also saying 9%grade next 2 miles.......
 

Iris

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Driving along M-22 which feels like California's Highway 1, we are about 30 miles south west of there. It is truly the most wonderful place. Lake Michigan coastline is a coastline that rivals the Carribbean (sp?)
It truly is gorgeous and should not be missed
 

wendydk

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Torch Lake (about 1/2 an hour NE of Traverse City) is rumored to have been named the third most beautiful lake in the world by National Geographic Magazine in the 1970's.
Other gorgeous areas...Traverse CIty for sure with East and West Grand Traverse Bays...the downtown area is trendy and fun. The Leelanau and Old Mission Peninsulas are loaded with award winning wineries. Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park is spectacular...that scenery rivals anything anywhere else. And the Charlevoix, Harbor Springs area and the "Tunnel of Trees" are colorful and charming areas to visit. And, of course Mackinac Island is a place everyone should visit.
 

JBloggs

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Torch Lake (about 1/2 an hour NE of Traverse City) is rumored to have been named the third most beautiful lake in the world by National Geographic Magazine in the 1970's.
Other gorgeous areas...Traverse CIty for sure with East and West Grand Traverse Bays...the downtown area is trendy and fun. The Leelanau and Old Mission Peninsulas are loaded with award winning wineries. Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park is spectacular...that scenery rivals anything anywhere else. And the Charlevoix, Harbor Springs area and the "Tunnel of Trees" are colorful and charming areas to visit. And, of course Mackinac Island is a place everyone should visit..
Little Blue Inn said:
Torch Lake (about 1/2 an hour NE of Traverse City) is rumored to have been named the third most beautiful lake in the world by National Geographic Magazine in the 1970's.
Other gorgeous areas...Traverse CIty for sure with East and West Grand Traverse Bays...the downtown area is trendy and fun. The Leelanau and Old Mission Peninsulas are loaded with award winning wineries. Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park is spectacular...that scenery rivals anything anywhere else. And the Charlevoix, Harbor Springs area and the "Tunnel of Trees" are colorful and charming areas to visit. And, of course Mackinac Island is a place everyone should visit.
Are these areas near you? If so, do you have this info on your website and blog (if you have one)? I would say at least 70% of our guests are not familiar with our area - my goal (in response to Penelope's question on another thread) is to increase their stay just one more night. I try to do this by showcasing things in our area that someone might not know about who is from out of the area. I will admit, I know nothing about your area, but what you have already written has peaked my interest. If these areas are not near you, are they within a days drive (meaning 4-8 hours away) so that guests might stay with you and visit those on the same road trip? The one night stays miss out on everything our area has on offer. Some, if they are interested and ask, I will tell them about the area, others are here to sleep and hit the road again and I don't waste my breath. I have enough stuff lying around that should help them see there are some unique attractions here and nearby.
 

wendydk

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Torch Lake (about 1/2 an hour NE of Traverse City) is rumored to have been named the third most beautiful lake in the world by National Geographic Magazine in the 1970's.
Other gorgeous areas...Traverse CIty for sure with East and West Grand Traverse Bays...the downtown area is trendy and fun. The Leelanau and Old Mission Peninsulas are loaded with award winning wineries. Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park is spectacular...that scenery rivals anything anywhere else. And the Charlevoix, Harbor Springs area and the "Tunnel of Trees" are colorful and charming areas to visit. And, of course Mackinac Island is a place everyone should visit..
Little Blue Inn said:
Torch Lake (about 1/2 an hour NE of Traverse City) is rumored to have been named the third most beautiful lake in the world by National Geographic Magazine in the 1970's.
Other gorgeous areas...Traverse CIty for sure with East and West Grand Traverse Bays...the downtown area is trendy and fun. The Leelanau and Old Mission Peninsulas are loaded with award winning wineries. Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park is spectacular...that scenery rivals anything anywhere else. And the Charlevoix, Harbor Springs area and the "Tunnel of Trees" are colorful and charming areas to visit. And, of course Mackinac Island is a place everyone should visit.
Are these areas near you? If so, do you have this info on your website and blog (if you have one)? I would say at least 70% of our guests are not familiar with our area - my goal (in response to Penelope's question on another thread) is to increase their stay just one more night. I try to do this by showcasing things in our area that someone might not know about who is from out of the area. I will admit, I know nothing about your area, but what you have already written has peaked my interest. If these areas are not near you, are they within a days drive (meaning 4-8 hours away) so that guests might stay with you and visit those on the same road trip? The one night stays miss out on everything our area has on offer. Some, if they are interested and ask, I will tell them about the area, others are here to sleep and hit the road again and I don't waste my breath. I have enough stuff lying around that should help them see there are some unique attractions here and nearby.
.
Hi Joe!
Yes, my website is jam-packed with information about all the area has to offer....and links to everything...and it changes with the seasons. Most guests show up with everything printed out and their itinerary pretty well planned out. All they need is a map with directions. I also keep a guest information binder in the parlor with all recreational stuff printed out, events for the week, weather forecasts, our favorite restaurants and their menus, shortcut directions to everywhere, and even what's playing at our little movie theatre in town. I get ALOT of comments like "I just love your website". The best part is, having all that stuff on there saves me tons of time and work once guests are here.
Everything I mentioned in that last post is within an hour and a half, at the farthest, from the Inn. In fact, we're right smack in the middle of all of these things, so daytrips in all directions are popular over a several day stay...we rarely, if ever, get one nighters. AND, there are alot of natural areas, hiking and biking trails, large ski resorts and water sports (boat rentals, canoeing, kayaking) closer by as well. Our Inn attracts nature loving outdoor enthusiasts first and foremost.
I use my SEO skills to advantage when it comes keywords relating to our location, and it's really made a difference the last few years. Of course, we get the occasional guests that show up knowing nothing about the Inn, and they always say "We loved the look of your place (or the photos of your dogs), and made the decision to come here based on that alone...what is there to do around here?".
That always cracks me up. It seems a little like closing your eyes and plopping your finger down on a map for your vacation spot!
You should come and visit.....it really is a beautiful part of the country!
 

JBloggs

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Thanks Little Blue Inn - I found your website. We have lilacs here as well.
Nice place. I see all the great info you provide but didn't find a blog link. The reason I appreciate blogs as a traveler is for the photos - innkeepers can add so many more photos off things not directly at their BnB on their blog. I won't spill the beans, don't worry.
 

wendydk

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Hi Joe
I saw you on my site, and found your website as well...beautiful place, and I agree that life IS too short for bad coffee...and sometimes, too short to be an Innkeeper!
My blog is new this week, and is is not Inn specific, it's actually for fellow Innkeepers on my two year old state B&B directory website. I found it to be a better way to put industry news and marketing opportunities out there for my members...not that anyone takes advantage of them. Brand spanking new, and fun so far! I have poached some info from this forum for it recently, I hope no one gets offended!
I will probably start one for the Inn as well, depending on how this one goes! Thanks for your comments.
LBI
 

JBloggs

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I like that blog LBI. Will you allow others to post articles? I think KnkBnB was looking at doing something like that.
 

Iris

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Torch Lake (about 1/2 an hour NE of Traverse City) is rumored to have been named the third most beautiful lake in the world by National Geographic Magazine in the 1970's.
Other gorgeous areas...Traverse CIty for sure with East and West Grand Traverse Bays...the downtown area is trendy and fun. The Leelanau and Old Mission Peninsulas are loaded with award winning wineries. Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park is spectacular...that scenery rivals anything anywhere else. And the Charlevoix, Harbor Springs area and the "Tunnel of Trees" are colorful and charming areas to visit. And, of course Mackinac Island is a place everyone should visit..
Little Blue Inn said:
Torch Lake (about 1/2 an hour NE of Traverse City) is rumored to have been named the third most beautiful lake in the world by National Geographic Magazine in the 1970's.
Other gorgeous areas...Traverse CIty for sure with East and West Grand Traverse Bays...the downtown area is trendy and fun. The Leelanau and Old Mission Peninsulas are loaded with award winning wineries. Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park is spectacular...that scenery rivals anything anywhere else. And the Charlevoix, Harbor Springs area and the "Tunnel of Trees" are colorful and charming areas to visit. And, of course Mackinac Island is a place everyone should visit.
Are these areas near you? If so, do you have this info on your website and blog (if you have one)? I would say at least 70% of our guests are not familiar with our area - my goal (in response to Penelope's question on another thread) is to increase their stay just one more night. I try to do this by showcasing things in our area that someone might not know about who is from out of the area. I will admit, I know nothing about your area, but what you have already written has peaked my interest. If these areas are not near you, are they within a days drive (meaning 4-8 hours away) so that guests might stay with you and visit those on the same road trip? The one night stays miss out on everything our area has on offer. Some, if they are interested and ask, I will tell them about the area, others are here to sleep and hit the road again and I don't waste my breath. I have enough stuff lying around that should help them see there are some unique attractions here and nearby.
.
Picking up on "keeping the guests one more night", we have a trick that does it almost every time. We take a local map and tell the guest all about what to do here and there and over yonder and mark those spots on the map. Invariably this will take 20 minutes and many times this results in guests staying longer or making reservations for another weekend
 

Iris

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Torch Lake (about 1/2 an hour NE of Traverse City) is rumored to have been named the third most beautiful lake in the world by National Geographic Magazine in the 1970's.
Other gorgeous areas...Traverse CIty for sure with East and West Grand Traverse Bays...the downtown area is trendy and fun. The Leelanau and Old Mission Peninsulas are loaded with award winning wineries. Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park is spectacular...that scenery rivals anything anywhere else. And the Charlevoix, Harbor Springs area and the "Tunnel of Trees" are colorful and charming areas to visit. And, of course Mackinac Island is a place everyone should visit..
Little Blue Inn said:
Torch Lake (about 1/2 an hour NE of Traverse City) is rumored to have been named the third most beautiful lake in the world by National Geographic Magazine in the 1970's.
Other gorgeous areas...Traverse CIty for sure with East and West Grand Traverse Bays...the downtown area is trendy and fun. The Leelanau and Old Mission Peninsulas are loaded with award winning wineries. Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park is spectacular...that scenery rivals anything anywhere else. And the Charlevoix, Harbor Springs area and the "Tunnel of Trees" are colorful and charming areas to visit. And, of course Mackinac Island is a place everyone should visit.
Are these areas near you? If so, do you have this info on your website and blog (if you have one)? I would say at least 70% of our guests are not familiar with our area - my goal (in response to Penelope's question on another thread) is to increase their stay just one more night. I try to do this by showcasing things in our area that someone might not know about who is from out of the area. I will admit, I know nothing about your area, but what you have already written has peaked my interest. If these areas are not near you, are they within a days drive (meaning 4-8 hours away) so that guests might stay with you and visit those on the same road trip? The one night stays miss out on everything our area has on offer. Some, if they are interested and ask, I will tell them about the area, others are here to sleep and hit the road again and I don't waste my breath. I have enough stuff lying around that should help them see there are some unique attractions here and nearby.
.
Hi Joe!
Yes, my website is jam-packed with information about all the area has to offer....and links to everything...and it changes with the seasons. Most guests show up with everything printed out and their itinerary pretty well planned out. All they need is a map with directions. I also keep a guest information binder in the parlor with all recreational stuff printed out, events for the week, weather forecasts, our favorite restaurants and their menus, shortcut directions to everywhere, and even what's playing at our little movie theatre in town. I get ALOT of comments like "I just love your website". The best part is, having all that stuff on there saves me tons of time and work once guests are here.
Everything I mentioned in that last post is within an hour and a half, at the farthest, from the Inn. In fact, we're right smack in the middle of all of these things, so daytrips in all directions are popular over a several day stay...we rarely, if ever, get one nighters. AND, there are alot of natural areas, hiking and biking trails, large ski resorts and water sports (boat rentals, canoeing, kayaking) closer by as well. Our Inn attracts nature loving outdoor enthusiasts first and foremost.
I use my SEO skills to advantage when it comes keywords relating to our location, and it's really made a difference the last few years. Of course, we get the occasional guests that show up knowing nothing about the Inn, and they always say "We loved the look of your place (or the photos of your dogs), and made the decision to come here based on that alone...what is there to do around here?".
That always cracks me up. It seems a little like closing your eyes and plopping your finger down on a map for your vacation spot!
You should come and visit.....it really is a beautiful part of the country!
.
Okey dokey, now I am intrigued. Where exactly are you located. I tried to find your website, but I am not as bright as I thought.
I am in Frankfort which can't be too far from you

 

wendydk

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I like that blog LBI. Will you allow others to post articles? I think KnkBnB was looking at doing something like that..
Yes, I invited several of my Michigan Inn Guide forum members to post, of course no one has so far. Anyone looking to post should just send me your email and I will invite you to be an author....I have 100 authors I can allow.
 
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