COMMERCIAL REAL ESTATE: Grant will get Boyne expansion rolling

CHARLEVOIX COUNTY – Good news for Boyne Mountain and the northern Michigan area–the Michigan Economic Development Corp. has approved a $784,350 tourism infrastructure grant for Boyne Valley Township.

It will be used for water and sewer extensions and to relocate an electrical power line–infrastructure that’s critical to initiating the $150 million renaissance of Boyne Mountain.

Plans call for a $45 million, 136-room Mountain Grand Lodge and Spa, a new designer golf course, additional ski terrain, more recreational activities and other overall resort improvements. The expansion is expected to create 150 new, full-time jobs. The four-star Lodge and Spa will include a grand lobby, lounge, Othmar’s restaurant (named for the famed Austrian gold medallist who served as head of the Boyne Mountain Ski School for 17 years), and a world-class luxury spa featuring an indoor/outdoor spa/pool, fitness center and numerous spa therapy rooms, said Stephen Kircher, director of real estate and development for Boyne’s Michigan properties.

“The interiors will be comfortable, eclectic and sophisticated, while the exterior architecture will maintain the resort’s sense of place as it enhances the Bavarian look of Boyne Mountain,” he said.

Being ranked the top ski area in the Midwest for years and being the largest privately-owned ski and golf corporation in the country has never been quite enough for Everett Kircher, founder of Boyne USA Resorts. He’s always wanted to build a facility that would match the terrain.

The Mountain Grand Lodge and Spa will fulfill that dream. The resort was originally planning a summer 2001 opening, but construction isn’t planned to begin now until next spring, pushing the opening back a year.

The resort has already seen major interest in the facility, with over $26 million pre-sales. On Jan. 8, $10 million was sold during a launch party–the largest pre-sale of any ski area project east of the Mississippi, according to resort officials.

Phase one will feature 68 suites and services, including indoor/outdoor pool and hot tubs, a full-service restaurant and lounge and more.

The hotel will be the centerpiece for the village center which will consist of specialty shops, cafe, theater, skating rink, art exhibits, central check-in for the resort, high-tech meeting rooms and other indoor/outdoor entertainment for adults, children and teens.

Boyne has enlisted the award-winning design firm JJR from Ann Arbor, the consultants used for land planning on the Bay Harbor Project.

Long-range plans call for two additional “designer” golf courses, expanded ski/snowboard terrain, several high speed lifts, expanded hiking and Nordic trail system. Fly-fishing will be offered on a private, three-mile stretch of the Boyne River.

Boyne Mountain’s plans also include creation of the Deer Lake Beach Club and several ski-in ski-out, golf/lake view residential developments. BIZNEWS