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Traverse City, MI Event Planning

Key Highlights

Hotels 31
Total Sleeping Rooms 4,681
Committable Sleeping Rooms* 486
Committable Meeting Rooms* 13
Largest Exhibit Space 36,000 Sq. Ft.
Largest Ballroom 20,000 Sq. Ft.
Average Hotel Room Rate USD $98
Average Daily Meal Cost USD $51
Average Weekly Car Rental USD $273
*Maximum for a single hotel

Traverse City, MI Meeting Planning Overview

Meeting and event planning in Traverse City can take advantage of Lake Michigan's white sandy beaches, cool lake breezes and enthusiastic culture built around sailing and watersports. But that's not all: Traverse City also happens to sit at the crossroads of 20 stellar golf courses and dozens of award-winning vineyards. Traverse City event venues are well equipped and within walking distance of a diverse, sophisticated dining scene almost unthinkable for a town of 15,000. There's a leisurely pace to life here, and a cosmopolitan range of dining and entertainment belies a genuine, small-town warmth in which northern Michiganders rightfully take pride.

Cherry Capital Airport (TVC), two miles south of downtown Traverse City, offers direct service to Chicago, Minneapolis and Detroit and, during the summer travel season, New York, Atlanta, Denver, and Cincinnati. The airport, built in 2004, is still relatively new and routinely receives praise for its striking beauty. An interior finished in an Arts and Crafts-style (with cherry wood trim and paneling, of course) complements the architecture, inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright. TVC has about 20 daily arrivals in summer.

The area is a can't-miss for meeting planners looking for a place to hold incentives and executive retreats in the heartland. Among the largest resorts in the area is the Grand Traverse Spa & Resort (85,000 square feet of meeting space, 585 guest accommodations) in Acme, six miles northeast of Traverse City. Grand Traverse is the largest year-round resort destination in the Midwest. (Covered outdoor space boosts its seasonal square footage to more than 100,000.)

Just a little further outside of Traverse City, in the Chain-of-Lakes region, is Shanty Creek Resorts. As a four-season golf and ski resort facility, Shanty Creek offers three distinctively different hotel and conference center venues including a 9,600-square-foot grand ballroom and over 1,100 guest accommodations.

In-town locations include the historic Park Place Hotel just steps from downtown Traverse City's vibrant shopping and entertainment district, the Holiday Inn West Bay hotel located on Grand Traverse Bay, Great Wolf Lodge waterpark hotel with 10,000 square feet of conference space. Other in-town meeting facilities include Cambria Suites Hotel, Comfort Inn and Bayshore Resort.

In addition to Traverse City's hotels and resorts, North Michigan University's Great Lakes Campus offers the 6,000-square-foot waterfront Hagerty Conference Center. This facility is flanked by the Holiday Inn West Bay Hotel and the Bayshore Resort, creating a unique campus concept right on the water. The conference center features state-of-the-art conference and exhibition space and facilities that can be configured to accommodate trade show exhibits, conferences and banquets. Its main meeting space comprises 5,810 square feet, which can accommodate up to 380 people for banquets and is divisible by four.

About Traverse City, MI / Additional Info

In keeping with its idyllic image, this corner of northern Michigan is a major producer of the nation's cherries, especially the Montmorency cherry, used in pies. The claim to fame appears everywhere: on local menus, in place names around town, and on keepsakes and souvenirs. The first full week of July marks the National Cherry Festival, which features live music, an air show, parades and what else? A pie-eating contest.

In addition to cherries, the area surrounding Traverse City is fertile with orchards, vineyards and farms. The Leelanau and Old Mission Peninsulas, which extend north from Traverse City, shelter some of the Great Lakes region's most productive and esteemed vineyards. These wineries here are known for Pinot Noir, Riesling and Chardonnay, as well as for sparkling wines and fruit wines. Regional produce is featured in restaurants like Aerie, Amical and the Boathouse, where the farm-to-table trend is in full swing.

Though there are appealing resorts and destinations spread across the five-county region, Traverse City indisputably anchors the area and makes a fine home base. The city sits right at the southern end of the West Arm of Grand Traverse Bay and boasts attractive beaches and marinas a block from its downtown streets. Older, traditional hotels and resorts are typically concentrated here, as is the largest clutch of boutiques and restaurants.

Attractions such as Grand Traverse Commons are examples of adaptive reuse: here, just five minutes from downtown, the stately buildings and verdant grounds of the former Traverse City State Hospital have been restored and now feature contemporary shops, boutiques, restaurants and residences. Shoppers can find things like artisan-made jewelry, clothing made from natural fibers, handmade soaps, and local paintings. The village is set on 480 acres of parkland that features hiking and biking trails, a historic arboretum and a weekly farmers market.

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