By CJP Chief Operating Officer & Executive Administrator Cheryl Hardy
The scenic Island of Mackinac welcomed us with its rich history and charm from the Grand Hotel that opened on the Island in 1887 to the historical provenance of Fort Mackinac.
Several members flew directly in to the Island and for those who landed on the mainland in Pellston, CJP Member Buck & Natalie Hill, provided their Cessna Caravan to shuttle members from Pellston to the airport on Mackinac Island where horse drawn carriages waited to take them on to check in at the Grand Hotel.
Our event began on Friday evening with a warm welcome by Steven Foote, our event host, and Dan Mussur III, Grand Hotel owner, at the historic Stroh Cottage an 1888 cottage that sits next to Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island and named after its second owner Julius Stroh, a brewmaster from Detroit. Steven has much history on the island as he and his family enjoyed many summers there and the two became friends at a young age.
We dined that evening in the hotel’s Grand Dining Room enjoying our time to greet each other and meet new CJP members that joined us for this event. After dinner, it was up to the Cupola Bar at the very top of the hotel where we continued our conversations and enjoyed the beautiful panoramic view of the Straits of Mackinac.
Saturday morning, we woke up to enjoy breakfast in the main dining room and headed off to our first educational session with Chuck Wade from Rockwell Collins and Dave Brown from Garmin both providing programs on “Tips and Techniques” and time for members to ask questions and interact face to face with both industry reps. While the pilots were in their seminar, companions enjoyed a “Back of the House Tour” of the Grand Hotel with Hotel Historian Bob Tagatz. Bob is an amazing historian who specialized in the history of historical properties such as the Grand Hotel.
The afternoon brought us some free time to roam the island. Whether by foot, bicycle or carriage ride, there was an abundance of fun and interesting things to do. Several of the members enjoyed a round of golf on the Jewel built in 1901 and redesigned in 1987.
The Grand nine is located across the street from the hotel, with views of Lake Huron and Round Island. The Woods nine is set in the interior of Mackinac Island, with views of the Mackinac Bridge and the Upper Peninsula. After completing the Grand nine, you and your clubs are transported via horse-drawn carriage a mile and a half to the Woods nine. The leisurely 15-minute ride includes parts of the island unseen by many visitors.
Saturday evening, we were transported by carriage to the Grand Hotel Stables where we enjoyed cocktails and dinner in the Carriage Museum among the many historic carriage displays that provided rich history from these 1800’s timepieces.
After a great breakfast Sunday morning, members attended one of two programs offered. Dr. David Strahle, one of aviation’s foremost weather radar experts, for an in-depth presentation on NEXRAD Weather and proper use of this important technology in the cockpit, and former Cessna president and chief operating officer, Charlie Johnson, from Tamarack Aerospace.
We enjoyed our free time on Sunday afternoon to explore the island with an abundance of quaint shopping and eateries. Many hiked or bicycled around the island shore and investigated the historical island interior.
Sunday evening, we were transported by carriage deep into the woods of the island interior to a restaurant of the same name: “Woods” is a Tudor style mansion with Bavarian charm and boast of having the oldest operating duckpin bowling alley in the America’s. We had great fun enjoying each other and meeting new friends but sadly we would have our last evening together and begin our departures on Monday morning.
Departures on from the island Sunday began about 10:30am and for those heading back the mainland to depart from Pellston Buck and Natalie Hill provided transportation in their beautiful Caravan.
Thank you, Steven for hosting such a wonderful event, Kelly and Cyrus for all your support… and… We thank all our CJP members for attending and look forward to when we gather to meet again. “Big Thanks” to our event Partners: Textron Aviation, Garmin, jetAVIVA, Rockwell Collins, and Tamarack Aerospace for their support to make our Regional Event something special!