CJP Regional Event Recap: Mackinac Island

by Andrew Broom

Back by popular demand, CJP visited the beautiful and historic Mackinac Island in June. Attendees stayed at the famous Grand Hotel and were treated to tours and other activities while on the island.

CJP started going to Mackinac Island many years ago due to the urging of our wonderful member and host Steve Foot. Very unfortunately, Steve lost his battle with cancer earlier this year, so we all remembered Steve and knew that he was there with us in spirit. He was truly missed!

About the Grand Hotel

Picture1Since 1887, the Grand Hotel beckons guests to a bygone era of old-world hospitality and charm. Experience the tradition of Afternoon Tea in the Parlor, dressing up for dinner, nightly dancing to the sounds of the Grand Hotel Orchestra and sitting in a rocking chair on the world’s longest porch with views of the Straits of Mackinac.

Some CJP members landed at the Mackinac Island airport, while others landed at the Pellston airport. A special thank you to Textron Aviation for transporting the Pellston arrivals to Mackinac Island airport via their Caravan.

Programming and Activities

On Friday evening, all attendees were treated to a reception on the Grand Hotel’s famous porch. That evening, we had dinner in the Grand Dining Room and enjoyed after dinner drinks and comradery in the Cupola Bar with a beautiful view of the Straits of Mackinac.

Picture2Saturday morning, attendees heard from CJP Safety and Education Foundation Chairman Emeritus David Miller covering the presentation “CJP Truth or Dare.” David evaluated actual flights made by Citations and the lessons learned, as well as presented opportunities to use the CJP Standard Operating Practices (SOPs). After David, Dr. David Strahle presented on NEXRAD critical updates.

During the afternoon, some attendees played a round of golf on the scenic Jewel Golf Course that required a horse-drawn carriage ride between the two nine-hole courses. Others went biking on the extensive trails throughout the island or took a historic carriage tour of the island landmarks.

Picture4Saturday evening, our group took a carriage to Fort Mackinac, which was founded by the British during the American Revolution in 1780. Americans took control in 1796. In July 1812, in the first land engagement of the War of 1812 in the United States, the British captured the fort. It was returned to the United States after the war. The fort remained active until 1895.

During those years, Mackinac Island was transformed from a center of the fur trade into a major summer resort. The stone ramparts, the south sally port and the Officer’s Stone Quarters are all part of the original fort built over 225 years ago. The other buildings in the fort are of more recent origin, dating from the late 1790s to 1885. The buildings have been restored to how they looked during the final years of the fort’s occupation.


CJP guests were treated to rifle and cannon demonstrations at Fort Mackinac.


Attendees dined on the patio overlooking Mackinac Island Main Street and harbor.


On Sunday, after breakfast in the main dining room, the group attended presentations from Garmin and Collins Aerospace. First was “Flight Planning Tips and Tricks” from Garmin’s Jan Mackenzie where she discussed FlightPlan.com. Then the group split into two rooms where avionics tips were presented by Dave Brown from Garmin and Eric Berger from Collins Aerospace. This was a great opportunity for members to learn more about their avionics and ask questions directly to highly-knowledgeable representatives.

While members were at the educational seminars each day, companions enjoyed a flower arrangement demonstration on Saturday and a cooking demonstration on Sunday.

Picture11On Saturday afternoon, many attendees enjoyed the biking trains, while some attended the “Horse Culture on Mackinac Island” tour led by the Grand Hotel’s resident historian, Bob Tagatz. Bob was named Hotel Historian of the Year in 2014 by Historic Hotels of America.

Bob showed the group the Grand Hotel Stables that contains the Carriage Museum and the stables for the well-treated Grand Hotel horses.

Picture12Sunday evening, attendees were transported by carriage to the Woods restaurant for a wonderful dinner.

While the weather was fantastic Friday through Sunday, 200-foot ceilings altered plans for departures on Monday. So, instead of taking a short flight on the Textron Aviation provided Caravan, a small group participated in multimodal transportation that day. From carriage rides to water ferries to shuttle buses, all were safely transported to their airplanes for a slightly delayed departure.

A special thank you to Steve Foot for hosting us in the past and inspiring our attendance at this beautiful location. And another big thank you to Bill and Allison Alberts for coordinating the logistics. We also thank our members for attending and CJP partners for their support including Textron Aviation, Garmin and Collins Aerospace.