“The Grand Hotel” on Mackinac Island.
Begin your lives together surrounded by romance.
The fact that you arrive on Mackinac Island by boat or plane starts your Wedding day in a special way.
Mackinac Island is forever romantic. This is a landscape characterized by high limestone bluffs, beautiful bodies of great lakes water, vibrant forests, flower gardens, turtles, and mystical geological formations. Elegant hotels, fine restaurants, and even horse and buggy transportation further enhance this romantic atmosphere. It’s not surprising that the classic romance “Somewhere in Time” was filmed on Mackinac Island. Begin your lives together on Mackinac Island, a place where, according to the Ojibwa and Odawa Indian Tribes, “Life first began”. Your Destination Wedding is waiting for you on Mackinac Island at the “Grand Hotel”.
Facts About Grand Hotel.
- At 660 feet, Grand Hotel’s Front Porch is the world’s largest, and is visible as you approach the Island from Lake Huron.
- No motorized vehicles are allowed on Michigan’s Mackinac Island. All transportation is provided by horse and carriage or bicycle.
- Mackinac Island is accessible only by ferry boat or plane.
- More than 130,000 overnight guests stay at Grand Hotel each season.
- The 5,000,000th guest in Grand Hotel history checked in on June 26, 2006.
- While more than 1 million people visit Mackinac Island each year, the Island has only 600 year-round residents.
- It takes 500,000 gallons of water to fill Grand Hotel’s swimming pool, which was named for actress Esther Williams when she starred in the 1947 movie, This Time for Keeps, shot at Grand Hotel.
- The 1980 film Somewhere in Time, starring Christopher Reeve, Jane Seymour and Christopher Plummer, was filmed on location at Grand Hotel. The movie now has a huge following and fan club that meets yearly at Grand Hotel in late October.
- There are more than 500 horses on Mackinac Island.
- Five U.S. Presidents have visited Grand Hotel: Presidents Clinton, Bush, Ford, Kennedy and Truman.
- Grand Hotel’s kitchen staff of more than 100 people prepares and serves as many as 4,000 meals per day.
- During the 2008 season, Grand Hotel used 83,000 pounds of prime rib, 23,500 pounds of ham, 83,500 pounds of potatoes, 23,000 pounds of carrots, 14,000 pounds of strawberries and 6,500 pounds of pecans.
- More than 50,000 Grand Pecan Balls, the Hotel’s most popular dessert, are consumed each season.
- The Grand’s famous Front Porch flowers include 2,500 geraniums in 260 planting boxes with seven tons of potting soil.
- Grand Hotel uses 5,200 geraniums, its trademark flower, in all its flower beds combined.
- One ton of bulbs are planted in the fall, including 25,000 tulips and 15,000 daffodils.
- More than 125,000 bedding plants (annuals) are used to create the many gardens on Grand Hotel grounds.
1886 Popularity of Mackinac Island grows as a summer getaway, but accommodations are limited. The Michigan Central Railroad, Grand Rapids and Indiana Railroad, and Detroit and Cleveland Steamship Navigation Company form the Mackinac Island Hotel Company. Land upon which Grand Hotel will stand is purchased and construction begins.
1887 Grand Hotel opens. The hotel is billed as a summer retreat for vacationers who arrive by lake steamer from Chicago, Erie, Montreal, Detroit, and by rail from across the continent.
1890s Grand Hotel’s Front Porch – longest in the world – becomes the principal meeting place for all of Mackinac Island, as well as a promenade for the elderly and a “Flirtation Walk” for island romantics. Grand Hotel Manager James “The Comet” Hayes invites an agent of Edison Phonograph to conduct regular demonstrations of the new invention.
1895 Mark Twain lectures in the Grand Hotel Casino. Admission: $1.
1897 The West Wing is added to the hotel.
Turn of the Century The automobile finds its way onto the island. Grand Hotel supports an island-wide ban. A law is soon passed, but is not strictly enforced until the 1930s.
1919 Hotel rates are $6 a day per person.
1933 W. Stewart Woodfill, hired as a desk clerk in 1919, purchases the hotel and becomes sole owner.
1935 Grand Hotel adds a radio salon, where patrons could listen to Jack Benny and other popular programs.
1946 This Time For Keeps starring Jimmy Durante and Esther Williams is filmed on the island and at Grand Hotel.
1951 R.D. (Dan) Musser joins the hotel staff.
1957 Michigan Historical Association selects Grand Hotel as a State Historical Building.
1960 Woodfill appoints Dan Musser, who joined the hotel staff in 1951, president of Grand Hotel.
1976 Musser and wife Amelia begin the redesign of the hotel’s interior and exterior with the help of architect Richard Bos and decorator Carleton Varney.
1979 The Mussers purchase Grand Hotel.
1980 Somewhere In Time, filmed at Grand Hotel and starring Christopher Reeve, Jane Seymour, and Christopher Plummer is released.
1987 The Cupola Bar is added, the Woodfill Conference Center is completed and The Jewel golf course is renovated.
1989 R.D. (Dan) Musser III is named president of Grand Hotel.
1989 The East Wing is added to the hotel.
1989 The U.S. Department of Interior designates Grand Hotel a National Historic Landmark.
1994 The new Woods nine opens, combining with the original Grand nine to comprise The Jewel, Grand Hotel’s 18-hole golf course.
1995 Astor’s Hair Salon and Rebecca’s are added.
1996 Margaret’s Garden and The Audubon Wine Bar open.
1997 Oil Paintings by Marlee, featuring original oil paintings by local artist Marlee Brown, is added to the variety of shops at Grand Hotel.
1998 Five new Named Rooms in honor of former First Ladies, Lady Bird Johnson, Betty Ford, Rosalynn Carter, Nancy Reagan, and Barbara Bush are added to the West End of the Hotel. Two new two-bedroom suites, the Grand and the Carleton Varney, are also added to the west end.
1999 Grand Hotel & Co., Fine Jewelry is added to the variety of shops. Thirteen guest rooms are added to the West Wing of the Hotel, bringing the total to 343.
2000 A new golf pro shop is added. The Vanderbilt Suite is added. Three electric boilers are added making water heating more efficient and environmentally friendly. Construction began on the Millennium Wing, a 300 seat addition to the Main Dining Room and 42 new guest rooms. This is the largest addition since the original construction of the hotel. The Millennium Wing will be completed in time for the 2001 season.
2001 The Millennium Wing opens on the east end of the hotel featuring 42 new guest rooms, The Grand Pavilion – a 3,600 square-foot private meeting room and dining room, restrooms for the dining room, and new guest and service elevators.
2002 The Jacqueline Kennedy Suite is added to the variety of Named Rooms.
2003 The Masco Cottage, a four-bedroom cottage attached to the east end of the hotel is added. The deck area at the pool is expanded and a new large hot tub is added.
2004 The Grand Club at Grand Hotel is founded. The Grand Club is a vacation membership program allowing guests to prepay future stays at Grand Hotel at a discount.
2005 The Millennium Wing opens on March 1, the earliest Grand Hotel has been open in its 118-year history. The Jane Seymour Suite was created featuring furniture and linens from her Grand Hotel – Mackinac Island Collection, a line of home goods she created for Saks, Inc.
2006 The Gate House, a casual bar/restaurant just a short walk down Grand Hill is added to Grand Hotel’s offsite dining options. The 5,000,000th overnight guest in Grand Hotel history checks in on Monday, June 26.
2007 Air-conditioning is added to 170 guest rooms making Grand Hotel entirely air-conditioned. Grand Hotel celebrates its 120th birthday.
2008 For the first time in Grand Hotel history, regular selective dinner was served on the Front Porch during the summer season.
2009 Grand Hotel is certified as a Green Lodging Michigan Leader by the Michigan Department of Energy, Labor & Economic Growth. The commitment to reducing Grand Hotel’s carbon footprint is an ongoing process that began in 2007 when a state-of-the-art air-conditioning system was installed that uses water for cooling guest rooms and is then used to heat the Esther Williams Swimming Pool. As part of our green initiative, we have established our “Green Team” that has members constantly looking for new and creative ways to benefit our planet.
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