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Farm Venues Offer Rustic Elegant Settings for Events

For most of our state's history, Michigan barns primarily have hosted horses munching hay or farmers milking cows. Today, however, they can also house all sorts of events, from weddings to team-building corporate retreats.

To plan a barn event, there’s no need to grab your overalls and pitchfork. Today’s barns have all of the amenities you’d expect to find in many banquet halls, along with charming historical touches.

New Venue Spotlight: Blue Water Convention Center

Looking for a meeting venue that doubles as a waterfront escape? Head to the Blue Water Convention Center. The 34,000-square-foot venue, which opened in the spring, sits on the bank of the St. Clair River in Port Huron, a stone’s throw from the Blue Water Bridge, which connects the United States and Canada.

“I can go out the door and look right at it,” Kim Appel, the facility’s general manager, says of the bridge. “There’s no way to describe the beautiful view.”

Relax & Book Your Next Event at a Spa

Give your guests some welcome “me” time by booking a your next event at a venue with a spa. “The spa very much plays into meetings,” says Dawn Olsen, spa director at Grand Traverse Resort and Spa in Acme. “People like to come and do conferences and learn more, but they also want a little time for themselves.”

New Venue Spotlight: Selden Standard

SELDEN STANDARD IS PACKING THEM IN. The restaurant, a project of Andy Hollyday, former executive chef at Roast, and Evan Hansen, opened in Midtown in November, and the public promptly lost its collective mind. Reviewers raved. Lines of people waiting for seats snaked out the door in the snow.

The tapas-style dining lets diners bond over shared, handcrafted meals and, happily for planners, the restaurant opened ready to host meetings and events.

New Venue Spotlight: The Corner Loft

Looking for an intimate venue with a gorgeous view? Try the Corner Loft in Traverse City.

The 2,000-square-foot space, which opened in October 2013, is the project of Marie and Jeffrey Schwartz. The couple, both employed in the oil and gas industry (Marie retired in May 2013), purchased the loft with the intention of turning it into a condo. But after their sons hosted a lively New Year’s Eve party there, they got other ideas.

Venue Report: Lancaster Arts Hotel

If you read hotel marketing materials as much as I do, you’ll realize that many like to say they “feel just like home.” I’ve always taken issue with that – not because I don’t love my own home – but because when I travel I want my hotel to be different. I want to experience something unique and memorable. Comfortable, yes, but exactly like what I have at home…no thanks.

Put Private Dining in the Palm of Your Hand

I am insatiably curious and always keen to learn something new, but I find that I am surprised by the seemingly familiar more often than not. Case in point? The Palm restaurant in Philadelphia. This elegant steakhouse is tucked inside the landmark Hyatt at The Bellevue hotel. It exudes that classic steakhouse appeal – a dark wood bar, a buzzy “business is getting done here” ambience and professional male waiters sporting jackets.

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