• BlueBridge Event Center is the New All-Season Activity Venue

    FROM THE Fall 2017 ISSUE

    Duo transforms former Frog Pond Village near Interlochen

For years, Chris McCrumb and his wife, Stephanie, were both employed by a Traverse City area church—Chris as the executive director and Stephanie as the director of communications.

“We both helped plan church events,” says Chris. “We love to play host and hostess and do all the stuff behind the scenes in setting the stage for an event to happen. Stephanie is a graphic designer by schooling and a true artist. She has a knack for interior design and all kinds of artistic things. She also helped a friend of hers with her wedding planning business.”

Last November, the McCrumbs decided to take the plunge and go into business for themselves. They purchased a facility that for 18 years had been known as Frog Pond Village, a popular wedding venue near the Interlochen Center for the Arts that was only open from May through October.

Now known as BlueBridge Event Center, the McCrumbs have changed things up quite a bit. “Our plan is to make it much more than a wedding venue,” Chris says. “We plan to run it yearround for corporate events, parties, celebrations, trainings, retreats and other ‘connecting events’ for families, companies and other groups.”

There are three event spaces—two large, wooden buildings and a tented deck. One building can accommodate up to 300 guests for a seated dinner and up to 350 for a cocktail party. The other building can host up to 160 guests seated and up to 200 standing. Off each is a covered patio. The tented deck is available during spring, summer and fall, and can accommodate up to 60 guests seated and up to 80 standing.

“Both buildings have a rustic elegance to them,” says McCrumb.

BlueBridge opened in April. The McCrumbs have made major renovations and improvements, including remodeled catering prep areas, bathrooms, new state-of-the-art sound, lighting and audio-visual technology, and new seating. More minor renovations are planned.

The venue is located in Grawn about eight miles south of Traverse City off of U.S. 31 near the Interlochen Golf Course. Situated on 10 wooded acres near Ellis Lake in a pine forest, the property is landscaped with gardens, walking paths, small ponds with fountains and small bridges, a park area with a gazebo, a vineyard and picnic areas, and several fire pits.

Says McCrumb, “When you come here, you get a very woodsy, Northern Michigan atmosphere.”

Groups can use BlueBridge’s preferred caterer, Grandview Catering, or can provide their own. 

Michigan is home to nearly 150 wineries, many with private events spaces set against backdrops of picturesque vineyards and wide-open rural countryside scenes. While weddings are among the primary celebrations hosted, many also offer venues ideal for business and corporate receptions or events.


After a year filled with uncertainty and countless projects and proposals put on hold, growth in any sector of the hospitality industry is always welcome news. But a statewide slew of brand-new hotels? That’s something to celebrate. Here, we spotlight just a few of the new properties offering planners and guests new spots to meet, refresh and recharge.


From the exterior alone, the Guardian Building distinguishes itself as an extraordinary place in downtown Detroit. Over 2 million tangerine-colored bricks texture its 40 stories, later to be named “Guardian bricks” by the manufacturer in honor of the project. Although there are more curiosities to be discovered inside, the one-of-a-kind “Aztec Art Deco” style influences the design and materials in the space.