• Detroit Flashbacks

    FROM THE Fall 2018 ISSUE

    Do you remember when these historic venues opened?

For some industry veterans, opening day for many of these event facilities might feel like yesterday. Let’s take a trip down memory lane for a look back on the opening days of these Detroit landmarks.

Belle Isle Casino: May 1908
Michigan Central Station (now Ford Motor Co.): Jan. 4, 1914
Detroit Athletic Club: April 15, 1915
Orchestra Hall: Oct. 23, 1919
Detroit Opera House: Jan. 12, 1922
Detroit Yacht Club: 1923
The Westin Book Cadillac: Dec. 8, 1924
The Filmore Detroit (State Theatre): Oct. 29, 1925
Detroit Masonic Temple: Nov. 25, 1926
Detroit Institute of Arts: Oct. 7, 1927
The Fisher (Theatre) Building: Sept. 1, 1928
Fox Theatre: Sept. 21, 1928
McGregor Memorial Conference Center (WSU): May 18, 1958
Cobo Center: Aug. 15, 1960
Crowne Plaza Detroit Downtown: July 24, 1965
Detroit Marriott Renaissance Center: April 15, 1977
Joe Louis Arena: Dec. 12, 1979
MGM Grand Detroit: July 29, 1999
MotorCity Casino Hotel: Dec. 14, 1999
Comerica Park: April 11, 2000
Greektown Casino: Nov. 10, 2000
Ford Field: Aug. 24, 2002

One great source for the history and old photos of these legendary facilities that planners could use for event promotions or communications is HistoricDetroit.org

First came COVID. Then came the tornado.

The northern Michigan community of Gaylord was just starting to rebound from the pandemic with its groups and events business as a new season was getting underway when a rare EF3 tornado with estimated wind speeds between 136 and 165 miles per hour struck May 20.

Two people were killed and at least 44 were injured, according to official reports at the time. West Michigan meteorologist Bill Steffen said it was the strongest tornado to strike in the U.S. that month. 


A conference or convention venue might be described by meeting planners as offering ease and convenience for multiple reasons. It may be because its address is easily accessible from numerous compass points. Or perhaps it’s the destination—with a variety of opportunities for activities and entertainment close-by. And of course, it could be that the venue itself offers a peaceful, easy setting with all the comforts you could want. 

Well, at Treetops Resort, it’s all of the above. 


I chatted with Karen Totaro, general manager of Detroit’s newly renamed Huntington Place convention center, for our People Profile page in the spring issue of Michigan Meetings + Events. We didn’t have room for the whole conversation, so I wanted to share more of what Totaro had to say.