A proud symbol of southeast Michigan’s authentic charm, the St. Clair Inn plans to reopen its doors in 2020 following a multimillion-dollar renovation. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1995, the renovation pays tribute to the hotel’s historic beginnings while breathing new life into its future as a hospitality icon.

The ownership team plans to honor the values of the St. Clair community by preserving the building’s original historic structures. “The Inn set the bar for every hospitality establishment in the region. It drew business and tourism customers from the Metro Detroit region and worldwide,” says Bill Kauffman, project manager of Grindstone Strategies. “The current owners recognized the economic and social potential for the community and southeast Michigan region if the Inn’s former glory was restored.”

The Inn will boast more than 34,000 square feet of indoor/outdoor event space, including a 3,880-square-foot ballroom overlooking the St. Clair River and Lake Ontario. Equipped with fully customizable, state-of-the-art technology, groups sized anywhere from 8-400 people are invited to take advantage of the variety of venue options for weddings, ceremonies and more.

Seven on-site restaurants and lounges will accompany the new and improved event spaces, where guests will find locally sourced products, artfully crafted menus and signature cocktails. 

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Event planners often prepare for the worst, but one thing they likely didn’t anticipate was a global pandemic when selecting event cancellation insurance policies for their 2020 gatherings. Panicked planners began contacting Marcia McKinney, owner of Northeast Insurance Advisors, in late February and early March, but as meetings and events ground to a halt, they were already out of luck.

“It’s kind of like trying to buy homeowner’s insurance as your house is starting to catch fire... it’s too late,” says McKinney.

 

Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth is one of six recipients of the James Beard Foundation’s 2020 America’s Classics Award, which is given to locally owned restaurants that have timeless appeal and are beloved regionally for quality food that reflects the character of their community. Per the foundation, “Zehnder’s of Frankenmuth, a chicken dinner behemoth positioned between Detroit and Michigan’s summer lake destination, is decidedly on the beaten path. William Zehnder Sr. and his wife, Emilie, bought a former hotel in 1928.

 

Congratulations to the winners!

Best Meeting/Event Planning Company
Emerald City Designs