With the sweet smell of lilacs and tulips in the air, we asked Liz Ware, vice president of sales and marketing for Mission Point, what’s new at the Mackinac Island resort this summer.
For starters, with the new owners and leadership at the resort over the past three seasons, there’s been $10 million invested in welcome renovations.
“We underwent the largest renovation of rooms on the island in one season ever with the entire Straits Lodge (133 rooms) being renovated this past winter,” Ware says. “In addition, Wi-Fi has been upgraded and air conditioning in the lobby and restaurants.
“Authenticity and the uniqueness of Mackinac Island are what clients, attendees and guests find most attractive,” she adds. “Mission Point was built in the 1950s. The recent room renovations have inspiring color palettes and whimsical elements that bring the beautiful colors of nature indoors. We feel people have a biological need to connect with nature and that this connection affects our well-being, productivity and relationships. Our color palette brings together the crystal-clear blues of the lake, the hues of the beaches and the natural colors of the interior of the island.
“We’re constantly evolving and growing. Plans are underway for 2020, which will include complete renovations to the conference center, public spaces and restaurants.”
Wellness and well-being are growing in popularity. “Clients are looking for unique spaces for breakout sessions as well as breaks, activities and healthy foods. Attendees disconnect with the mainland and can focus on meetings and relaxing,” she adds. “Not only has there been a $1 million investment in the new 5,000-square-foot spa, the largest on the island, but Mission Point has also built programming with its sun-up sessions. For example, the activities team leads a hike to watch a magnificent sunrise near Arch Rock, hiking and biking and mediation stations throughout the gardens. Chef Matt Nelson is delivering on healthy group options and is always ready to customize menus based on client needs.”
Ware’s Top Meeting Activities
» “Mission Point’s culinary demonstration is an interactive adventure with chef Nelson. Guests create dishes found in our restaurants. Culinary techniques that you can take home and use in your own kitchen are provided. The class ends with a tasting,” Ware says.
» “Resort history and garden tours are always a hit for activities in the event lineup.”
» “‘Painting with a View’ with one of Mackinac Island’s well-known artists is an interactive and soothing painting class. Guests learn brush strokes and creative color combinations while completing their masterpieces.”
» “This is a staff top choice pick. Our cocktail infusion class is guided by one of our esteemed mixologists held in the cocktail garden. Guests learn how to create themed cocktails and infusions with ingredients from the Mission Point Cocktail Garden.”
» “Bike Building is a hit where teams compete to build a bicycle from beginning to end and then race to a finish line. As a finale, team members donate the newly-built bikes to the Mackinac Island Community Foundation.”
» “The Signature Scavenger Hunt is a popular special offering where teams compete to discover clues around Mission Point and downtown to complete the hunt first. Customized scavenger hunts are available.”
» “This season we’re offering equineassisted training workshops on leadership and experiential learning in partnership with Mackinac Horseman’s Association.”
» “The intimate 14-seat Reserve Wine Bar is available for private tastings, dinners, receptions and events. This is the perfect spot for small groups wanting a unique space with fantastic views and an exclusive experience.”
» “Many attendees ask about life on Mackinac Island. New this year, we have several island residents who can present sessions or speak and answer questions during lunches about what it’s like to live ‘on the rock’.”