I’ve been editing MIME for more than four years, and there is one topic that never gets old: the value of a skilled planner. Over and over I hear frustration from members of our industry over the lack of public education when it comes to planning. The CMP designation, of course, was created partially in response to that general ignorance, providing planners with a way to obtain and demonstrate a set of skills and training.

As I look ahead to future issues, I’ve got one eye for a feature on the value a planner provides to all players—the event host, suppliers, attendees. Do you feel passionately about this topic? Good examples of a skilled planner saving the day or the havoc wreaked by working with untrained planners? I’d love to hear from you.

Our spring issue has some exciting stories, including features on Ann Arbor and fun, offbeat group activities (fowling, anyone?) If you know of can’t-miss Ann Arbor venues or have experienced a group gaming activity you think is worth sharing, please let me know.

Of course, spring is a long way off. In the meantime, I’ve planned a fall getaway with my son, to Frankenmuth. We’ll be staying at Zehnder’s Splash Village, which will be my first visit to the hotel and water park. If there’s anywhere in Frankenmuth you think I simply must experience with my 5-year-old boy, get in touch. My next post will give a full report!

For the last six decades, Stafford’s Hospitality has provided waterfront dining and historic lodging throughout Northern Michigan. Now Stafford’s is entering a new chapter with the retirement of both Stafford Smith, the company’s founder, and Dudley Marvin, Stafford’s longtime business partner and former president of the company.


Welcome to Michigan! Boutique Hotel Professionals, a management company specializing in boutique hotels and luxury experiences, has launched its operations, establishing its headquarters in Plymouth, Michigan. Currently, the organization manages The Inn at St. John’s, an AAA Four Diamond resort with a 27-hole golf course and 48,000 square feet of meeting space for corporate events as well as luxury weddings.


After 15+ months of tight restrictions on gathering, Michigan is finally beginning to open up again. Typically, masks are only required for unvaccinated people until July 1, and capacities for indoor gatherings have drastically increased. However, just because regulations are loosened doesn’t mean that every attendee will be comfortable around so many people and so few masks.