planning

New Lodging Properties for Glacier Country

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Western Montana's Glacier Country is benefitting from four new lodging properties in Kalispell, Whitefish and Columbia Falls. Several properties also have renovated, including Flathead Lake Lodge on the east shore of Flathead Lake near Bigfork, which upgraded cabins with new wood floors and remodeled bathrooms.

Prime Spots for Glamping in Idaho

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Camping for groups is a bit challenging and not the type of gathering embraced by everyone, but yurts offer a type of lodging that is somewhere between a cabin and tent. Usually round, approximately 20 feet in diameter, waterproof and semipermanent, a yurt typically features a wooden floor, skylight, hardwood walls and canvas for weather protection.

Industry 411: Industry Experts Share Thoughts on the State of the Industry

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Each year, prior to our Best of Michigan Awards party, the MIM+E Editorial Advisory Board meets to discuss the state of the meetings and events industry, including the challenges it faces and the trends taking hold or on their way out. Here’s what our members had to say this year.

MIM+E: Let’s start by talking about the issues facing our industry. What are the top challenges?

Glow-in-the-Dark Yoga Offered at Two Michigan Hotels

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The JW Marriott Grand Rapids and the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel now offer glow-inthe-dark yoga, where guests take a break from high-pressure meetings to enter a black-lit room full of music and energy. Upon arrival, attendees can have their arms, legs or faces painted with glow paint in preparation for yoga that is sure to quash any workday blues.

Cobo Center’s Sustainability Efforts Pay Off

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Cobo Center’s green efforts are landing it new business. The Sustainable Brands conference will relocate to Detroit in 2017, after five years in San Diego.

Cobo achieved the Green Meetings Industry Council’s APEX/ ASTM rigorous standard certification in 2015. (It was just the ninth convention center to do so.) Its green initiatives have been numerous, and the center has earned several awards for its efforts, including the 2015 Detroit Free Press Michigan Green Leader Award. It recently added food composting to its sustainability program.

Signature Drink: Stoned Fence

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Craft cider company Virtue offers tours, a tasting room and a bottle shop at its Fennville farm. Stoned Fence, created by Mae Governale, won Virtue’s 2016 cocktail competition.

INGREDIENTS:
—1.75 oz. aged rum
—.25 oz. Rich Demerara syrup 
—2 oz. The Mitten Cider
—cinnamon tincture to taste
—lemon swath

DIRECTIONS:
Mix ingredients in your favorite cocktail glass and enjoy

COURTESY OF Virtue Cider

Beyond the Border: Escape the Madness at J.W. Marriott Orlando, Grande Lakes

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Orlando is synonymous with Disney. It’s almost Pavlovian. You hear the name and you immediately conjure up an image of the Mouse. What if you could visit Orlando but stay far from the madding crowd? The J.W. Marriott Orlando, Grande Lakes fits the bill. This palatial resort is blissfully free of the hustle and bustle of nearby Disney and offers a regal style reminiscent of Europe. The best part? Partnered with the adjacent Ritz-Carlton Grande Lakes, this resort is truly a world unto itself.

Signature Drink: "Bo Knows This"

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After a two-year hiatus from the restaurant world, chef Jason Vincent is back with Giant. The 40-seat spot in Logan Square offers classic Midwestern dishes from the culinary genius named Food & Wine’s “Best New Chef” and a winner of the Michelin Guide’s Bib Gourmand award. General Manager and Partner Josh Perlman will oversee Giant’s beverage program, which includes a boutique wine and beer list and classic cocktails like this one—named after A Tribe Called Quest song.

David Ranalli’s Magic Act is a Crowd-Pleaser

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David Ranalli, aka “The Corporate Illusionist,” has been practicing magic since he was 13 years old, first gaining exposure in nightclubs before moving to the business world where tricks like mind reading and Russian roulette wow crowds of around 1,000 people (or more if needed). Here, he shares his secrets to being a successful entertainer. 

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