The Grand Traverse Resort Opens a New “Store” in Downtown TC!

Amy Tringali welcomes visitors into the Grand Traverse Resort's new Downtown Store
Amy Tringali welcomes visitors into the Grand Traverse Resort’s new Downtown Store

By MIKE NORTON

After the 80s temperatures we had this weekend, I think it’s safe to say that spring is definitely here — and summer is just around the corner. The orchards are blooming all up and down the bay, there are songbirds in the trees, and my eagle-eyed daughter Elizabeth spotted some morels in the front yard.

Another sign of spring is the opening of new stores in downtown Traverse City. And the most interesting in the crop is a joint venture by the Grand Traverse Resort & Spa, the Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel and the Leelanau Sands Casino & Lodge in the Radio Centre building at Park and Front. (You’ve got to love the name; it’s just called “Grand Traverse Resort & Casinos-The Store.”)

But really, you might ask, what does a hotel or a casino have to sell that downtown shoppers would want to buy? Good question — and the answer is simpler than you might expect.

“It’s about connecting with the community,” said Resort marketing director Steve Timmer. “We’re excited about what’s going on in downtown Traverse City these days, and we want to be part of it. This is as much about us bringing our guests to downtown as it is about bringing people to the Resort. It goes both ways.”

To my mind, this is a really healthy development. In the old days, golf and ski resorts used to isolate themselves from nearby towns; I suppose with the idea that guests would spend all their money on site – in their shops, their restaurants, their nightclubs – if they couldn’t get to town. More recently, though, many consumers have made it clear that they’d prefer not to be stuck in the boonies all the time.

A couple of year ago, Shanty Creek Resorts began offering shuttle service to and from the village of Bellaire – an arrangement that has been very popular. Now the Grand Traverse Resort is taking the idea a step further by creating a sort of pied-a-terre of its own right in downtown  — a place where people can learn more about the resort and the casinos, buy a little logo gear and even participate in some fun  activities.

Highlights inside The Store include: Dylan’s Candy Bar merchandise and candy, men’s Resort branded golf apparel, spa products, a live cooking demonstration area for Aerie Restaurant, a wedding table display, and an area dedicated to the Casinos and native culture. In addition, The Store will carry a variety of Pure Michigan merchandise for sale. (In fact, it’s the only store in Northern Michigan offering Pure Michigan gear.)

The Store will be open all year round — seven days a week this spring and summer. At various times, interactive classes and special activities will be offered inside, including makeup “touch-up” treatments from Spa Grand Traverse, chair massages from Spa Grand Traverse, golf clinics and tips, and cooking classes. Visitors will be able to make reservations for golf, spa, dining, and other activities from The Store, and complimentary shuttle service will be provided to and from the Resort and the Turtle Creek Casino & Hotel on a regular daily schedule.

Got questions? There’s even a nice lady running things as the Resort’s official “downtown concierge.” Her name is Gay Lynn Hedges, and you can reach her at ( 231) 534-6721.

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About mikelovestc

These days, I’m the media relations guy for the Traverse City Convention & Visitors Bureau, but before that I spent 25 years as a reporter and columnist at the Traverse City Record-Eagle, a job that frequently took me out into the most remote backroads, forests, beaches and islands of the beautiful Grand Traverse Region. My strategy was pretty simple — just drive, paddle, ski or walk until you’re certain you’re lost, and then find somebody to talk to. It was a great job! I never intended to live in Traverse City. I grew up in Grand Rapids, spent four years in the Coast Guard in places like Miami Beach, Monterey and San Francisco, and when I finally graduated from college I took a summer job at the Miami Herald. To my surprise, I discovered I didn’t like the tropics nearly as much as I thought I would — and when the Record-Eagle offered me a job I took it, figuring I’d put in a year or two and head off to someplace like Seattle or Portland. What I discovered very quickly is that this place gets to you in a variety of unexpected ways. The beaches here are as lovely as anyplace else I’ve ever been, the weather is mild all year round — warm enough for swimming in September and cold enough for skiing in December — and just about the time you’re getting tired of one season you get another one every bit as pleasant. The people are laid-back and friendly, the music and arts scene is awesome, and the place still hasn’t gotten so sophisticated that a guy like me feels out of place.
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