Grand Traverse Resort getting a little fine tuning from new management

ACME, Mich. - Two years after its purchase, facilities at the Grand Traverse Resort in Acme have received a facelift. The resort originally opened in 1980, and once the Jack Nicklaus-designed Bear opened in 1985, became one of Michigan's top resorts.

The Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians purchased the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa from KSL Recreation, Inc., in 2003. Since then, some $10 million has been spent renovating one of northern Michigan's already premier resorts. By the end of 2005, that investment will be up to $12 million, according to the resort.

It's believed to be the first time an Indian tribe has purchased a full-service resort in lieu of building its own. The Grand Traverse Resort and Spa name has remained the same and resort officials said it will be retained.

Most of the improvements wrapped up before the start of the 2004 season, but renovations to the interior of the 200-plus condominiums aren't expected to wrap up until 2007.

Completed facility improvements include new health club equipment, tower suite renovations, golf course and grounds upgrades, information technology infrastructure improvements and new laundry equipment.

The Trillium Restaurant, located on the 16th floor of the tower at the resort received a facelift and was soon met with accolades. Wine Spectator magazine awarded Trillium with its "award of excellence," based on selection, quality and ability to match wine with the menu. Trillium is open for dinner nightly and Sunday brunch.

In addition to the ownership of the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa, the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians has been in the casino gaming business since 1984 and also operates other economic development ventures. The Band's gaming operations include Leelanau Sands Casino in Peshawbes town and Turtle Creek Casino in Williamsburg.

The Tribe also owns and operates one small hotel, several restaurants, a conference center and a convenience store.

Grand Traverse Resort and Spa is located along the sandy shores of Lake Michigan's Grand Traverse Bay eight miles north of Traverse City. The Midwest's largest full-service, year-round, resort and conference destination offers 660 luxurious accommodations, 85,000 square feet of versatile meeting space and 54 holes of championship golf.

The Bear is the resort's most acclaimed course, followed by the Wolverine - a Gary Player design and the original course at the resort - and Spruce Run, designed by William Newcomb.

Additional features include a full-service spa, variety of seasonal recreation, indoor and outdoor tennis courts, indoor and outdoor swimming pools, children's center, shopping gallery, and diverse restaurants and lounges.

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