Thursday, October 31, 2013

Jean J. Musilek Shares Why Life is Good in Charlevoix

I was just 12 years old the first time I visited Charlevoix. My family was vacationing on Walloon Lake and a cool July day kept us from lake activities and brought us downtown Charlevoix for the afternoon. We ate lunch at the Parkside, browsed the stores, bought sweatshirts from Charlevoix Wear, and ate ice cream at Murdick's. While it was 28 years ago, the memories are vivid and I have loved Charlevoix ever since.
Three years later, my parents, who also fell in love "at first sight," bought a summer place on Lake Charlevoix at Hemingway Pointe. From that point on, through high school and college, every vacation, Christmas, and summer were spent Up North. My dad was even willing to drive me here many weekends, all winter long. The reasons for my immediate and permanent attraction are many:
I love Charlevoix because you are never a stranger, whether in a grocery store, movie-theater, or restaurant.
I love Charlevoix because of lifelong relationships - every week, I currently swim at the Charlevoix Pool with the same woman who gave me my first job, 25 years ago.
I love Charlevoix because of the friendships I have found here.
I love Charlevoix because of the astonishing natural beauty that surrounds us and changes with each season.
I have yet to see a more inspiring sunrise than in October over Round Lake.
I have yet to experience a more stunning sunset than one beyond our lighthouse, at the end of the Pine River Channel, dipping into Lake Michigan.
I love our churches. I love our teachers. I love the library. I love our non-profit community. I love our book purveyors, florists, entrepreneurs who are willing to invest in us, the Rayders, and Dairy Grille. And I love the beaches..I really love the beaches.
I love that my family is here. I love the memories we have made, and are making.
I live and work where I love. Life is good in Charlevoix the Beautiful.

Jean J.  Musilek
Charlevoix Area Community Pool

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Randi Hunter Loves Charlevoix

Why I love Charlevoix

At the point this blog is being published, you have probably heard how wonderful Charlevoix is…mostly out of the mouths of the people that were born and raised here.  I wasn’t raised here.  In fact, I have been calling this my home for only 9 years now.  I grew up in a tiny little town on a lake that was so dirty that you never swam in it.  Don’t get me wrong, I had a great upbringing.  My town had a wonderful sense of community.  People took care of each other.  I had the same teachers that my dad did and everyone knew my name.  I am proud of where I came from.

I immediately left for the Navy after graduating high school.  Boot camp in Chicago, school in San Diego and then orders to a ship in Hawaii.  I found my way, forged new friends and developed a military family of my own.  How could anything ever compare to that time in my life????

The end of my enlistment came and I moved to Charlevoix.  I was here, my family was here, but was this my HOME???  I quickly found work at a brand new hotel, AmericInn.  I had my oldest son Kelton.  Ryan and I got married.  I became the General Manager at the hotel.  People gave a couple of young kids a chance.  Our lives took off.

Before long, I attended a Chamber Business After Hours.  I ran into a girl that I knew from around town that also ran a business.  Something clicked that night.  I had my first true friend in Charlevoix.  I started meeting other people and getting involved in the town.  I started to meet other parents.  I literally walked door to door trying to get people into my business.  I was that annoying person that called your business 12 times asking where your employees and reps stay.  People gave my business a chance.  They gave me a chance.

I don’t remember the exact moment when I KNEW this was my home.  I just know that this town grew on me…and I grew on it.  We bought a nice house in a neighborhood that we love.  Our son started school at Charlevoix Elementary.  I was asked to serve on a few different boards.  I felt like my opinion was respected.  I felt like I belonged.

As time goes on, I only feel more blessed.  My children get to grow up in such an incredible town.  We have a Castle, a fountain downtown, and a huge cherry pie.  We swim in the lake, find sea glass on the beach, and sled at Mt. McSauba.  We watch fireworks during Venetian and eat honey crisp apples for days past AppleFest.  I get to share my life with amazing people.  The kind of people I grew up with.  The kind of people you want your children to become.

This is our home by choice and I’m proud to call it our home.  That is why I love Charlevoix.

Randi Hunter
General Manager
AmericInn Charlevoix

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Sheriff Schneider shares why he loves Charlevoix:

I love Charlevoix for more than the natural beauty of our town with our views of Round Lake, Lake Charlevoix, and Lake Michigan.  I would remind everyone of the signs that welcomes not only us, but our visitor’s or just those who may be just passing thru “Welcome to Charlevoix the Beautiful”.  Those signs not only show our pride, they reflect our commitment to our community. 

That commitment is reflected by the businesses in our area who are spending significant resources to expand and improve their footprint in our town. Those major investments are providing valuable employment to many of our families and friends.  Several companies have moved into town bringing skilled labor along with adding additional employment opportunities as well.  This is a win win for both those companies and our great town.

 We are very fortunate to have our own hospital at our door step that provides excellent care for all of us.  Our library is the envy of many other towns.  We can choose from any number of restaurants to serve our palates from hotdogs and hamburgers’ to fine dining with cloth napkins. Our airport not only serves our “jewel of the north” Beaver Island, but is able to accommodate many small jet aircraft which is a great service to our visitors. Our marina is unsurpassed not only for its beauty, but for its ability to provide all the services need by those who use it.  Let us not forget our Beaver Island Boat Company that not only transports passengers, but is vital for the supplies that Beaver Island relies upon.

As the Sheriff, the most important thing to me is our quality of life.  Those assets I listed above are only a few of the things making this town great.  I am personally proud that we in Law Enforcement provide one of the safest areas in the country to live, work, and play.  No one has any fear of danger as they walk the streets of our town.  This along with our excellent Fire and EMS who respond to any emergency are the best of the best.

Don Schneider,


Monday, October 7, 2013

Tim Petroskey has loved Charlevoix since 1992.

I fell in love with Charlevoix in 1992.

Growing up outside of Detroit and while in college I had heard of this magical land of lakes, an old fashioned draw bridge and memorable concerts at a place called the “Castle.” Aside from wondering how such a small town could draw such acts as Chicago, Journey and the Beach Boys, I otherwise did not give Charlevoix much thought.

In 1992 I first came to Charlevoix to interview for a job at the former Big Rock Point Nuclear Plant (imagine, a nuclear – or as it was called in the early days - an atomic plant in Charlevoix!).

As I came into town I was surprised by crowded streets and the sound of music coming from a park.  I glanced toward the sound of the music and for the first time witnessed the beauty of East Park and Round Lake.  I remembering thinking I could get used to this.

I accepted the job at Big Rock and was immediately welcomed into a close knit work force made up of local residents.  These were people who worked together and then after work, played together.

As the years have passed I have come to realize the many reasons I love Charlevoix:

I love the Venetian Festival, the best small town festival in the country.  I still remember watching the Michigan State marching band playing their fight song in front of Central Drugs and thinking, “This is right from a Normal Rockwell painting – it CANNOT get any better than this.”

I also love East Park and Round Lake in quieter times.  Can there possibly be a more beautiful downtown waterfront anywhere?

I love the abundant golf that is available and that my downstate golfing buddies come up to play every year because of the spectacular courses.  I will also admit to a bit of pride as they ask me how I drive to work each day and not get in an accident with all of the beauty surrounding us.

I love being able to hop on the Emerald Isle and visit Beaver Island every year.

I love and greatly appreciate that we are blessed to have the Charlevoix Area Hospital.  How many cities this size have a hospital?  I love that when all three of my children were born at CAH the nurses were our neighbors and treated us as if one of their own family members were having a baby.  

I love that I was lucky enough to meet and marry a local girl with extended family roots here.  I was this lucky simply because she had moved back to Charlevoix from Atlanta because she missed our town.

I love that my children are getting an outstanding education from an outstanding school system.  I love that I don’t have to worry my son and two daughters riding their bikes all around town.

I love that I am able to hear Lake Michigan at night even though I don’t live on the water.  I love that my children love skiing and have Mt. McSauba and other ski hills close by.

I love the fact that I love where I work and live.

Tim Petrosky  

Monday, September 23, 2013

Kirby Dipert loves Charlevoix because...

This weeks entry is from Kirby Dipert, long time business owner and resident of Charlevoix.  Thank you for contributing to our blog, Kirby!

I love Charlevoix because there is nowhere else that I have ever been, like it.  Besides its obvious natural attributes, it’s a town of caring, engaged citizens.  Although we often find ourselves on different sides of the issue, because of our own beliefs, we all want what is best for Charlevoix. 

When Charlevoix is recognized for an achievement, we well up with pride.  When a neighboring community receives praise, we are happy for them, but know Charlevoix is better!  We’ve all been somewhere and have been asked, “Where do you live”? We proudly say Charlevoix, and wait for their envious response.

It never ceases to amaze me that our citizens can be so divided on an issue, yet on that Thursday in May, just before Memorial Day weekend, gets down on their knees, side by side, and plant Petunias from one end of town to the other.  

I guess what I am trying to say is, Town Pride!  Yes.  Town pride.  That’s what I love about Charlevoix.

Kirby Dipert

Friday, September 13, 2013

Summer is great, but people is what makes Charlevoix awesome.

Many thanks to Jim Jeffreys, General Manager of Fox Charlevoix and Fox Ford Charlevoix, for contributing to this weeks blog.  


I am compelled to write a few words about my experience in Charlevoix the Beautiful. The phrase Charlevoix the Beautiful hardly does justice to the absolute beauty of the city itself and the surrounding area. Yet the true meaning of the phrase goes well beyond the landscape and into the people of the community. Living and working here is a joy, and one that continues throughout the year. The summers are a blast with the Venetian Festival and other activities that bring so many diverse people to our town. The off seasons give one a chance to sit back and really soak in the surroundings. Michigan Beach, Round Lake, golf, many trails, fishing and dining options leave little concern as to how to fill the recreational hours. 

The people are an unsung resource in many ways. More than 30 years in the auto industry have given me the pleasure of working with some really great teams. The folks I work with day in and day out, most from Charlevoix and the surrounding area are the most dedicated, people orientated, honest and loyal people I have ever had the pleasure of working with. I find this attitude is also present in the various organizations and industries I come in contact with. The Chamber of Commerce is the best I have ever worked with. The library is one that would be the envy of towns 10 times the size. The hospital in our back yard is a source of comfort in times of need as an individual, an employer, and a father. The school system has a dedication to excellence and tremendous team spirit (Go Rayders!). The community pool is amazing and goes to great lengths to get the young and those more seasoned into a more active lifestyle. The Circle of the Arts and Garden Club are always seeking ways to make Charlevoix the Beautiful even more so. Any resident including myself could add to the list, yet space will limit me for now.

Charlevoix is a great place to do business. The dealerships are enjoying a great year, many thanks to those who support us in sales, service, parts and body work. As we at Fox looked at investing in new facilities there were questions about the type of investment we were to undertake in the community. A quick look around and for many of the reasons outlined above the question was simple to answer. Look for us to complete our remodel and expansion of the GM/Chrysler dealership in the next few months. In the coming years look for more investment in the community, not only in our own business but in the many charities and organizations we hold dear to our hearts.

Jim Jeffreys
General Manager
Fox Charlevoix and Fox Ford Charlevoix

Friday, September 6, 2013

Eat, Play, Swim

My name is Todd Wyett, and I love Charlevoix because:

  1. Our sunsets are indelible.
  2. Our deep-water harbor is pristine.
  3. When you walk into a restaurant, you actually know half the people eating there.
  4. We have public access beaches and marinas everywhere.
  5. When you cast your line into the waters of our channel, it’s not if you will catch a fish, but what kind of fish will you catch.
  6. We actually think that there is traffic in the summer in our two-stop light town.
  7. Our downtown park has received numerous awards: 
America's Second Best Lake USA TODAY - 2012
Lake Charlevoix
Second only to Tahoe, North America's largest and most populous apline lake, Lake Charlevoix received plenty of praise in a USA TODAY survey generating more than 5,000 votes.
Travel writer Laura Bly says...
"Tahoe came out on top in our recent reader poll of America's best lake... but as its many fans made clear, the second-place finisher has plenty to offer, as well.  Though I grew up in southern Wisconsin on the shores of Lake Mendota (a sentimental favorite, but not on our shortlist), I wasn't familiar with runner up Lake Charlevoix, Michigan... now, I'm 'smitten with the mitten' (a reference to Michigan's hand-shaped geography)."
Read more of the USA TODAY story on Lake Charlevoix's selection by clicking HERE.

50 Best Yachting Towns in the World Yachting Magazine - 2011
To be named by Yachting Magazine readers as one of the best yachting towns in the state of Michigan is a privilege. One of the best yachting towns in the nation? A true honor. But to be recognized as the second best yachting town in the world? Wow!
To view a slideshow of communities recognized as the "50 Best Yachting Towns in the World", click HERE.
To view the Yachting Magazine story on this tremendous honor, click HERE.

One of America's Prettiest Towns Forbes magazine - 2011
"Working with travel experts from Frommer’s, Rough Guides and Midwestern Living magazine, we pulled together a list of some of America’s prettiest, most enchanting towns. We looked for places that offer not only aesthetic bounty, but memorable activities and destinations nearby."
"'Charlevoix has just the most picturesque, beautiful downtown you can imagine,' says Kendra Williams, travel editor of Midwest Living. There's a popular inland lake, which in summer is chock full of vacationers--those who aren't at the summer Venetian festival and accompanying art fair. Located on an isthmus between Lake Michigan and Round Lake, Charlevoix's beauty is highlighted by the flower beds that pop up everywhere, and by the lighthouses that dot the lakeside landscape."
Check out Forbes' listing of Charlevoix as one of America's prettiest towns by clicking HERE.