Grand Hotel celebrates 125 years - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Grand Hotel celebrates 125 years

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MACKINAC ISLAND (WJRT) -

(07/10/12) - A very special 125th birthday is being celebrated Tuesday on Mackinac Island.

125 years ago, on July 10, the historic Grand Hotel first opened its doors.

It's been through plenty of changes since its opening.

It has always been as 'grand,' despite the fact it's been through its share of ups and downs since its opening in 1887, even entering into bankruptcy at one point.

It was first built along with about 1,200 other similar hotels around the country, catering to the upper class.

There are now only 12 of them left, but the Grand is the only one still privately owned.

But there weren't any guarantees when the Musser family bought it 70 years ago. It's evident now they've made the right decisions, including decisions to add on over the years.

Five U.S. Presidents have stayed there - from Harry Truman to Bill Clinton.

The famous porch is now 660 feet long in a hotel with 385 rooms, each one unique - some even bearing the names of those from the nation's history.

Staying here isn't cheap, ranging from around $250 to $650 per person per night. But it includes meals.

Through its good times and bad, the Grand Hotel has made memories for countless thousands.

The celebration starts at 8 p.m. Tuesday, on the front porch of the Grand Hotel, with a grand cake that's been in the making for the past three days.

Executive chef Hans Burtscher and his staff spent Tuesday with final preparations of the 125 foot long cake in this secret room they're keeping at 60 degrees, so the cake and its butter cream frosting stay fresh.

A lot of guests were there Tuesday, just to be part of the actual birthday and to share a piece of the cake.

The dress code after 6 p.m. was  strictly enforced and is part of the experience that starts for most with the walk or carriage ride up to the majestic porch.

Others will be coming this weekend for a special three-day stay filled with special receptions, programs and history.

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