Up North Businesses Build Common Good In Tough Times

By MSAE Community posted 04-24-2020 00:00


(The Following is Contributed Content)

In northern Michigan, several resorts and hotels are working together to ensure associations can continue to meet member's needs well into a post-COVID market.

Mission Point on Mackinac Island recently took the initiative in beginning conversations with surrounding resorts like Shanty Creek in Bellaire and Boyne Resorts to adapt to the changing landscape determining how to work together in their clients' best interests.

"We genuinely care about the health and success of our Michigan associations," says Debbie Denyer, Association Specialist at Mission Point.

Denyer, one of many navigating the uncharted territory of conference postponements and meeting cancellations amid the pandemic, recognized the chain reaction impact the local economy would experience if small businesses or associations blindly stuck to pre-existing contracts and commitments.

"It's no easy task," says Chris Hale, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Shanty Creek. "We're working with each other to consciously choose long-term relationships and retention over short-term contract scuttle, forgiving cancellation and attrition fees and moving events to following years to make these transitions as smooth as possible."

Gratitude for these efforts has been expressed throughout client communications. "All the flexibility and understanding has been greatly appreciated as we reschedule our summer conferences," remarks Karen Schwartz, Administrator for the State Bar of Michigan, RPLS. "It's truly been a pleasure working with everyone and we look forward to spending time at these beautiful venues in the future."

Judy Booth, Vice President of Sales at Boyne Mountain says, "It is almost like putting a puzzle together—finding future dates that work with rotations so that we all retain the group business in the long run, and keep strong partnerships with our customers,".

"Associations are the engine of our economy," says Denyer. "So, although we may be competitors, we've begun setting the example in how to work with each other by aligning calendars and availabilities in hopes of settling into win-win situations for all parties involved."

In trying times, collaborations like these prove that no industry understands hospitality quite like travel and tourism; northern Michigan resorts are here to support their clients in any way.

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