Michigan Great Lakes city skyline

Why here?
Michigan's breathtaking landscapes, shimmering waters, unique attractions and rich culture make the Great Lakes State perfect for groups. Add to that an influx of new hotels, an exploding farm-to-fork movement and new cutting-edge convention facilities, all giving this destination a fresh new feel.

 The Pretzel Bell in Ann Arbor has reopened its doors after closing more than 30 years ago, having originally opened in 1934. The new menu is a modern take on traditional American comfort food.

Traverse City's former chapel at the Northern Michigan Asylum, built in the 1880s, was renovated in 2014. Kirkbride Hall is now a popular spot for corporate functions and other gatherings.

Voted Beer City U.S.A. and named America's Best Beer Town by USA Today, Grand Rapids is home to more than 40 breweries, cideries and distilleries. Book a guided tour with Grand Rapids Beer Tours. 

Built in 1934, the Cathedral Barn at Historic Barns Park in Traverse City has been restored as an event space that can accommodate up to 200 seated and 300 standing. (231) 342-1526


Local Update
 A $279 million renovation of Cobo Center is complete. Updates include the new 40,000-square-foot Grand Riverview Ballroom and a new 30,000-square-foot glass-enclosed atrium with floor-to-ceiling views of the Detroit River and the Windsor, Ontario, skyline. The convention center now also features a TV broadcast studio with satellite uplink capabilities and high-tech video walls on the exterior of the building to welcome visitors. The latest addition will be Cobo Square, a 50,000-square-foot exterior plaza and vehicle drop-off area.

 The Suburban Collection Showplace convention facility is receiving a 200,000-square-foot addition that will commence construction after Labor Day and open in fall 2017. Once the addition is complete, insiders say that an expansion of the attached 128-room Hyatt Place Detroit/Novi at the Suburban Collection Showplace will begin.

 Construction continues on the highly anticipated M-1 Rail streetcar, to be complete in early 2017. It will be called the QLine.

 The District Detroit is slated to debut in summer 2017. When complete, the huge complex will comprise some 50 blocks of businesses, parks, restaurants, bars and event destinations.

 The $627 million Detroit Events Center is scheduled to open in summer 2017. The new facility will be home to the Detroit Red Wings hockey team, other sports and entertainment events, concerts, family shows and more.

 The state's first Legoland Discovery Center opened March 25 at Great Lakes Crossing Outlets. The mall also introduced the Sea Life Michigan Aquarium, another first for the state, last year.

 The  MGM Grand Detroit recently was named a Forbes Travel Guide four-star hotel and spa for the eighth consecutive year. The 400-room property offers more than 300,000 square feet of meeting space.  

Island Treasure
Mackinac Island, famous for its fudge shops, is completely car-free due to a 1898 town ordinance. The island offers more than 100,000 square feet of meeting space, along with historic carriage tours, private boat cruises, hiking, geocaching and, of course, fudge tastings.

Meeting Hotels: Metropolitan Detroit has some 40,000 hotel guest rooms. Major properties in the area include the 1,329-room Detroit Marriott at the Renaissance Center, 453-room Westin Book Cadillac Detroit, 404-room Westin Detroit Metropolitan Airport, 400-room Greektown Casino-Hotel, 400-room MGM Grand Detroit, 400-room MotorCity Casino Hotel and 367-room Crowne Plaza-Detroit Downtown Riverfront.

To find and compare hotels, and send RFPs, visit mcvenues.com

Convention Center: Cobo Center; exhibit space, 723,000 square feet; number of meeting rooms, 100; (313) 877-8777; cobocenter.com

Airport Transit: Detroit Metropolitan Airport, about 20 miles from downtown. Transfer cost by taxi, $50; by Skoot shuttle, $20

Taxes: Sales tax, 6%; Detroit Metro CVB assessment, 2%; Cobo Center expansion tax, 6%; stadium tax, 1%; total tax on hotel rooms, 15%

Group Venues: Take your attendees back in time and host an event at The Henry Ford, the largest indoor-outdoor museum complex in the United States. The 12-acre museum can accommodate 100 to 5,000 people for a private event. It is filled with tens of thousands of artifacts and national treasures, including the Kennedy Limousine and the Rosa Parks Bus. (312) 982-6001

It's like a sea of tuxedos at the Detroit Zoo's Polk Penguin Conservation Center, billed as the world's largest such facility, which opened in April. The center features a 326,000-gallon aquatic area where up to 170 attendees can watch penguins explore their habitat. An underwater gallery with a vast acrylic window and two acrylic tunnels provides views of the birds as they swim throughout the tank. (248) 541-5717

Contact: Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau, (313) 202-1800 or (800) 338-7648