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Local News / Entertainment

Thursday, 29 March, 2012 11:35 PM

Grand Hotel named the Official Hotel of the 2012 Bell's Beer Mackinac Race

Photo credit: Marx Layne & Co.

The beautiful Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, Mich.



DETROIT – Detroit's Bayview Yacht Club, one of the most storied and historical sailing clubs in the world, today announced the Grand Hotel is the official hotel of the 2012 Bell’s Beer Bayview Mackinac Race. In conjunction with this announcement, the Bayview Race Committee also is announcing that the finish line for the 2012 race is being moved to the west side of the island. The 2012 Bell’s Beer Bayview Mackinac Race will set sail from Port Huron on Saturday, July 14.

“Grand Hotel is the iconic image of Mackinac Island,” said Commodore Gregory I. Thomas, 2012 Bell’s Beer Mackinac Race Chairman. “We are so excited that it has become the official hotel of the race. Clearly, it is a natural fit for such an historic event.”

"Grand Hotel is celebrating our 125th anniversary the same weekend as this year's race, so this is an opportune time for two of Michigan's great summer traditions to form this partnership," said R. D (Dan) Musser III, president of the Grand Hotel. "We look forward to welcoming the sailors and sailing aficionados who participate in the Bell's Beer Bayview Mackinac Race to Mackinac Island and to Grand Hotel."

The finish line for the 2012 Bell's Beer Bayview Mackinac Race will return to the original finish line used in 1925, but instead of heading in an easterly direction, the boats will be finishing in a westerly direction. The Chicago Mackinac Race, held one week after the Bell's Beer Bayview Mackinac Race, will also use the same finish line.

“The Race is going back to its roots,” added Thomas. “This is the same finish line we used 88-years ago for the first race and all others through 1966.”

Another change from recent years is Tuesday afternoon’s award ceremony and party will be held at Woodfill Park. Located at the foot of the hill leading to Grand Hotel, the park is named after the late Stewart W. Woodfill, owner Grand Hotel from 1933 to 1979.

In addition to the new partnership with the Grand Hotel, Bayview Yacht Club also has agreed to a three-year package to extend the use of Yellowbrick Tracking GPS devices for online race viewing. Yellowbrick Tracking is the world’s largest truly-global tracking provider and will allow spectators to follow the progress of the entire fleet or individual boats via tracking devices placed onboard all of the yachts taking part in the race.

During the race, sailing fans can log onto the Bell's Brewery or Bayview Yacht Club websites, as well as an enabled mobile device to track their friends, favorite boats or the entire fleet. In 2011, more than four million hits and 400,000 page views were tracked on the website during the race.

This is the first time in the history of the race that multiple year deals have been signed. Bayview Yacht Club had previously announced Michigan-based Bell’s Brewery had signed a three-year agreement to be the title sponsor of the race. All three deals run through 2014 bringing unprecedented stability and the ability to grow to the race and ancillary events such as the Charity Preview Party at Bayview Yacht Club.

“We have undertaken an aggressive program that will ensure the tradition and growth of the race for many years to come,” said Jeff Henderson, 2012 Bayview Yacht Club Commodore. “This is the first time in the long history of the race that we have secured multi-year deals with our title sponsor and major vendors. In past years, we have has always had year-to-year deals. The security created by these multi-year deals permits us to concentrate on growing the race.”

This year’s race marks 88 consecutive years for the world-class event. Some 200 plus sailboats and 2,500 sailors are expected to take part in the annual regatta with an estimated 100,000 sailing fans and families attending the festive activities in Port Huron leading to the Saturday start.

The economic value of the race is approximated between $30 and $59 million, depending on weather conditions, making it one of the premier events hosted in the State of Michigan. It also is an event with major economic impact to a host of local Michigan businesses, especially those in the tourism industry.

Bayview Yacht Club, founded in 1915, is widely regarded as the premier sailing club in Michigan and the Midwest. It has been hosting the Bayview Mackinac Race since 1925. The private club is located on the Detroit River near the mouth of Lake St. Clair and has more than 1,000 members. For more information:

Grand Hotel is continually recognized for the quality of its hospitality. It is listed again in 2011 as one of Travel & Leisure magazine’s Top 500 Hotels in the World and has been named a winner of the AAA Four Diamond Award for the 17th consecutive year. The T+L 500 is a guide to the best hotels and includes overall descriptions and expert insight about each of the 500 hotels in three categories: Competitive Edge, Best Rooms to Book, and What Not to Miss. Condé Nast Traveler named Grand Hotel one of their Top 125 Golf Resorts in the April 2011 issue. For more information or reservations, visit or call 800-33-GRAND (4-7263).

Further information regarding Yellowbrick can be found at

Bell's Brewery, Inc. began in 1985 with a quest for better beer and a 15-gallon soup kettle. Our dedication to brewing flavorful, unfiltered, quality craft beers is still with us today. We currently brew more than 20 unique beers and ales for distribution in 18 states plus Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia, in addition to many small batches that are only available at our pub in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Our ongoing goal is to brew thoughtfully, creatively and artistically. Bell's is the oldest craft brewery east of Colorado and the largest in Michigan. Bell's is currently in the midst of a $52 million expansion that when finished will allow us to meet growing consumer demand across existing and new markets. For more information, visit

Source: Marx Layne & Co.

Related Story: Bayview Yacht Club Adds Second Mackinac Race Course, Offers Three Rating Systems for 2009 to Increase Participation





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Copyright © 2012 All Rights Reserved.
Unauthorized duplication or use of Text, Photos, Videos, Site Template, Graphics and or Site Design is Prohibited by Federal and International laws. See our Notice/Disclaimer.