Some Fun Grand Hotel Facts
Grand Hotel’s Front Porch is the world’s largest at 660 feet.
The 5,000,000th guest in Grand Hotel history checked in on June 26, 2006.
It takes 500,000 gallons of water to fill Grand Hotel’s swimming pool, which was named for actress Esther Williams who starred in the 1947 movie This Time for Keeps, shot at Grand Hotel.
The 1980 film Somewhere in Time, starring Christopher Reeve, Jane Seymour and Christopher Plummer, was filmed on location at Grand Hotel. The movie now has a huge following, with a fan club that meets at Grand Hotel each October.
Five U.S. Presidents – Clinton, Bush, Ford, Kennedy and Truman – have visited Grand Hotel.
Each season, more than 83,000 pounds of prime rib, 23,500 pounds of ham, 83,500 pounds of potatoes, 3,000 pounds of carrots, 14,000 pounds of strawberries, and 6,500 pounds of pecans are served to Grand Hotel’s dining guests (and all of that came over by ferry and was delivered to the Grand Hotel by horse-drawn dray).
One ton of bulbs are planted in the fall, including 25,000 tulips and 15,000 daffodils.
More than 125,000 bedding plants (annuals) are used to create the many gardens on Grand Hotel grounds.
The Grand’s famous Front Porch flowers include 2,500 geraniums – the hotel’s trademark flower – in 260 planting boxes with seven tons of potting soil. More than 5,200 geraniums can be seen in all its flower beds combined.
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One day during our stay on the island during Christmas Bazaar, Jill, Sue and I traipsed up the hill to Grand Hotel to visit Patrick, Sue’s son. Patrick is the Human Resources Manager at the Grand and one of only a handful of employees who stay on the island and work year-round at the hotel. With Patrick’s blessing, we roamed around the huge hotel for a couple of hours, getting a “during winter” look at how the Lady on the Hill spends her quiet days – while the 130,000+ tourists who visit her overnight during the season are at home planning their next stay!
From the lobby we wandered up and down halls on all floors of the hotel. Since I wrote nothing down, I’m not going to be able to tell you much about the rooms you’ll see (except for the little I remember). What you MUST remember is that you’re seeing the rooms as they are now – in the winter – without linens on the beds, with furniture covered (and some removed for upholstering or cleaning), and some pieces moved from where they would be in the summer when guests are staying there each night.
We had a lot of fun exploring, and we joked about taking a selfie of the three of us propped up on one of those beautiful beds. We sure were glad we didn’t do that though because as we were leaving we passed the hotel security office. Inside sat a security guard, surrounded by two walls of TV monitors, showing every corner of the hotel. He grinned at us as we left, giving us a little wave. We knew right then he’d been watching us throughout our entire visit. SOOOO glad we didn’t climb on one of those beds!
As we were going out, guess who we saw . . .!
When last week’s St. Ignace News arrived, I was a little reluctant to flip the pages. Any other week I would have happily turned until I found Jeanette Doud’s column (which also appeared in the Mackinac Town Crier) and then settled down to read all about the happenings on the island . Since Jeanette’s death there has been some concern among my readers about the column continuing.
But . . . all is well, and the column continues on in VERY capable hands!
If there is any one person who loves the island as much as Jeanette did, it is Margaret! So rest easy. The comings and goings of people, freighters, dogs, birds, and ducks (if you’re a fan of this column, you know what I mean), as well as all the other important island news, will continue on in Margaret’s very capable hands. Yeah!!!