- Purely Michigan Dinner: A Culinary Celebration of Michigan products
The creative folks in Frankenmuth are at it again-this time the "Purely Michigan Dinner," Friday, Feb. 25, at the world-class Bavarian Inn Restaurant. And the menu is mind-boggling.
- GOTGL bonus: WJR's Paul W Smith on MSU Today
We need to get back to being proud to say we're from Detroit. We are our own PR firm, and we are what we tell people we are.
- Linda Jones: Buying local products helps Michigan's economy
The Select Michigan and Buy Michigan Products websites are good places for consumers to go to find out how and where to support Michigan-based producers, according to Jones. And she says that the Farm Market and Agri-Tourism Association publishes a booklet that guides consumers to these locations. The MSU Market Maker site is another.
- Steve Tennes: Agritourism and selling family fun on the farm
Steve Tennes, owner of the Country Mill in Charlotte, Michigan, doesn't sell pumpkins, apples, or even apple cider and donuts. Well, he does, but more importantly, what he sells is family fun.
- Annette Compo: Living the green way on Real Estate 411
Green automation gives homeowners the opportunity to control their own energy use and consumption. "And the homeowner doesn't have to be home to do it," Compo says.
Being green is good for business, says President and CEO of Michigan resort
- Jim MacInnes talks with Kirk Heinze
By Laura Young
Making a dedicated commitment to the environment is not a simple or inexpensive undertaking for any business. Even so, a handful of companies are finding that going green can pay off and enhance their bottom-line. Crystal Mountain Resort and Spa is one business that’s mastered the art of placing sustainability at its core while still turning a profit.
Jim MacInnes is President and CEO of Crystal Mountain Resort and Spa and a visionary in the green tourism industry. Last year, he was one of sixteen to receive the Detroit Free Press' Green Leader Award for his innovative and green business approaches.
While MacInnes’ green initiatives at Crystal Mountain draw in a few new clients each year, he regards the reduction in operating costs as the major financial incentive for going green.
For instance, Crystal Mountain’s recently renovated spa received LEED silver certification, only one of nine spas in the nation to earn the rating.
"I don't think the cost was really that much more to do LEED certification. A lot of it had to do with reducing the consumption of energy and materials," says MacInnes, which in turn will make the spa even more cost effective in the long run.
Concerned about carbon emissions and climate change for his ski resort, MacInnes was one of the pioneering businessmen to invest in wind energy credits. In 2004, the resort began offsetting emissions from its high-speed chairlift with wind credits purchased through Renewable Choice Energy.
MacInnes’ efforts in renewable energy warranted him a spot on Granholm's Great Lakes Offshore Wind Council, which made recommendations regarding the development of Michigan's offshore wind resource.
"By developing the small amount of area suitable for offshore wind turbines, we could probably provide 30% of Michigan's electrical energy needs from offshore wind,” says MacInnes. “But I don't want to make that sound easy.”
MacInnes is referring to the creation of floating offshore wind turbines, which are still in the very early stages of development. Furthermore, offshore wind projects would have to be of a large scale to be economically feasible. Accordingly, a major overhaul on Michigan's energy infrastructure and transmission lines would be required.
While offshore wind farms remain up in the air for Michigan, the number of onshore wind farms is steadily growing. Bolstering the case for more wind energy development, the Michigan Public Service Commission reported in February that Michigan utility companies can now produce wind-generated electricity at cheaper rates than traditional coal plants. MacInnes believes that much of this greater efficiency is attributable to more sophisticated wind turbine parts and designs.
To further support green energy efforts, Crystal Mountain installed an electric vehicle charging station this year. The charging station “fills up” MacInnes’ Chevy Volt for about $1 and is free to all guests at the resort.
By investing in these green technology and initiatives, MacInnes recognizes his contribution to supporting future sustainability enterprises.
“We know it’s just the beginning. We know there are issues with cost but that’s always the case— think of the first cells phones,” says MacInnes. “But you have to start somewhere and we want to be on the front-end.”
Greening of the Great Lakes airs each weekend on News/Talk 760 WJR and around the state on the Michigan Talk Network.
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