The Mountain Grand Lodge and Spa

Mountain Life
Hot Property 0501

Boyne Falls, Mich.

In September 2000, the Kircher family of Michigan broke ground on a $150 million face lift of their Boyne Mountain Resort. A four-season resort, Boyne Mountain has long been the "epicenter of the Midwest's ski culture," says principle Stephen Kircher, son of the 84-year-old founder Everett Kircher. The Mountain Grand Lodge & Spa, a 222-room $50 million dollar condominium hotel and spa facility, will anchor the renaissance. "Dad's vision in the Sixties was to create a European village," Stephen says.

That vision is finally coming to fruition, and the Kircher family is determined to make it as authentic as possible, while adding many of the new amenities that today's travelers require. An 830-square-foot penthouse loft unit offers one bedroom with a king-size bed, a Jacuzzi in the bathroom, a full kitchen, a spacious living room with a fireplace and sleeper sofa, and a balcony that overlooks the village. Owners will enjoy ski-in/ski-out convenience, valet gear storage and social membership to the Country Club of Boyne, which gets you ski and golf discounts as well as use of the club's tennis courts and spa facilities. Owners can also visit all other Boyne properties free of charge.

As if the Hotel & Spa undertaking isn't big enough, $100 million will be allotted for other enhancements at Boyne Mountain. Skiers, get amped for several new high-speed lifts and expanded nordic trails. Golfers should start practicing now for the planned Pete Dye-designed championship golf course. The expanded village will create a charming hot spot of shops and restaurants to fill in the gaps. Numerous new ski-in/ski-out lifestyle real estate products such as Village Disciples Ridge and slopeside rustic, single-family cedar homes called The Cabins will create diversity in terms of structure, location and solitude. Yes, Everett Kircher's vision may have taken 53 years to execute, but it's on deck to be a huge success. Buyers, be quick.

During the first night of pre-sale in March 1999, $15 million of property was sold in only two hours. A second phase in January 2000 sold over $10 million. Kircher expects the momentum at Boyne to continue for at least another decade.

With the renaissance of the resort and the addition of four-season amenities, Boyne Mountain's sleepy reputation may soon go away with the resort becoming too busy for some existing clientele. Summer residents, in particular, will notice the change.

LOCATION The base of Boyne Mountain, in the town of Boyne Falls, Mich.
PRICE Full ownership: $300,000; 1/4 share: $100,000
TIME ON MARKET 18 months
LISTING BROKER Rik Lobenhurtz, Boyne Realty, 231-549-6090;