Author: Mike Kent

Mike Kent is the PR Manager for Traverse City Tourism. He has decades of experience in journalism and marketing. He was a TV political reporter in Lansing and news manager in Detroit, Lansing and Traverse City. Biking area trails, enjoying a craft brew with friends and family, or just enjoying Grand Traverse Bay makes his life complete.

The Winter Spirits

Tuesday, January 17, 2023 10:00 AM by Mike Kent

Traverse City Whiskey lights the flame of the outdoor heater on their patio when the cold weather hits, but customers are looking for something else. Something to warm them up from the inside. This is the time of year when Traverse City distilleries see their customer's tastes change from fresh,

Olympic style curling is almost here

Thursday, January 12, 2023 9:00 AM by Mike Kent

The “Blue Light Special” at this shutdown K-Mart has been replaced by “the house.” There are still “buttons,” but not in the clothing department, they are on a sheet of ice. And you can still find “brooms” however, they are not in the Housewares Department but in the firm hands of players that have

On the Shoulders of Greatness

Thursday, November 10, 2022 4:00 PM by Mike Kent

The shadow box sits at one end of the northern Michigan garage under an American flag. In it contains the relics of 22 years of Ron Smith’s life. They include medals and a list of Navy duty stations that started in June 1974 and ended in July 1996. It was 22 years of honorable service to this country that started as a parachute rigger and ended as a survival training instructor and counselor. 

Sharing the Classics

Thursday, November 10, 2022 3:00 PM by Mike Kent

With a simple turn of the key, it springs into life. Creating a guttural sound that seems to emanate from the toes, vibrate through your core, and tickle the primal nodes of the brain. This is a rumbling engine that not only speaks of the car, but it also speaks of an era. A time when big, heavy cars ruled the road. It was 1968 when this Ford Galaxie convertible came off the assembly line with untarnished vibrant red paint. Today the car shows some of its years on the road, but it has a classic beauty. It welcomes passengers to a spacious, leather-clad, back seat. The driver views the road over a sea of the red hood. 

The Ironwomen of Ironman

Friday, September 16, 2022 12:00 PM by Mike Kent

The 2022 Ironman 70.3 Michigan in Frankfort was notable for many reasons. It brought about 1,500 of the top athletes in the U.S. and ten countries to our little corner of northern Michigan. It was time for Frankfort to shine and demonstrate northern hospitality. But it was also time for women to

Accessing the Inaccessible

Thursday, August 25, 2022 11:00 AM by Mike Kent

“Walk a mile in my shoes,” is a common refrain when talking about viewing life from other perspectives. For many, walking a mile can be painful or maybe impossible. Many people in northern Michigan face physical challenges every day and are unable to enjoy life to the fullest due to the barriers they face. But times are changing. Barriers are coming down in northern Michigan that makes taking advantage of the resources of the area accessible to everyone. 

Where's the beef?

Thursday, August 18, 2022 9:00 AM by Mike Kent

I don’t have a culinary degree, but I do feel qualified to teach a master’s degree class on the subject of burgers. Recently, my wife and I embarked on a two-year-long effort to taste the top 22 burgers in Michigan based on a report by Thrillist. The concern at the time was that none of the burgers on the list were from Traverse City, yet this place is considered a “Foodie Town.”

After that two-year quest, we can report that many of the Thrillist burgers deserve to be on the list. Others? Not so much. At the same time, we concluded that the list was sorely lacking without important Traverse City burger joints.

Placing Traverse City Wines First

Thursday, August 18, 2022 9:00 AM by Mike Kent

Is it possible that Traverse City can compete with the most beautiful wine regions of Europe and South America? After all, they have steep cliffs that hug stunning, meandering rivers and grapes that grow in volcanic soil. 

But northern Michigan has its own story to tell. We have the magnificence of the Great Lakes and soil created 12 thousand years ago by receding glaciers. We have over 40 wineries that compose the Traverse Wine Coast. 

A Hug Around Boardman Lake

Wednesday, July 20, 2022 11:00 AM by Mike Kent

In any other city the Boardman Lake would be the prime centerpiece of the town. But with competition from Grand Traverse Bay, Boardman Lake has been a forgotten lake. Not anymore. The heralded grand opening of the new Boardman Lake Loop Trail shines a new spotlight on the lake. 

Great Depths, Great Lakes

Monday, July 11, 2022 4:00 PM by Mike Kent

In so many ways, Traverse City is defined by the water. This area was 20,000 years in the making when massive glaciers melted and cut gouges in the earth that became the Great Lakes. It was worth the wait. Today, it doesn’t matter if you are on, in, under, or just sightseeing; enjoying the beauty of the fresh, blue water, is an important part of any Traverse City vacation. 

Dynamic Variation: