New Resort, Planet Fitness Coming To Traverse City

Real Estate Agent with Century 21 Northland

New Resort, Planet Fitness Coming To TC

January 5, 2016
New Resort, Planet Fitness Coming To TC

A proposed new four-story hotel and the arrival of national franchise Planet Fitness in Traverse City herald a flurry of new business activity in 2016. The Ticker has an inside look at the latest openings, closings and moves across the region.

Baywatch Resort
A new four-story, 51-unit hotel could soon be headed to East Bay Township. Wuerfel Resorts has a purchase option on an adjacent parcel to the company’s Beach Haus Resort on US-31 North. The company hopes to build a 27,000 square-foot hotel – tentatively called the Baywatch Resort – on the site. The lakefront hotel will offer 57 parking spaces, an indoor pool and a continental breakfast area.

Project representatives will appear before township planning commissioners tonight (Tuesday) at 6:30pm for a public hearing on the hotel site plan. Wuerfel Resorts plans to demolish an existing single-family dwelling on the property to make way for the resort.

Planet Fitness Coming To TC
One of the country’s fastest-growing fitness franchises is coming to Traverse City. Ken DeBusscher and Lonni Bhirdo, who recently relocated to the area from Rochester, are targeting a March opening of Planet Fitness in the former Office Depot building next to Aldi on South Airport Road.

“Planet Fitness is known as the “judgment-free zone”…it’s for people who don’t like going to gyms because they’re self-conscious,” says Bhirdo. "People can feel comfortable doing their workouts here in a non-intimidating atmosphere." The franchise – known for its affiliation with NBC’s “The Biggest Loser” – is popular for its low membership rates, which range from $10/month for a basic membership to $20/month for a “black card” membership that includes tanning, hydro massages, free guest day passes and access to any Planet Fitness location.

The 24,000 square-foot location will operate 24/7 with a front-desk attendant and offer “top-of-the-line” weight and cardio equipment, including 50 treadmills. Special membership offers and pre-sales begin the first week of February.

New Buffet, Yarn Shop For Chums Corner
A new gourmet coffee bar and breakfast/lunch buffet has opened its doors at 905 US-31 South in Chums Corner. Pat Johnson, who owns the building formerly home to Northwest Michigan Head Start, says he launched Fast Track Café & Fast Track Buffet as an “alternative for people out here who are tired of going to fast food.” The eatery offers a full breakfast buffet beginning at 7am daily until 11:30am, when it switches over to a salad/soup bar and pizza buffet until 8pm. Carry-out is available; Johnson says the company also plans to soon offer delivery and an expanded Sunday brunch.

Down the road at 300 US-31 South, partners Michael Paggeot and Randy Kelley are preparing for the Saturday (Jan. 9) grand opening of Knitology. The full-service yarn shop will offer lessons, product supplies and a “unique knitting lounge where yarn crafters can hang out doing their craft.” 

Changes On Front Street
Downtown TC remains as busy as ever heading into the new year. On East Front Street, Lake Effect Bakehouse opened its counter inside the Happy Hogg Restaurant January 1. The company will offer “from-scratch, fresh-baked goods” Mon-Fri from 6am-2pm and Sat-Sun from 7am-2pm.

After five years in the alley behind Vortruba’s Leather Goods, Lilies of the Alley is keeping its name but moving one block east to the former John Robert Williams Photography space at 227 East State Street. Owner Cindy Hardy is hoping to move “by the end of the month” and says the new space will help the business “spread out.” Williams, meanwhile, has relocated to the new Grand Traverse Regional Arts Campus in the former Norris Elementary School building on Cherry Bend Road.

Spice Merchant owner Lisa Freeman is preparing to transfer ownership of the Front Street spice and tea shop to managers Mark and Ginger Haworth. Mark, who notes that Freeman will remain involved in the business, says the couple is excited to branch out and begin participating in area festivals, cook-offs, fairs and culinary events. “There are so many people who don’t know we exist…our goal is to get our name out there,” says Mark.

Both SugarKissed and The Little Fleet will experience temporary closures in the first quarter of the year. SugarKissed is closed now through early April for “changes that will be introduced in the spring,” according to a company statement. The Little Fleet will close for maintenance and staff R&R Jan. 12-27.

More Openings & Closings
Two antique stores opened their doors in the region last month. Lola’s Antiques – a “brick-and-click venue” offering both online and in-store sales of vintage items, antique books and more – celebrated its grand opening December 17 at 402 Union Street.

Meanwhile, owner Brett Gourdie opened the 8,000 square-foot Elk Rapids Antique Market at 603 Bridge Street in downtown Elk Rapids December 12, welcoming “buyers, sellers and consigners of quality antiques and collectibles.” The market boasts 25+ dealers of furniture, art, clothing and more.

Finally, Cherry Raceway in Fife Lake is closing after nearly four decades in operation. New owner Stephen Batzer – a neighbor of the track – purchased the property from Roger Steig through an attorney with the express intention of closing the facility, which has operated weekly on Friday nights each summer. Steig took to Facebook to express his disappointment in the closing, saying he “never spoke” to Batzer directly during the sale and that he wasn't aware of Batzer's plans to close the track.


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Jon Becker - Century 21 Northland

ABR, Green, SFR, Quality Service Award (2009-2013)

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