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Old 03-28-2008, 09:12 PM
 
Location: Garden City, MI
695 posts, read 3,284,453 times
Reputation: 152

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I took a trip today to Frankenmuth with some family and I was absolutely astounded.

I have been coming here all my life and I've never seen the city so devastated. The former School Haus Square shopping center is now sitting vacant with windows broken out. The Brewery which was just built, not more than three years ago is up for sale. There are a few empty businesses on Main Street, but it looks decent, however the River Place they built in 2001 is devastated. I'd say half of the stores there have closed, and maybe half of those have new stores in them, but a good quarter to a third of the stores in the shopping center is vacant. I think this is going to ony get worse over the next few years and the whole place could end up empty and somebody out of a lot of money. Frankenmuth Coffee Roasters moved out of their small business in 2001 to open a place in River Place which is now closed, with hopes to move the business to their home, but this has not come to fruition, and I believe this business is now closed. With the dozing of a historic building (last use was as Pinocchio's Doll Store) and the building of a new hotel, the Marv Herzog, I wonder how long Bob Drury can stay afloat with TWO hotels in this city competing with the kid-friendly Bavarian Inn Lodge and Zehnder's Splash Village. Prime Outlets in Birch Run seem to be holding their own, lots of stores still there, and I'd say no more vacancies there than I saw before.

It was all pretty sad to see.
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Old 03-29-2008, 03:25 AM
 
Location: Isanti County, Minnesota
3,792 posts, read 5,800,178 times
Reputation: 6410
That sucks. Frankenmuth is a cool place. It's proximity to Flint has to have a hand in its decline. A good bit of the buidlings in downtown Petoskey are empty also. I was on Mitchell St. the other day picking up some food at Thai Orchid, and couldn't believe how many of the shops all around them were vacant. That, coupled with the infamous, never to be finished Petoskey Pointe project, have downtown Petoskey looking rather ragged right now. That Petoskey Pointe thing needs to be scrapped, we are all sick of looking at that huge ugly hole in the ground.

On a brighter note, I'm in Grand Rapids today, and you should see all the construction going on here! Looks like SOMEONE in Michigan is making a go of things at least!
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Old 03-29-2008, 01:01 PM
 
334 posts, read 1,432,398 times
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We went to Frankenmuth last fall for a few days. The chicken was great! But the cost of staying at the hotels was very high. We spent two nights at the place with the waterpark and it was nearly $700. I don't think I will stay there again. It was fun, and the kids wanted to know "why couldn't we just sleep in the waterpark?"....took a lot of effort to get them out, lol. And it was interesting looking around Brenners.
LOVE the shopping in Birch Run, and will definitely return there!!!
I hope it improves, but my only suggestion would be to lower the hotel prices to attract the average family.
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Old 03-30-2008, 03:17 PM
 
7,358 posts, read 10,857,891 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Northman View Post
On a brighter note, I'm in Grand Rapids today, and you should see all the construction going on here! Looks like SOMEONE in Michigan is making a go of things at least!
That's the answer then! Move Frankenmuth to Kent County!
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Old 03-30-2008, 10:11 PM
 
Location: Garden City, MI
695 posts, read 3,284,453 times
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I was just reading the "Scary Conversation with Tax Lady" thread and was reminded that Oscar Rau's Furniture on S. Main and Tuscola is closing after 63 years. The website says "the keys will be turned over to new management" but I'm not completely sure what that means.

And speaking of Rau's, Rau's Country Store, one of Michigan's oldest stores, is obviously not restocking a lot of its merchandise, particularly the tin signs and die-cast cars. In my opinion these items are simply not bringing in enough money; every time I've been in there people look at these things but not buy. Hopefully Rau's can restock these areas with more lucrative merchandise.
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Old 03-30-2008, 11:10 PM
 
2 posts, read 10,186 times
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Default Petoskey

I too have been watching the hole in the ground called the pointes project.
I watched as the 15th came and went and they were supposed to have what was called real construction under way and now they debate over tracks in the snow and a dozer moving a bit of snow is "real construction" as my friend Helena Jarvenpawa said, How long do you have be jacked around untill you realize you are being jacked around? Well my friend they are jacking us around.
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Old 03-31-2008, 12:30 AM
 
32 posts, read 115,887 times
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Frankenmuth is a really nice place. I visited there when they had the snow/ice sculpture festival on. Some charity minded-people had a charity frozen chicken bowling competition where you roll a frozen chicken carcass down an alley. I got a strike and 'won' a free hot chocolate.

I hope it revives.
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Old 03-31-2008, 04:35 AM
 
5,768 posts, read 11,121,870 times
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Gas prices certainly aren't helping. Frankenmuth is 80-90 miles away from most of metro Detroit, which is more of an inconvenience for a lot of people now that gas prices are $3.20/gallon and above, rather than $2.20.
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Old 04-09-2008, 11:25 AM
 
1,399 posts, read 4,000,868 times
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Don't you think Frankenmuth was overbuilt some years ago? At some point lodging and retail development just cannibalize other lodging and retail. The economy certainly isn't helping, but at least some of Frankenmuths problems are a result of overdevelopment
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Old 04-09-2008, 01:05 PM
 
Location: Garden City, MI
695 posts, read 3,284,453 times
Reputation: 152
Quote:
Originally Posted by tecpatl View Post
Don't you think Frankenmuth was overbuilt some years ago? At some point lodging and retail development just cannibalize other lodging and retail. The economy certainly isn't helping, but at least some of Frankenmuths problems are a result of overdevelopment
I definitely agree with this, and the development keeps going on. THey built a big new hotel last year. How many hotels do they need? There's the Fairfield, Drury, and Marv Herzog, as well as Zehnder's Splash Village and the Bavarian Inn (which has something like 360 rooms) and the Frankenmuth Motel. Shopping in town is too touristy with the River Place hurting downtown shopping, and most people just shopping in Birch Run anyway.
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