I think is appropriate to start my first blog from Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island on the opening day of the 2009 season. Yesterday, I attended Grand Hotel’s employee orientation meeting. New and returning employees numbering over 500 gathered in the hotels dining room to be warmly greeted by the Musser family and hotel management. The Musser family has been associated with the hotel since 1919 and has solely owned and operated the property for the past 76 years. The general rules, employee etiquette and safety regulations were peppered with many words of optimism for a successful and profitable season. Mr. R.D. Musser himself, long time chairman of the hotel spoke to the gathering about his family’s dedication and affection for the hotel, as an institution and the proud old building itself. Fox news from Detroit filmed the meeting and will broadcast today and tomorrow from Grand’s front porch. All 385 guest rooms and public spaces have been personally inspected by the Musser family and hotel management. The stage is set, the players are in their uniforms and today the curtain goes up. It’s an exiting time and it is my hope to share more Grand Hotel and Mackinac Island happenings on this blog. To be honest, I came to Mackinac Island 14 years ago to immerse myself in the history of this horse drawn society that is truly a touchstone to the past, but this new (blog) technology is fascinating and I look forward to interacting with others whom in some way connect with the magic of Mackinac Island.