Keeping Up Standards With Logan Sanders

Meet The Homestead’s Senior Manager of Accommodations, Logan Sanders. Overseeing everything from housekeeping to interior maintenance, Logan is chiefly responsible for ensuring that the resort’s high standards for cleanliness and efficiency are upheld for residents and guests. Here, he talks about how he landed a job at The Homestead a month after graduating, what drew him to The Homestead in the first place, and the best part about working in a land where people go to have fun.


Logan holding a trout


You were a college intern at a couple other Michigan resorts. What made you decide The Homestead was the right place to build a career?

After two college internships—one at the Grand Traverse Resort and the other at Pere Marquette River Lodge—I began my career at The Homestead. Born and raised in Midland, I went to college at Ferris State but always had my sights set on living and working in Northern Michigan. My father was the one who reminded me that our family once stayed at The Homestead when I was a kid. So I sent my resume, interviewed for the position of reservations manager, and got the job about one month after graduating in 2011.

When I took the position at The Homestead, I found that I really enjoyed the family aspect of the company.  As an intern, I worked in more corporate environments and quickly discovered that I liked the way things worked at The Homestead a lot better.  I also found that the resort offered a lot of room to grow and move up in the company.


Overseeing accommodations at a place like The Homestead sounds like a huge job. Can you describe some of your responsibilities and some unique challenges you’ve experienced?

In addition to overseeing the housekeeping, interior maintenance, and laundry departments, I also manage the needs of The Homestead’s rental unit owners. This includes maintaining the standard of those units, addressing any issues or damages, and, …

A Fish For Every Season

Late summer means the “salmon watching” season—yes, that’s a real thing—on the Crystal River is almost here. Super shallow and gin-clear, the aptly named Crystal passes through The Homestead resort and is just about the best place around for catching a glimpse of Michigan’s most popular sportfish. Here’s the scoop on checking them out them during their annual spawning ritual, along with information and the best times of year to see a wide variety of river-running fish.


Come September





Chinook/King salmon, Wikipedia


August in Northwestern Lower Michigan brings cooler nighttime temperatures and late summer rain. And when those rains begin to fall, you know the salmon are not far behind.


There are three species of salmon commonly seen in local rivers during their annual, fall spawning run: Atlantic, Coho, and Chinook.  Any angler who has caught a salmon will tell you they are a thrilling species to catch. Hard-hitting, super powerful, and downright huge, adult Chinook (a.k.a. “king”) salmon—the most common species seen in the Crystal anytime during the month of September—can weigh anywhere from 18 to 30 pounds.


Seeing them up close is a thrill, even if you’re not an angler. And that’s what makes the shallow, clear and slow-moving Crystal such a great place to see them in their natural environment throughout the month of September.


Early morning along the boardwalk at the Beach Club—or from the middle of the walking bridge spanning the Crystal River just upstream—is probably the best time and place to do a little salmon watching. Some guests even rent canoes and kayaks and float long stretches of the river for a chance to see a lot of salmon up close.


Roughly six miles long, the Crystal River slowly twists and turns its way through tranquil woods and swamps before passing through the town of Glen Arbor and, finally, the grounds at The Homestead. In addition to salmon, other wildlife—namely deer, herons, and waterfowl—are also commonly seen on an early-autumn float on the Crystal.



What Winter (And Spring) Brings








While the Crystal River doesn’t see the large runs of steelhead typical on larger Michigan rivers, steelhead can sometimes be spotted in the Crystal River as early as October when the fish often follow the salmon upstream from lake Michigan …

“Grocerant” At Cavanaugh’s Offers Artisan Eats For People On The Go

Since there wasn’t really a word for a place that’s part restaurant part grocery store, The Homestead decided to create one. The remodel of Cavanaugh’s “grocerant” is almost complete. From the NEW made-to-order pizza bar to the addition of some all new, gourmet grab-and-go food and beverage items—Even draft beer!—here’s a rundown of new offerings already available and news on what’s coming soon.

 Cavanaughs new interior



Designed With Your Needs In Mind
 Does this sound familiar? You’re on vacation with the family. It’s breakfast time. You’re looking to start the day with a warm pastry and hot cappuccino; the kids want a bowl of Cocoa Puffs.

Or how about this? You come up with a plan over coffee to spend the day at the beach or sightseeing at the Sleeping Bear Dunes. But you don’t have the time—or the supplies in the fridge—to pack a decent picnic lunch.

 Wine, spirits, craft beer by the bottle (and NOW on draft). Gourmet sandwiches, salads and food that’s ready to eat and ready to heat. Sodas, mixers and artesian cheese perfect for that impromptu cocktail party.


The Wreck Of The Francisco Morazan

Of the 50 known shipwrecks discovered at the bottom of the Manitou Passage, none is more visible than the Francisco Morazan. Located just 300 yards of the southern coast of South Manitou Island, the wreck of the Liberian cargo ship can actually be seen from the beach at The Homestead. For anyone who’s ever wondered about this unique piece of maritime history, we offer this brief history.

   Francisco Morazan



A bustling bottleneck of Great Lakes commerce throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth century, the Manitou Passage also had a reputation among maritime sailors as a graveyard of sunken ships. Before the age of satellite guidance systems and high-tech weather radar, ship captains surprised by raging storms often sought shelter in the lee of the islands where countless vessels both known and unknown ended up crashed upon the rocks.

 Today, the shallow water of the passage provides a unique opportunity for divers. (For a list and map of the best known shipwreck dives, check out the website of the Manitou Passage Underwater Preserve.) Some of these wrecks are located in water so shallow—five to 12 feet—that a mask, fins and snorkel is all you would really need to get a good look. But what makes the Francisco Morazan so unique is that it’s the only one in the preserve that the curious can see without even getting their feet wet.


Bound For Rotterdam

 Departing Chicago on November 27, 1960, the caption of the Francisco Morazan (accompanied by his pregnant wife) and the 12-man crew of the 234-foot, Liberian freighter raced north on their way to St. Lawrence Seaway and, eventually, Rotterdam before the Great Lakes canal system closed to traffic on December 3rd. 

 According to historians at the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Captain Eduardo Trivizas was 24-years-old, had five years of sailing experience and was a graduate of the Greek Navy School. The Francisco Morazan was his first command.   

 Loaded with over 1,000 tons of general cargo—everything from scrap metal and aluminum to canned chicken and toys—the ship motored north and began encountering high winds and rough waves that same evening. By the next day, the weather only worsened, eventually …

Beach Club Remodel Finally Complete

The ancient engineers who built The Great Pyramid of Giza had moving massive stones and deadly work conditions to deal with. Beach Club construction teams had, building permit delays and piping plovers. We can joke about it now, but only because guests and residents now all agree—The Homestead’s stunning Beach Club remodel effort proved well worth the wait.


Beach Club boardwalk at night


Difficult timelines and impossible constraints are part of any ambitious construction effort.  But no one could have anticipated some of the small hurdles construction crews were going to face when The Homestead offered guests and resident a sneak peek at Beach Club …