Employee Wellness a Priority at The Homestead

Making Employee Wellness A Priority

Workplace wellness programs are something usually associated with big corporations. But now smaller businesses across America are catching on to something The Homestead has always known: when employees are healthy and happy they perform better and have a positive attitude that resonates with the rest of team. Thanks to a $5,000 grant last year from Networks Northwest, the resort is taking employee wellness to the next level with a cool new program—Weight Watchers At Work. The Homestead’s Wellness Committee Chair, Dan Hawkins gives us the skinny:

 Weight Watchers

source: weightwatchers.com


Working in a place where millions of people come to have fun definitely has its perks. But there is definitely a challenge if you’re not careful, warns Dan Hawkins.

“Here at The Homestead, we’re blind busy is summer to a point that sometimes employees begin to forget themselves,” he says. “They put off personal time and time being active and paying attention to the little things like diet and exercise.”

When you’re not good to yourself you begin losing yourself and that, according to Hawkins, is when the performance and enthusiasm for your job can suffer even when your intent is good.


Wellness For All

A recent article in the Grand Rapids Business Journal (click here to read it) highlighted the growing movement in small business circles to put workplace wellness plans into place.


“In many cases, for a small business, having a wellness …

3 Tips For Homestead Home Buyers & Sellers


Ever dream of owning a fulltime residence or part-time vacation home with a view of Lake Michigan and the Sleeping Bear Dunes? Then read on. The Homestead’s Real Estate Manager, Diane Kemp, says that fall and winter is a great time for Northern Michigan home shopping in the heart of “America’s Most Beautiful Place.” Here, Kemp shares some insights on real estate options at The Homestead, market trends and her best tips for buyers (and sellers).  

Here’s a little inside secret for home buyers looking for the perfect Northern Michigan dream home: If you do a Google search for “Northern Michigan homes for sale” or “Lake Michigan waterfront property,” you’re not going to find real estate options at The Homestead or the name “Diane Kemp” at the top of the page. But dig a little deeper and what you’ll find is that Kemp—arguably the busiest real estate agent in Leelanau County—is the point person for home sales at a place for property-buyers looking for competitive prices, awesome variety, and incredible scenery all with a friendly and vibrant resort community built right in.

Whether you’re looking for a summer condominium, ski-season chalet, year-round woodsy retreat with a river of lakefront view, or a little piece land to build a dream vacation home, The Homestead offers the most diverse options in Northern Michigan real estate.For 19 years, Diane Kemp has watched the real estate market continually grow at 350-acre resort where there are roughly 1,000 residential properties. But this year, 2017, is going down in the books as one of her best ever.

“Maybe it has to do with people being distract last year by the presidential election,” she says. “But this year has been strong. We’re up around sixty-percent is sales over last year.”

According to Kemp, there are roughly 1,000 fractional and full-time property owners at The Homestead. In an average year, around 80 owners are looking to sell their home or share in a vacation home, which lead to some incredible value. “Every week, I compile a report that examines the market,” she says, “and a lot of what I’ve been seeing is a wave of interest in properties on the high and low end of market. There’s a lot of interest in properties connected to the water—specifically The Homestead’s water frontage along Lake Michigan that also offers views of the Sleeping Bear Dunes—followed by whole ownership in condominiums, single-family homes, fractional homes and, finally, vacant land where property owners can build.”

 Loggers Run 48

Price To Sell

Fall For these October Events in Leelanau County

Fall Events in Leelanau

Leelanau County is full of surprises; even after a lifetime here, you'll keep finding new trails to hike, new views to enjoy, and new wines to share with new friends. And if you've only been here in summer, you may be surprised to learn that October is one of the most beautiful times on the Sleeping Bear Dunes– warm days give way to brisk nights, as the changing leaves light up the sky in a variety of beautiful hues. If you need an extra reason to come discover the dunes in fall, here are a few of the best. 

Glen Arbor Pumpkin Fest

Saturday, October 21

12:00-4:00 PM

Held at the Glen Arbor township park, this

Done Venting?

The Manitou Passage Golf Club is. End-of-summer course “aerification” wrapped up this week, and the best golf course in Leelanau County is open with some great autumn deals. Keep reading if you ever wondered how the aerifying process works and why the best courses seem to do it so often, and check out the great weekday and weekend prices available right now.


[source: usga.org]

Nothing is more frustrating than showing up to play a round only to find out its aerification time at your favorite golf course. Or even worse: finding out the aerification process just wrapped up leaving behind hundreds of little holes all over the putting greens!

Think of it as a short-term disruption with long-term benefits for Leelanau County’s favorite golf course. The regularly scheduled aerifying process came off without a hitch, and guests of Manitou Passage Golf Club are already reporting the course is playing better than ever.


Why Vent?

Golf course regularly aerify their greens for one very important reason. But we’ll let the experts at Golf Course Superintendents Association of America explain. They’re the men and women who know what’s best for keeping golf course in good shape and playable.

"Preventative maintenance is an integral part of successful golf course management," the GCSAA states. "Golfers view aerification as an inconvenience that takes the greens out of play for a day, pulling cores from the greens and leaving holes that can affect putting for …

4 Fall Hotspots for Leelanau Bird Watching

Leelanau County—and the Sleeping Bear Dunes, in particular—is a fabulous place to catch a glimpse of all kinds of migrating raptors, songbirds and waterfowl that begin heading south (and north) through the region in autumn. Check out this rundown of the top spots local Leelanau bird watchers love, and check a bunch of new species off your life list this fall.

Sleeping Bear Birding Trail 

[source: sleepingbearbirding trail.org]

September’s Autumn Equinox is just couple weeks behind us, and that means the annual fall bird migration is in full swing. The islands and coastal woodlands along the Sleeping Bear Dunes have long been regarded as one of the best migration routes in North America, attracting hundreds of bird-watching enthusiasts hoping to see some of the over 250 migrating species common to the region.

The peak season for migrating warblers, vireos and thrushes is happening right now along with plenty of broad-winged hawks of the red-tail and rough-legged variety. Ruby-throated humming birds are already on the move, too, along with birds such as blue jays and gulls, which are not often thought of as migrators.

Toward the end of September and into October, birds like snow buntings and American tree sparrows begin moving into the Upper Peninsula while dark-eyed juncos begin moving into the southern Lower Peninsula. Species of migrating hawks (red-shouldered, goshawks, harriers and Cooper’s and kestrels)—with the occasional eagle and/or osprey to spice things up—are common. And don’t forget the annual waterfowl migration, which begins hitting its peak in mid October with many species of diving and puddle ducks passing through on their way to the East Texas coast and other parts south.

Launched in April 2013, the Sleeping Bear Birding Trail—a 123-mile “trail” of bird-watching hotspots from Manistee to Traverse City—is anchored by the Lakeshore’s 35 beaches and 71,000 acres of public land. There are 27 designated birding spots along the SBBT. Below are just a few of the most popular birding trial (taken from the SBBT website) within the boundaries of the Lakeshore, along with a few notable Leelanau nature preserves outside the park where you can possibly catch of glimpse of something rare.


Otter Creek/Platte Plains Trail

Otter Creek 

[source: nps.gov]

Otter Creek/Platte Plains Trail is a large area that provides birders with the opportunity to explore a wide variety of birding habitats and 14.7 miles of trail. According to the SBBT website, this site is widely considered to hold the greatest variety of songbirds during migration periods. Michigan bird watchers may want to begin by traveling west on Esch Road from the intersection of Esch Road and M-22 for about 1.3 miles to the parking area at the end of the road (Esch Road is 3.8 miles south on M-22 from the intersection of M22 and M72 in Empire). If birders walk a short distance back up the road, there is a two-track that crosses Otter Creek and a trailhead with Platte Plains Hiking Trail maps. Mixed woodlands, dunes, shoreline, shrub-scrub wetlands and other habitats are found in this area. Walking further up the two-track will provide good views of Otter Creek and other good birding spots. The trail map shows the extensive trail system in this area.


Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive

Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive 

[source: nps.gov]

Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive is a 7.4-mile self-guided auto tour provides that also provides many lookouts for birders looking for the best chances of seeing a multitude of migrating gulls and waterfowl.

There are twelve marked points of interest along the road with ample parking. Each of these points is unique and, according to the SBBT, provide good birding opportunities and access to Shauger Hill and Cottonwood Trails. One of the most spectacular views in the Lakeshore is at the #9 Lake Michigan Overlook on the Pierce Stocking Scenic Drive. Take the short walk from the parking lot at #9. The observation deck at the Lake Michigan Overlook is about 450 feet above the lake level, and the angle to the lake is very steep. The dunes are perched on top of a moraine bluff made of a mixture of rocks and sand deposited by the glacier when it melted.


Port Oneida/Kelderhouse Loop

Port Oneida 

[source: friendsofsleepingbear.org]

A great place for Michigan bird watchers to spot migrating hawks, the Port Oneida Rural Historic District is comprised of farmhouses, fields and woodlands where raptors like red-tail hawks, harriers and kestrels can often be seen perched in roadside trees and power lines.

Improved and unimproved roads form a scenic loop around the district. The main roads—Port Oneida, Baker and Kelderhouse Road(s)—traverse open meadows, climbs a small ridge into deep forest and pine plantation, and parallels lowland swamp. The entire loop is 3.5 miles, driving the loop is an easy mix of paved road and gravel.  Walking or biking the road provides a unique birding experience given the diversity of habitat.

Click here for the full list of Sleeping Bear Birding Trail sites.


Leelanau Conservancy Natural Areas

Leelanau Conservancy