In our last blog, the topic was “How do YOU say good-bye?” In true Chippewa spirit, we thought we’d say, “How do WE say good-bye?” Or better yet, what goes on behind closed doors? When our doors close for the season, there’s a new kind of hustle and bustle that starts with an employee party at our very own Pink Pony on the Sunday we close with dinner, games, good-byes to friends and co-workers, while reminiscing about the season past and what lies ahead. Now that our doors are closed, the behind the scenes party begins! We have many unsung heroes that go above and beyond during our off-season. One of the first things is pulling the snowmobiles out of storage so we’re ready for the first snow accumulation. Perfect timing! We’ve gotten a good blanket of snow with more arriving daily! It’s another beautiful, winter wonderland kind of day on Mackinac Island!
Next, all public area carpeting is cleaned in-house, by Dale and Russell, then dried and covered completely with visqueen to protect it throughout the winter. They continue by cleaning all of the guest room carpets and furniture, until late January. That includes the room(s) you stayed in too! All of our 57 guest rooms are stripped down and everything that can be laundered is, by Joanie Tamlyn, our Executive Housekeeper. All of our kitchen supplies are washed, inventoried or as Santa says; “making a list, checking it twice”, and covered up for next season. But wait, there’s more! All signs are taken down, cleaned and stored for winter, air conditioning units are winterized, all kitchen equipment is hand cleaned, and power washed with a full preventive maintenance inspection done. Our Mackinac Island school is still in session and all of our perishable items are happily donated to the school and received warmly with a big Mackinac, “thanks!”
You’ve heard the expression; “Batten down the hatches!” We understand completely. The upper deck and Pink Pony bar are totally enclosed and boarded up for protection against the harsh winter elements. Remember our great outdoor hot tub with soothing jets for your aching muscles? It gets drained, cleaned and winterized. Then, the hotel is drained completely, and we pour 300 gallons of anti-freeze through the pipes to prevent freezing in the winter. That’s what goes on behind closed doors at The Chippewa during off-season. Whew!
So while all of you are back home in your regular routine, we’re on Mackinac Island, hustling and bustling to make sure The Chippewa is in prime shape when our guests, yes, that means you, return next Spring and Summer after a long winter’s nap. Gotta go! There’s more work to be done.
Until we chatter again…
George Piliouras for The Chippewa Hotel