Traverse City Record Eagle article on new branding

The Traverse City Record Eagle newspaper did a recent article about our hotel.   


Name change, ‘more local control’ for East Bay Township hotel

TRAVERSE CITY — Today is a big day for hospitality General Manager Nick Trahair.

So he’s marking the occasion with a two-for-one special.

May 1 is the 21st work anniversary for when the hotel general manager started at 1614 U.S. Highway 31 North, then known as the AmericInn Traverse City. It will also mark the debut of Blossom Hotel & Suites.

The former GrandStay Hotel & Suites will officially transition to the Blossom Hotel & Suites today, complete with new signage inside and out of the 47-room hotel. The hotel will still be under the ownership of Tom Borisch, of Grand Rapids, and the current staff of 13 will still be working at the facility, albeit in brightly-colored apparel befitting a hotel named after a flower of fruit trees and other plants.

Both the owner and general manager are looking forward to the smooth transition.

“We are very excited to bring this hotel to the Traverse City market,” Borisch said in a release. “It will have fresh ideas and be guest focused. We have a great team ready to welcome our friends that have been visiting the hotel for years and introduce new friends to the Blossom.”

“The reason we’re switching right now is we learned a lot from COVID,” Trahair said. “It forced us to adapt. COVID also taught us what our guests wanted and we went a different direction to represent Traverse City better.

“We have a lot more flexibility for safety in terms of COVID response and what we can provide for our guests in a timely and economical fashion.”

This is not the first time the hotel — which has eight suites among its 47 rooms and one conference room — has changed affiliations since Borisch purchased the hotel from Ed Graft and Ted Lunt in 2015. The AmericInn became GrandStay in 2017.

“We went a different direction for many reasons back then,” Trahair said.

The change to Blossom isn’t because of dissatisfaction, but will lead to more local control and decision-making. Trahair said the switch is bittersweet because it will end a 21-year working relationship with GrandStay President Jon Kennedy, who was the executive vice president at AmericInn when Trahair started.

“It’s not like it’s a negative thing,” Trahair said. “It’s been a good relationship with them.”

The GrandStay Hotel & Suites in East Bay Township is the lone Michigan location for the company based in White Bear Lake, Minnesota. Trahair said being Michigan-based will give the management “more local control” in making decisions with the hub of state tourism at the forefront.

Switching from a national brand to a regional one is part of it. Calling it a boutique hotel is also part of the message, Trahair said.

“It’s unique,” he said. “We’re not going to be a cookie-cutter hotel. We’ll be able to adjust to the wants and needs of our customers.”

Among the planned amenities for Blossom Hotel & Suites Traverse City are bicycles for guest use, expanded breakfast offerings and family-friendly activities like board games.

Trahair said the newly-named hotel emphasizes local first and Michigan second. The new uniforms were finished by JenTees and Forward Inking is doing the new signs. Both are Traverse City businesses.

GrandStay got new furniture in 2020 from a Holland, Michigan, company. All-new beds in December were made in Grand Rapids.

“We can say how much we are supporting Michigan and why wouldn’t we want to?” Trahair said. “That’s where we need to be.”

Trahair said GrandStay and now Blossom also emphasizes giving back to the immediate area. That includes supplying five classrooms with school supplies and offering a $5 per person community swim program, which he is talking about expanding and making it sponsored by organizations.

“In the tourism business, locals are important to us,” Trahair said. “We need to support our community because they support us.”

All existing reservations with GrandStay will be honored by Blossom. Questions can be directed to

Starting today, Blossom can be contacted at 231-938-0288 or 1-800-441-1903. The new website at www.traverseblossom.comwent live on Tuesday and emails to previous guests resulted in an online reservation within an hour, Trahair said.

Trahair said his staff has helped make the transition a successful one. He said GrandStay didn’t lose any employees coming out of the pandemic, while he knocked on a wooden table in the lobby.

Trahair said in addition to himself, his assistant general manager and night auditor have also been on staff for more than 15 years.