Mountain Grand(TM) Lodge and Spa & Avalanche Bay(TM) Indoor Waterpark Celebrate Opening Honoring Michigan Military Families

BOYNE FALLS, Mich., May 2 /PRNewswire/ — Robert Vaillancourt, a recruiter with the Michigan Army National Guard in Port Huron, always ends meetings with a soldier with “thank you” — and a gaze into their eyes.

“He wants to remember those eyes,” said his wife, Andrea in Metro Detroit, a volunteer with Michigan’s Military Family Readiness Groups, a support network for the families of those who serve. “And I think that’s a very hard job: to know ‘Is this the one that’s not coming back?’”

In honor of that type of sacrifice made every day in Michigan, entry to the new 88,000-square-foot Avalanche Bay(TM) Indoor Waterpark will be free for the Vaillancourts and all of Michigan’s active military families during Memorial Day weekend.

The weekend’s events at the bigger, better and wetter waterpark are designed to be a family getaway vacation close to home for Michiganders dealing with the trials — and triumphs — of the military.

“We are just thrilled,” said Mrs. Vaillancourt, who will vacation at Mountain Grand Lodge and Spa and Avalanche Bay with her husband and four children. “I am so impressed that they cared enough about military families and what these spouses are going through.”

Michigan’s active military families can show their military identification card between Friday, May 27, and Monday, May 30 for a single-day pass giving access to Avalanche Bay Indoor Waterpark, located at Boyne Mountain, minutes from the Gaylord exit off I-75. Active military who lodge overnight at a Boyne resort Friday, May 27th, Saturday, May 28th, and/or Sunday, May 29th, will receive complimentary waterpark access the night of arrival and each day following an overnight stay.

“We want to make it fun for them,” Avalanche Bay Director, Brenda Walli said. “It creates a memorable experience. And they might leave with a new friend.”

As part of the extra special vacation getaway, 20 military families will receive complimentary accommodations at the luxurious yet affordable Mountain Grand Lodge and Spa for a preview party on May 24th and an Avalanche Bay ribbon-cutting ceremony May 25th. These special families come from all across Michigan.

Participating Saturn retailers will be providing transportation to each of the 20 hosted military families in the form of Saturn Relays, the all-new crossover sport van designed for families on the go. Each family will have complimentary use of a Relay from their local dealer for the trip to Boyne Falls, Michigan and back to their hometown.

Once at the Mountain Grand Lodge and Spa, the hosted military families will be treated to a VIP reception. They will experience the pampering of luxury linens, custom-furniture and features inspired by the finest lodges of Switzerland and Austria. They also may participate in a wide variety of outdoor activities, including Michigan’s finest golf and other Mountain Grand Lodge and Spa amenities.

“These are people who spend most of their time taking care of someone else, be it their kids or other military families. We want to give them an opportunity to feel taken care of,” said Randy Dzierzawski, President of New Frontiers Capital, LLC, which makes up half of the Boyne Mountain Recreation, LLC partnership with Boyne USA Resorts, responsible for the $70 million condo- hotel, spa and indoor waterpark.

Michigan’s Family Readiness Group, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting thousands of military families in our state, helped organize the military appreciation programs at Boyne Mountain. The group, with the aid of the Family Support Office of the Michigan National Guard and Selfridge Community Services, identified the 20 families who will receive complimentary accommodations.

“It lets them know the community is thinking about them,” said Captain Aaron Jenkins of the Michigan National Guard’s Lansing office. “It makes them feel special, and gives them a chance to recharge.”

Getting away for the weekend at Mountain Grand Lodge and Spa and Avalanche Bay Indoor Waterpark will be a mother and her daughters from Michigan’s thumb area. Their father and husband, an autoworker and reservist for the past 16 years, was just sent to Iraq for his first deployment. That’s been hard for his wife and two daughters, ages 2 and 12.

“She’s just been up and down on an emotional rollercoaster,” Mrs. Vaillancourt said. The situation has been especially confusing for their 2- year-old daughter. “When she sees guys in uniforms, she puts her arms up and says ‘Daddy? Daddy?’”

Another mother from Metro Detroit with two sons and a daughter all under age 10 recently began a third-shift job to make ends meet after her husband was activated.

“It changes your life,” Mrs. Vaillancourt said. The weekend at Mountain Grand Lodge and Spa and Avalanche Bay will provide them a much-needed, relaxing getaway.

Avalanche Bay Indoor Waterpark and Mountain Grand Lodge and Spa open to the public May 27th. To learn more visit and .

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