Founded in 2005 by passionate aviator Eric Swanson, the high-flying adventures of EasyRotor Helicopter have enjoyed publicity from Rapid Growth Media as well as from fellow Michigander and recording artist Kid Rock, who hired the company to shoot aerial footage for a music video. EasyRotor's world-class R44 Raven chopper, manufactured by Robinson Helicopter Company, conveniently facilitates the company's tours and aerial services based out of Gerald R. Ford International Airport. As the helicopter slices through the air, views of Grand Rapids, its downtown, and passengers' own homes come into view. Noise-canceling headphones allow for both free-flowing conversation and unobstructed listening to the pilot's anecdotes on the sights below and the exploits of Leo da Vinci, the patron saint of helicopters.:m]]
Lansing Nissan's showrooms house new and pre-owned Nissans that beckon to showcase their prowess during customer test drives. Factory-fresh sedans, trucks, and SUVs flaunt their empty odometers and flex their rotund tires, while pre-owned rides boast quality assurance inspections, during which certified techs confirm that they're under five years old, have less than 60,000 miles, and refuse placing bets on their own horsepower. The service department's qualified staff doles out a long list of auto services that range from oil changes to engine replacements, and even gives cars a thorough washing before sending them off to explore the road.
Though Lansing Nissan sometimes features a discounted price online, this Groupon still offers the best deal available.
Lovers of the open road find a friend in Annie Rae R.V., which offers new and preowned recreational vehicles that range from the humble pop-up to the majestic motorhome. In case an RV has a mechanical issue or starts running a fever, the service department stands by to restore it to health. And, if owners want to add custom flair to their vehicles, Annie Rae R.V. offers a selection of parts and accessories.
Train tracks used to run right along The Holly Hotel, making the three-story redbrick building a hub of social activity throughout the early 20th century. Civic and social groups held meetings and demonstrations, transients spent the night, and opera goers shined their monocles in the hotel’s opulent parlors after shows at Baird’s Opera House, situated just a mile south.
Today, this Queen Anne–style structure is no longer a hotel, but an acclaimed restaurant and venue. The hotel's architecture, along with its historical charm, persist, even after a fire in 1913 and again—65 years later to the date—in 1978. The elegant interior’s plaster walls, tin ceilings, and custom millwork date back to 1913 and before, while much of the wood, railing, tile, and glass are salvaged from the second blaze.
Although its architecture helped The Holly Hotel grab a spot on the National Register of Historic Places, its unique stories also supplied historic credibility. For instance, in 1908, Carry Nation and a flock of pro-Temperance supporters attacked drinkers at the hotel; Nation swatted bar goers on the head with her umbrella and even smashed whiskey bottles with an ax.
Modern-day visitors do not face such antagonism. Instead, they enjoy elegant meals composed of fresh, free-range ingredients at the restaurant, where chefs plate beef wellington, braised pork cheeks over hawaiian fingerlings, and lamb strip loin baked in green oregano. On Sundays, the kitchen team puts on an elegant brunch, featuring a spread of farm-raised goose, peel-and-eat shrimp, and made-to-order omelets. Fridays and Saturdays are a time for laughs; guffaws spill over from the comedy club as guests enjoy cracks by headliners from cities from Los Angeles to New York. Of course, sometimes the laugher may just be coming from one of the hotel’s lingering spirits.
In 1907, Guy Garber was introduced to the founder of General Motors. Though cars were still a novelty in much of the country then, Guy soon found himself managing one of the nation's first Buick dealerships. Through the Great Depression and the two world wars, Guy remained in the exhilarating automotive industry, with his family taking over in the 60s and still helming the business today. Today they apply more than a century of accumulated skill with old-fashioned service standards while presiding over the latest Chevrolet models as well as an inventory of preowned vehicles. The car has progressed greatly from the days of wooden wheels and bumper stickers about honor students’ dueling prowess, and Garber's techs have kept with the times. They offer a slew of maintenance and repair services, from oil changes to engine replacements, that extend each vehicle's longevity and help propel the automobile into a smooth-driving future.
Each week in a different city, the Progressive International Motorcycle Shows celebrate the world of motorsports with stunt sessions and a collection of flashy MotoGP bikes, motorcycles, scooters, and ATVs. While celebrating the glamorous side of motorsports, the event’s roots remain tied to a do-it-yourself spirit, as evidenced by seminars helmed by motorsports experts on topics such as the science of suspension and the mechanics of making a really loud vroom noise with your lips. The shows also feature a selection of gear and accessories, a custom bike show, and competitions.