Press Room

Welcome to the Bavarian Inn Lodge Press Room



Frankenmuth’s Bavarian Inn Lodge, America’s largest Bavarian-themed resort, has, since its opening, embarked on and completed seven major property project investments totaling $40 million at the lodge, as well as its Family Fun Center.

We invite you to download the press releases, photos and captions here. And check back often for updates featuring new announcements, photos and videos.

Questions and media interview requests contact:
Sue Voyles
sue@logos-communications.com
734-667-2005



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Judy Zehnder Keller honored by Underground Railroad Inc. for community leadership 

Bavarian Inn Lodge President recognized for strong support of women

Saginaw County, MI, October 2, 2018 –  Judy Zehnder Keller, president of the Bavarian Inn Lodge, will be honored at Underground Railroad’s 3rd Annual Empowerment Dinner and Celebration on Wednesday, October 3, 2018 at 5:30 p.m. in the Composer Room of the Bavarian Inn Lodge and Conference Center.

Zehnder Keller is being recognized for her community leadership and commitment to helping others. In particular, she has shown unyielding support of women in leadership throughout the Great Lakes Bay Region. She has a long history with Underground Railroad, and has supported its mission to empower survivors and create a culture of safety and respect in Saginaw County. She employs many women and has heard first-hand stories from staff members who experienced physical and emotional abuse. She has also been witness to the strength and courage that survivors of abuse show when rebuilding their lives.

Zehnder Keller built her life on the foundation of service her parents began in the 1950s with the Bavarian Inn Restaurant. She officially began serving at the restaurant at the age of 15 and worked in a variety of roles, eventually creating the Bavarian Inn Lodge in 1986. Zehnder Keller is part of the third generation of Bavarian Inn Zehnders in the family business.

In addition to being president of the Lodge, Zehnder Keller is president of Frankenmuth Gift Shops Inc. and Frankenmuth Cheese Haus, which is celebrating 50 years of business this year.

Underground Railroad is the only provider of emergency shelter and programs for victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking and human slavery in Saginaw County. Annually, over 4,000 families access services.

Underground Railroad is honored to recognize Judy Zehnder Keller for her community leadership and commitment to others by awarding her the 2018 Underground Railroad Empowerment Award.

About Bavarian Inn Lodge
Nestled along the Cass River in Frankenmuth is one of the state’s largest indoor water park hotels. The Lodge has 360 European-themed guest rooms, including whirlpool and family suites, an adult-only pool and whirlpool, two gift shops, two lounges and two restaurants — all under one roof. The expansive 35,000 square foot Family Fun Center houses over 160 video and redemption games, a two-level children’s play village and Willy’s Kingdom 18 hole indoor mini-golf course. Enjoy the two thrilling waterslides, four pools and three whirlpools throughout the hotel. Guests can also enjoy live, nightly entertainment year-round and test their own musical skills during weekend family karaoke shows. With over 30 years of business, the Bavarian Inn Lodge has been an important destination for travelers, evidenced by the 1.25 million room-nights that have been booked there since its opening, along with its top rating on TripAdvisor®. Learn more at www.bavarianinn.com.

Scarecrow Festival offer fun fall experience for families at Frankenmuth River Place Shops

Frankenmuth, MI – September 26, 2018 – There is something for everyone at Frankenmuth River Place Shops during the pet and family-friendly Scarecrow Festival from noon to 6 p.m. the weekends of October 13 and 14 and October 20 and 21.

All generations can expect a fun time with activities during both weekends that include pumpkin bowling and painting, arts and crafts, inflatables, a festive barrel train, free entertainment and the ever-popular pumpkin catapult!

October 13 and 14 is Dog Weekend of Scarecrow Fest, so bring the furry members of your family for entertaining performances by the Rock ‘N Roll K9s and enter them into our pet costume contest at 5:30 p.m. on Sunday to win prizes. Dogs can also trick-or-treat at River Place Shops from 5 to 6 p.m. on Sunday only.

Daily performances by the Rock ‘N Roll K9s are set for noon, 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. in front of N’Orlin’s and Old Time Photo.

October 20 and 21 is Kids Weekend of Scarecrow Fest and features magic and juggling shows, pie eating and cherry pit spit contest and trick-or-treating for kids from 4:15 to 4:45 p.m. on Sunday only.

Daily magic and juggling shows are set for 2 p.m. and 5 p.m. at the Fest Platz near Cass River Bar and Grill.

Shops throughout River Place and downtown Frankenmuth will also have specially-created scarecrows in front of participating businesses for the public to vote and award their favorite of the season.

For more information on these upcoming fun fall weekends, visit frankenmuthriverplace.com.

Frankenmuth River Place Shops: http://frankenmuthriverplace.com is an authentic re-creation of a Bavarian village located just minutes from the Bavarian Inn Restaurant and Lodge. The outdoor mall features more than 40 unique shops and attractions at one location. Visitors enjoy architecture, floral gardens, streams and waterfalls and, of course, great shopping opportunities.

Amy Zehnder Grossi from Bavarian Inn with Paul Oslund from Great Lakes Bay Magazine.

Bavarian Inn Restaurant and Lodge Named ‘Greatest in the Great Lakes Bay Region’

FRANKENMUTH, Mich. September 7, 2018 – Both the Bavarian Inn Restaurant and the Bavarian Inn Lodge have been named “Greatest in the Great Lakes Bay Region” by readers of Great Lakes Bay Magazine.

Announced in the magazine’s July issue, the Bavarian Inn Restaurant was awarded the title of “Greatest Caterer” as well as “Greatest Kid-Friendly Dining Atmosphere.” The Bavarian Inn Lodge was named the “Greatest Wedding Venue,” and Willy’s Miniature Golf at the Lodge was voted the “Greatest Putt Putt Golf Course.” The Lorelei Lounge & Schnitzelbank Bier Garten. at the Bavarian Inn Lodge won “Greatest Bar to Sing Your Heart Out At.”

Individuals at both locations were also recognized. Amy Zehnder Grossi at the Bavarian Inn Restaurant was named “Greatest Restaurateur.” Over at the Bavarian Inn Lodge, Evan Greskowiak was awarded “Greatest Bartender.”

For more information on these award winning venues, please visit www.bavarianinn.com.

About Bavarian Inn Restaurant

Celebrating 130 years of service, the Bavarian Inn Restaurant has become a Michigan landmark. Generations of diners, lodgers and tourists from around the globe have discovered true Bavarian hospitality thanks to Dorothy and her late husband William “Tiny” Zehnder. Guests experience the old-world European charm of the Bavarian Inn – whether it’s the famous chicken dinners, fresh baked goods or Michigan’s greatest selection of German beer. Bavarian Inn also prides itself on being one of the top consumers of Pure Michigan agricultural products. Authentic German architecture, a variety of shops and other fun activities make a trip to Frankenmuth incomplete without a visit to the Bavarian Inn. Learn more at www.bavarianinn.com.

Bavarian Inn online press room: https://bavarianinn.logos-communications.com/

About Bavarian Inn Lodge

 

Nestled along the Cass River in Frankenmuth is one of the state’s largest indoor water park hotels. The Lodge has 360 European-themed guest rooms, including whirlpool and family suites, an adult-only pool and whirlpool, two gift shops, two lounges and two restaurants — all under one roof. The expansive 35,000 square foot Family Fun Center houses two thrilling waterslides, three pools and two whirlpools, over 160 video and redemption games, a two-level children’s play village and Willy’s Kingdom indoor mini-golf course. Guests can also enjoy live, nightly entertainment year-round and test their own musical skills during weekend family karaoke shows. In 30 years of business, the Bavarian Inn Lodge has been an important destination for travelers, evidenced by the 1.25 million room-nights that have been booked there since its opening, along with its top rating on TripAdvisor®. Learn more at www.bavarianinn.com.

Marking 32 years, annual Frankenmuth Labor Day Bridge Walk remains a tradition

FRANKENMUTH, Mich. August 27, 2018 – In a state full of lakes, rivers and other waterways, Michigan residents are no strangers to bridges. But one bridge in particular has been a big part of the Labor Day holiday for 32 years.

Since 1986, hundreds of Frankenmuth residents and guests have come together for the Annual Bavarian Inn Wooden Covered Bridge (Holz Brücke) Labor Day Walk. This year it will take place at noon, Monday, September 3.

The bridge, originally built in 1980 and restored three years ago, was made with timbers from Oregon and locally sourced shingles for its roof and 16-foot planks that form the roadway.

This year’s event will once again begin on the east side of the 239-foot structure, which spans Cass River between the Bavarian Inn Lodge and the Bavarian Inn Restaurant. Guests staying at the Bavarian Inn Lodge over the Labor Day weekend are invited to join Frankenmuth residents and visitors for the annual tradition. Walkers will arrive approximately five minutes later at the Fischer Platz outdoor café, located at the southwest corner of the Bavarian Inn Restaurant. Once there, all in attendance will be able to enjoy musical entertainment along with their favorite food and beverages that will be available for purchase.

Today, Bavarian Inn President Bill Zehnder still recalls the vision of Al and Louise Schneider, a Frankenmuth couple who had in their minds the Mackinac Bridge Labor Day Walk tradition.

“One day they were talking at home and thought out loud about the idea of bringing that spirit right here at home in Frankenmuth,” said Zehnder. “We’re grateful for their vision and remain determined to make sure we continue that tradition.”

About Bavarian Inn

Celebrating 130 years of service in 2018, the Bavarian Inn Restaurant has become a Michigan landmark. Generations of diners, lodgers and tourists from around the globe have discovered true Bavarian hospitality thanks to Dorothy and her late husband William “Tiny” Zehnder. Guests experience the old-world European charm of the Bavarian Inn – whether it’s the famous chicken dinners, fresh baked goods or Michigan’s greatest selection of German beer. Bavarian Inn also prides itself on being one of the top consumers of Pure Michigan agricultural products. Nestled within a backdrop of authentic German architecture, a variety of shops and other fun activities, a trip to Frankenmuth would not be complete without a visit to the Bavarian Inn. Learn more at www.bavarianinn.com.

Bavarian Inn online press room: https://bavarianinn.logos-communications.com/

Bavarian Inn Lodge

Nestled along the Cass River in one of Michigan’s top tourist destinations – Frankenmuth – is one of the state’s largest Indoor Water Park Hotels! The Lodge has 360 European-themed guest rooms, including whirlpool and family suites, an adult-only pool and whirlpool, two gift shops, two lounges and two restaurants — all under one roof. The expansive 35,000 square feet Family Fun Center houses two dramatic waterslides, three pools and two whirlpools, over 160 video and redemption games, a two-story children’s play village and Willy’s Kingdom indoor mini-golf course. Guests can also enjoy live, year-round, nightly entertainment and test their own musical skills during weekend family karaoke shows. In 30 years of business, the Bavarian Inn Lodge has been an important destination for travelers, evidenced by the 1.25 million room-nights that have been booked there since its opening, along with its top rating on TripAdvisor®. Learn more at www.bavarianinn.com .

Frankenmuth River Place Shops take visitors on a historical trip via the Cass River Colonial Encampment July 21-22

FRANKENMUTH, Mich. July 5, 2018 — Visitors to Frankenmuth River Place Shops can experience military life in the 18th century, complete with battle reenactments and weapon demonstrations, during the Cass River Colonial Encampment the weekend of July 21 and 22.

The two-day free event is from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday and includes more than 250 actors portraying British, French and American soldiers taking part in tactical battle reenactments from the Revolutionary and French and Indian wars.

Other actors will depict voyagers who explored the 18th century American wilderness and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, Benjamin Franklin.

Family-friendly activities include period musical concerts and games, a fashion show, colonial-inspired vendors and tours of authentic campsites set up by reenactors on the east side of River Place Shops and the area near the Covered Bridge.

The Cass River Colonial Encampment has been a window to the past for visitors for 12 years and provides a fun learning experience for the whole family, said Michael Keller Zehnder, vice president of Bavarian Inn, Inc.

“One of my favorite parts of this event is to see parents and their children interacting with the actors and gaining a new appreciation for history and what life was like over a century ago,” Zehnder said. “I know my kids enjoy the event, and am glad Frankenmuth River Place Shops can offer this kind of experience to families from around the region.”

Each day’s schedule kicks off with a Flag Ceremony and March from the Pedestrian Bridge between River Place Shops and the Covered Bridge and Leather Gift Shop, and features a tactical battle reenactment at either the River Place Shops or the historic Covered Bridge located between the Bavarian Inn Restaurant and the Lodge.

Those interested in participating in this event may still do so. Reenactors can contact Brent Kemmer at kemmerc@hotmail.com. Voyagers can contact Merlyn Hodge at lafalcon@tds.net.

Frankenmuth River Place Shops: http://frankenmuthriverplace.com is an authentic re-creation of a Bavarian village located just minutes from the Bavarian Inn Restaurant and Lodge. The outdoor mall features more than 40 unique shops and attractions at one location. Visitors enjoy architecture, floral gardens, streams and waterfalls and, of course, great shopping opportunities.

Grandpa Tiny’s Farm Hosts Interseeding ‘Show and Tell’ July 11

Seed to be named ‘Tiny’ after Frankenmuth Patriarch

FRANKENMUTH, Mich. – July 3, 2018 – Blue Water and Saginaw County Conservation Districts have chosen Grandpa Tiny’s Farm in Frankenmuth as the site of their “INTERSEED IT” Field Demo Day on Wednesday, July 11.

Running from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., this free event will show off the equipment, methods, and programs available to make interseeding a reality. Interseeding can help establish cover crops in Michigan, which is generally difficult due to the climate and other factors. But when done correctly, cover crops can help build soil health, weed control and forage.

This event will take place along the banks of the Dead Creek in Frankenmuth, right in the heart of the Cass River Watershed, using CISCO Farm seeds from Indianapolis.

To honor the namesake of the farm, this seed will be named after William “Tiny” Zehnder, who with his wife Dorothy, founded the Bavarian Inn Restaurant, where Dorothy at 96 years young continues to work six days a week to this day. Grandpa Tiny’s Farm is owned by the William and Dorothy Zehnder Foundation.

A Frankenmuth Chicken lunch will be provided to the first 100 RSVPs at www.interseed.eventbrite.com. Grandpa Tiny’s Farm is located at 7775 Weiss Street in Frankenmuth. Learn more about the farm at www.grandpatinysfarm.com.

The Onion Dome for the Frankenmuth Cheese Haus is traveling nearly 500 miles to arrive in Frankenmuth for its installation on July 11.

Frankenmuth Cheese Haus Will Change Downtown Landscape with New Onion Dome

A Zwiebelturm to Top the Figurinespiel Tower on July 11

FRANKENMUTH, Mich. – July 2, 2018 – On Wednesday, July 11, the  Frankenmuth Cheese Haus will forever change the landscape of downtown Frankenmuth when a 23-foot cooper onion dome will be placed on top of the building’s tower, located at 561 South Main St. in Frankenmuth.

The 2,000 pound Zwiebelturm—German for onion dome—will be hoisted in place at 11:00 a.m. The public is invited to witness the event alongside excited host members of the Bavarian Inn Zehnder family. “I’m not aware of many places in America that have a Zwiebelturm. Frankenmuth is unique to have so many and the Cheese Haus is proud to have this one as part of its new building,” said Cheese Haus President Judy Zehnder Keller.

The onion dome, constructed by Campbellsville Industries, will travel 489 Miles from Campbellsville, KY just in time to arrive the day prior to the big event. Once the dome is in place atop the tower, the combined structure will stand 74 feet tall distinctively complimenting Frankenmuth’s Bavarian architectural style.

The Cheese Haus is a top tourist destination for generations of travelers. To accommodate more visitors, the Cheese Haus launched an expansion project earlier this year from its current 2,700 square feet to a new 16,000 square-foot Bavarian-themed building at 545 S. Main St., just steps from its current location with the opening set for this August.

The new, expanded location will offer more room for product sales and demonstrations. The second-floor hospitality area will be able to accommodate groups, motor coach travelers and special events. The new onion tower will also house figurine movements called a Figurinespiel, an animated story about popular cheeses from around the world, and a sundial.

The current Cheese Haus building remains open during the construction and will become retail space in 2019. To keep up with construction updates and the latest information, follow the Cheese Haus on Facebook.

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The Frankenmuth Cheese Haus specializes in the production and sale of imported and domestic cheese. Cheese Haus artisans make homemade cheese spreads including garlic, horseradish, bacon, jalapeno, smokey jalapeno, fiery jalapeno, and a creamy blue cheddar spread. In-store, the staff creates delicious specialty flavored cheeses including chocolate, chocolate mint, chocolate peanut butter, strawberry, and blueberry cheese. These many cheese options are complemented by an abundant variety of crackers, meat, mustards/sauces, and gadgets galore. A special Cheese Haus team also runs the Cheese Trap food truck launched in the summer 2017. Learn more at http://www.frankenmuthcheesehaus.com.