Benzonia is an attractive and picturesque community for older adults, due to its high quality of life and distance from large urban centers. It is located right on US-131, which makes for easy travel to the rest of the state when needed. Because of the large retirement population, many of the housing stock is made up of second homes, meaning there is a large market for short and long-term rentals.
Though the population trends older, younger families also have a lot to love about Benzonia. Children go to Benzie Central Schools, with an Elementary School right in the village center.
For those families, there are employment opportunities found locally and in nearby Manistee or Frankfort/Elberta. The school system and healthcare clinics are large employers in Benzonia. The nearby Little River Casino Resort in Manistee and Crystal Mountain Resort to the southeast also provide a lot of job opportunities. Work related to tourism—such as food service and lakeside businesses, and the two golf courses within town limits—represent growing opportunities, as well as jobs related to elder and health care.
Not only is Benzonia right on Crystal Lake, but the 27 mile Betsie Valley Trail goes right through town. The Betsie Valley Trail is a hiking and biking rail trail that runs from Frankfort to Thompsonville, and is a major recreational asset to the region. Benzonia is lucky enough to have the trail run directly through town as it abuts on the shores of Crystal Lake.
Benzonia Township Recreational Area has a dog park, as well as the Osprey Disc Golf Course. There are two pavilions that residents and tourists use for gatherings, and the baseball diamonds and soccer field are enjoyed by all ages. In the wintertime, an ice rink is created in the center of town.
Annual events, such as Winter Fest, 4th of July, and Easter Egg Hunt, as well as ongoing Music in the Park and arts fairs throughout the summer keep residents and visitors entertained. The Beulah Public Beach offers lake access, and the Crystal Lake Golf Course and Pinecroft Golf Course both offer greenspace for golf-enthusiasts to enjoy.
The Beulah and Benzoia Community Investment Area is a hidden gem. Tucked away from the more well-known urban centers, this lakeside community has robust development opportunities. It provides a quiet escape, but is right at the intersection of two easily-traveled routes. The 27-mile Betsie Valley rail trail offers recreational connection to the surrounding area, and the shores of Crystal Lake provides excellent views and investment opportunities. Benzonia Township is the only jurisdiction in Benzie County that has approved of marijuana to be produced and sold both recreationally and for medical uses.
Traverse Connect is the lead economic development organization for the Grand Traverse region, which supports area businesses through a combination of business attraction and retention strategies, talent development efforts, and strategic coordination among partner agencies. Traverse Connect now serves the region as one organization supporting business growth and development, alongside partner organization Venture North Funding and Development.
- Warren Call, President | CEO—(231) 995-7108
Recent Private Investments
Recent Public Works Projects
Business service: 1-800-805-0490
Natural Gas Provider(s):
Business service: 1-855-383-4249
Business service: 1-800-263-7442
Coyne Oil and Propane
Business service: 231-384-8055
Business service: 231-882-0120
Commercial Service: 231-421-6279
Business Service: 1-866-463-8862
Business Service: 888-652-3603
Business Service: 1-877-897-1123
Village of Benzonia
Non-profit community center located in rural Benzie County with a focus on healthful foods, jobs and life skills. Their 4-acre campus includes an event center, commercial kitchen, shared office space, incubator farm, and community garden.
Crystal Lake Community Business Association (CLCBA)
Non profit organization hosting up north seasonal events for families including fireworks, fall fest, Crystal Lake Marathons and more.
Benzie Area Historical Society & Museum
The Benzie Area Historical Museum, owned and operated by the Society, collects and preserves artifacts, photos, and stories about Benzie history.
Benzonia Public Library and Mills Community House
The Mills Community House was built in 1909 as a dormitory for Benzonia Academy, and now serves as a local landmark and community space. The Benzonia Public Library has been the middle floor tenant of the building since 1925.
Economic Development Ecosystem Map
This map shows some of the many organizations in this county providing economic development related services, such as workforce training, development finance, or technical advising for businesses. Use the dropdown in the upper left hand corner to filter by People, Investment, and Place.
“People” covers organizations that focus on early childhood care, workforce training, equity and diversity, and talent recruitment and retention.
“Investment” includes organizations that focus on industry cluster support, small business investment and technical assistance, innovation and technology development, and real estate and commercial development.
“Place”-focused organizations include tourism, arts and culture, and recreation organizations, planning and development entities, infrastructure and utility providers, and housing organizations.