Gaylord 101: Fun Facts to Impress Your Guests

Sometimes the strangest questions pop up when you’re talking about Gaylord, Michigan. Maybe you already know these little tidbits; maybe they’ll help you out at the next trivia night at Snowbelt Brewing Company; or maybe you’ll read them and instantly forget. Whatever the outcome, we’d like to share our secret Gaylord knowledge with you!

1. Gaylord has its own elk herd near Aspen Park to help increase the region’s elk population and manage the enclosure’s grass. These elk, some from as far as Colorado, live naturally and are well-cared for, enjoying treats like sugar beets!

2. Ever wonder why Gaylord is known as the “Alpine Village”? We can thank the Otsego Resort (formerly Hidden Valley Resort) for that. Its chalet-style architecture with high peaks inspired the town’s Alpine theme, making Gaylord stand out among Michigan’s meeting destinations.

3. Gaylord’s elevation of 1,348 feet makes it the highest city in the Lower Peninsula. Combine that with lake effect snow and our position in the snowbelt, and you get a winter wonderland with record snowfalls like 205.5 inches in 1970-1971!

4. Gaylord sits almost exactly on the 45th parallel, which means we’re halfway between the Equator and the North Pole. This unique position contributes to our rich four-season climate. In Gaylord, you can experience the beauty of all four seasons: vibrant spring blooms, sunny summer days, stunning autumn foliage and snowy winter landscapes. Each season brings its own charm and activities to enjoy!

5. Gaylord had its own car company and we still have one of the original cars! It’s a 1911 model from the Gaylord Car Company, which sold only 350 cars before closing in 1913. Restored in 1960, it still runs and is a crowd favorite at Alpenfest parades. You can get your picture taken with the Gaylord Car right in our Visitor’s Center!

6. The elusive Lake Sturgeon, which call Otsego Lake home, are found in only a handful of inland lakes in Michigan. Stocked since the 1980s, these ancient fish have a typical lifespan of 55 years, however, they have been known to reach 100 years old!

7. Gaylord had a Snow Valley Ski Resort from the 1940s to 1968. After it closed, Beaver Creek Resort took over its location. Today, Treetops and Otsego Resort are the hot spots for skiing.

8. The Gaylord Golf Mecca is renowned as America’s Premier Summer Golf Mecca. In 2001, Lee Trevino hit the shot of a lifetime on the Threetops course at Treetops Resort. The ace won him a cool $1,090,000! Be sure to check out the commemorative plaque on the #7 tee.

9. Claude Shannon was raised in Gaylord. He is considered the founding father of the electronic communications age. Without his work, digital communication as we know it wouldn’t exist. Check out Claude Shannon Park in downtown Gaylord to celebrate his legacy!

10. Have you seen the giant beer bottle at Big Buck Brewery? It’s a 45-foot stainless steel structure, once a grain silo, and can hold 60,000 pounds of malt. The bottle was painted by Glen McCune, who also crafted the bar, bears and eagles inside.

Enjoy these quirky facts and use them to add a little extra sparkle to your next Gaylord gathering. Whether you’re planning a meeting, celebration or simply exploring the area with friends, these nuggets of local knowledge will enhance your experience and create lasting memories in the heart of Gaylord!