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Welcome to the Black Lake Conference Center

Nestled around reflecting pools, high wooded land and an evergreen terrain in Onaway, Mich., the Black Lake Conference Center offers refuge and reprieve for many. The area, known as the “Sturgeon Capital of Michigan,” is five miles south of scenic Black Lake. But don’t worry, the lake isn’t in any short supply of fish and is also home to walleye, perch and pike.

Black Lake was formed by glaciers, and, in most places, it has a white sandy bottom. Its name comes from the fact that its depth – as much as 50 feet – makes the water appear black.

Sitting on 1,000 heavily wooded acres on the shores of Black Lake, the Center’s complex of educational, living and recreational facilities are the equal of any conference and resort center in the country.

Located on the crystal shores of Black Lake in northern Michigan,

the Center is centrally located within a one -hour drive of some of the state’s most scenic tourist attractions, such as Mackinaw City with its ferries and forts, Tahquamenon Falls, the Soo Locks, Lake Superior, Sleeping Bear Dunes. Shop at the trendy boutiques in Petoskey, Bay Harbor, and Harbor springs on the gold coast of northern Michigan. Like to bet? Take a trip to the Odawa Casino and try your luck.

The Center is available for conferences, retreats, reunions and family vacations – and includes an education building with 12 classrooms, a 350-seat lecture hall and a dining room with the capacity to serve up to 400 guests buffet style.
Accommodations include rustic rooms at the timeless “Old Lodge,” the secluded “Hilltop Chalets” and traditional hotel-style rooms. There are 228 sleeping rooms available, with the capacity to house 395 people depending on rooming accommodations. Black Lake also has a selection of condominiums and apartments.

The Black Lake Conference Center has a rich history of the story of Walter Reuther and labor’s story.

In 1966, then-UAW President Walter Reuther proposed building a worker education center for trade unionists. The UAW International Executive Board unanimously supported the idea. From that vision, Black Lake has come to mean much more to its visitors and union members.

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