Home Downtown Petoskey Demographics


Following are some basic statistics on Petoskey' Retail Trade Area. Further demographics are available in Hyett Palma's 2007 Retail Report.

Population Summary 2000
Population 90,402 97,664 103,241
Households 36,113 40,043 42,818
Families 24,976 27,144 28,438
Average Household Size 2.46 2.40 2.38
Owner Occupied HUs 28,300 31,841 34,026
Renter Occupied HUs 7,813 8,202 8,792
Median Age 39.0 41.1 42.7


Households by Income 2000
Median Household Income $38,001 $44,235 $50,285
Average Household Income $49,285 $58,532 $68,271
Per Capita Income $19,898 $24,209 $28,537


Population by Age

2000 2006 2011
  Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent
0 - 4 5,651 6.3% 6,153 6.3% 6,287 6.1%
5 - 9 6,284 7.0% 6,035 6.2% 6,142 5.9%
10 - 14 6,788 7.5% 6,451 6.6% 6,839 6.6%
15 - 19 6,258 6.9% 6,230 6.4% 6,174 6.0%
20 - 24 4,179 4.6% 5,748 5.9% 5,304 5.1%
25 - 34 10,568 11.7% 10,397 10.6% 11,156 10.8%
35 - 44 14,304 15.8% 13,324 13.6% 12,982 12.6%
45 - 54 13,106 14.5% 16,271 16.7% 16,597 16.1%
55 - 64 9,493 10.5% 12,465 12.8% 15,678 15.2%
65 - 74 7,355 8.1% 7,699 7.9% 8,824 8.5%
75 - 84 4,712 5.2% 4,919 5.0% 5,012 4.9%
85+ 1,701 1.9% 1,974 2.0% 2,245 2.2%

Who We Are:

The picturesque city of Petoskey, located on Little Traverse Bay, was named after the Ottawa Indian Chief Pe-to-se-ga. The Petoskey name was also adopted for Michigan’s state stone, a fossilized coral found in abundance here. Its markings resemble the rays of the sun shining, a perfect symbol for the “land of the million dollar sunsets”. By the summer of 1874 the railroads were making regular runs between Grand Rapids and Petoskey. The metamorphosis of Petoskey was rapid. It grew into a dynamic, busy village catering to the needs of sightseers. Luxury resort hotels were constructed near the railway depots. By 1890, a substantial number of shops had sprung up along what is now Lake Street, creating a very unique shopping area, originally known as the “Midway.” These shops catered primarily to affluent resorters, and became the core of what is now called the “Gaslight District.” Today, the Downtown Gaslight District has evolved into a year-round shopping area, nestled in the midst of great bluffs, rolling hills, lakes, rivers and glorious sunsets.

Downtown Petoskey continues to thrive by catering to those who opt to use the Little Traverse Bay area as a gateway. At least $122 million annually is generated by tourists who come for a day, a week or longer. The heart of the downtown features one-of-a-kind shops that feature handmade jewelry, specialty foods, rustic furnishings; a wide array of apparel, antiques, locally produced art, literature, some of the finest confections and jams, restaurants and coffee shops.

Whether by airway, highway, or waterway, you will know you have arrived when you come to Downtown Petoskey. Flying into the Pellston Regional and Harbor Springs Airports reveals the deep blues and greens of the area’s trees and natural waters. When cresting US131 North into town by car, the horizon is filled with the expanse of Little Traverse Bay and nearby Harbor Springs. Lake Michigan provides a port of entry for yachtsmen from anywhere on the Great Lakes and beyond.

Commitment to reinvestment in Downtown Petoskey is evident everywhere, and most recently in two icons of arts and culture. The Petoskey Public Library has opened the doors of its new 24,000 square foot building in the heart of Downtown, and will continue to attract foot traffic for the rest of the commercial district. The Crooked Tree Arts Center is a cultural cornerstone, founded in 1971 to sponsor and encourage activities in the arts. Located in a former Downtown church, the center has completed a $4 million renovation. The building is a significant piece of architecture that lends local allure to Downtown, as well as it attracts thousands of visitors each year to experience a wide variety of cultural events.

Demographically, Petoskey is the economic center of Emmet County, the 3rd largest county in Michigan in retail sales per capita. The businesses that cater to the tourist and resort population are bolstered by the anchors of JC Penney, Meyer Ace Hardware, and two independent booksellers. Plans for a $60 million project on the edge of the central business district that will develop an entire block to include a hotel, convention center, and mixed use of housing, office and retail have recently been stalled but hope is not lost. A premier development will be built on that site. Adding to the mix are Northern Michigan Hospital, known as the Mayo Clinic of Northern Michigan, North Central Michigan College, and an outstanding public school system.

Downtown Petoskey is an exciting and vibrant business district, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Our commitment to maintaining, preserving, and embracing this reputation is demonstrated by the work being done by the City of Petoskey’s Downtown Management Board that oversees a full schedule of events and downtown programs, including marketing and façade improvement grants.

We invite you to see for yourself if the right place for your
business might be in the land of million dollar sunsets on the
shores of the Little Traverse Bay.