City of Petoskey

About the City

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. 

Covering Slightly More Than Six Square Miles – With A Population Of 6,080 – Petoskey Is An Established Community Located On The Shore Of Lake Michigan’s Little Traverse Bay.

Our community serves as a regional retail, commercial, professional-service, educational, cultural, recreational, and medical center. Petoskey has been listed by authors of The 100 Best Small Towns in AmericaThe Great Towns of America and America’s 100 Best Places to Retire and as a National Trust for Historic Preservation Distinctive Destination.  Just recently, Petoskey was listed as #6 on Smithsonian’s list of Best Small Towns in America to Visit in 2013.

Demographics & Statistics

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.

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. 

Following Are Some Basic Statistics On Petoskey’ Retail Trade Area. For Further Demographic information, contact the downtown office.

Population Summary200020062011
Average Household Size2.462.402.38
Owner Occupied HUs28,30031,84134,026
Renter Occupied HUs7,8138,2028,792
Median Age39.041.142.7

Households by Income200020062011
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 Age200020062011
0 – 45,651 (6.3%)6,153 (6.3%)6,287 (6.1%)
5 – 96,284 (7.0%)6,035 (7.0%)6,142 (5.9%)
10 – 146,788 (7.5%)6,451 (6.6%)6,839 (6.6%)
15 – 196,258 (6.9%)6,230 (6.4%)6,174 (6.0%)
20 – 244,179 (4.6%)5,748 (5.9%)5,304 (5.1%)
25 – 3410,568 (11.7%)10,397 (10.6%)11,156 (10.8%)
35 – 4414,304 (15.8%)13,324 (13.6%)12,982 (12.6%)
45 – 5413,106 (14.5%)16,271 (16.7%)16,597 (16.1%)
55 – 649,493 (10.5%)12,465 (12.8%)15,678 (15.2%)
65 – 747,355 (8.1%)7,699 (7.9%)8,824 (8.5%)
75 – 844,712 (5.2%)4,919 (5.0%)5,012 (4.9%)
85+1,701 (1.9%)1,974 (2.0%)2,245 (2.2%)

Need Additional Information About Our Government Services?

 Please call the City Hall at 231-347-2500 or visit their website.

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