In 1992, Grand Metropolitan Chairman/CEO Vin Lee was working with executives of The Grand Traverse Resort in Traverse City, MI to create the Midwests Best Vacation Destination which included the world class spa facilities it boasts today. The General Retirement System of the City of Detroit had accrued $80million in debt associated with their investment in Grand Traverse. Lee was contracted to reverse that loss by repackaging the resort and it's famed golf courses designed by legend Jack Nicklaus.
The relationship with the Grand Traverse Resort helped to mold Vin Lee’s own vision for what would become Grand Metropolitan. After the creation of the Midwest’s Best Vacation Destination, the Grand Traverse Resort and Spa, Vin Lee wanted to expand his holdings beyond jewelry, travel, and beauty. While many of the elements of the new spa facility were modeled after Vin Lee’s own experience with Auberge du Soleil, Golden Doors, and the Ritz Carlton, his introduction to Beverly Hills plastic surgeon Mel Bircoll’s Alesio Marlena and it’s alphahydroxy line of personal care items brought it all to another level.
In 2006, Vin Lee set out to reestablish the Alesio Marlena brand with his varied patents in hair care. Introduction of the lines took place at the VIN Grand Metropolitan Gifting Salon at the Cannes Film Festival.