Tourism is an important part of the economy for most Northern Michigan cities and one town raked in the most money this summer since the recession.
The Cadillac Area Visitors Bureau estimates about a three to five percent increase from last year. Tourists spent a total of 16.2 million dollars in Cadillac this summer, with an 800 thousand dollar increase from last year.
â??For every hotel room that we sell in Cadillac those travelers are going to spend between two of them $120,â?? said Cadillac Area Visitors Bureau Executive Director Joy VanDrie. â??Over and above the room rate, for gas, they go shopping, to get groceries, and go to restaurants.â??
Much of the increased tourism is due to marketing and participating in the Pure Michigan campaign.
â??They really relate to that that marketing and to have Cadillac be a part of that is very rewarding for this community,â?? said Cadillac Mayor Carla Filkins.
â??I think Michigan is bouncing back,â?? said Hermannâ??s European CafÃ owner Hermann Suhs. â??I really feel comfortable that we're on the right track, we have a surplus and we been doing good with the Michigan campaign. It's an excellent campaign and I feel good about that.â??
He said it's the best year they've had since the recession, and hotels were sold out through most of the season.
â??Our summer was fantastic, one of the best summers Iâ??ve seen in a long time, in the eight years that Iâ??ve been here,â?? said Sunset Shores Resort Assistant Manager Beth Herhold. â??July was at maximum peak, we couldn't have asked for a better July.â??
They're hopeful the increased tourism will extend into the fall.
â??If we can boost those shoulders seasons that just helps everybody,â?? said VanDrie. â??That allows our local businesses to make money and then they either hire more people or they make renovations, everything is just better.â??
The visitors bureau has done these calculations since 1996, and their tourism has increased about 5 percent a year for the last 4 years.
Cadillac was a part of Pure Michigan's summer campaign which just ended. Their fall campaign runs through October 1st.