Memorial Day weekend was the unofficial start of summer and for northern Michigan businesses that means the start of the big tourism season, a season that means a substantial boost in business.
Cambria Suites in Traverse City was up 20% this Memorial weekend compared to last year. Best Western and Comfort Inn in Traverse City weren't too far behind that, with both reporting 10% jumps this year.
Head of Hotel Operations for Best Western, Cambria Suites and Comfort Inn Ron Robinson says, "the biggest thing is just the promotion that Traverse City is getting nationwide, the Sleeping Bear Sand Dunes, and National Geographic has picked it as one of the top 10 places to visit this summer."
The influx of holiday travelers, kept the downtown businesses quite busy. Cherry Republic saw more than 2,000 people come through the past 3 days. Cherry Republic Manager Samantha Byrd says, "We had 750 people that actual bought something on Saturday and Sunday!â??
Amical restaurant was up nearly 15% this Memorial weekend, the owner Dave Denison says it's a great sign for what's in store this summer. Denison says, "From a percentage increase we were up anywhere between 10 and 20%, itâ??s at least a thousand people a day that come through a restaurant this size. So Saturday and Sunday were the busiest, yesterday was great and itâ??s continuing onâ?¦"
Cadillac Visitors Bureau reports that hotels were pretty much booked heading in to the weekend. The Petoskey Downtown also saw a lot of foot traffic this year, with downtown shops reporting big spikes in sales.
To check out the entire report, click on the video above.