Attracting business to northern Michigan in the winter

    Attracting business to northern Michigan in the winter.

    GRAND TRAVERSE COUNTY, Mich. (WPBN/WGTU) -- Northern Michigan is a popular place for tourists to visit, especially during the summer.

    However, things can be slower during the winter and some local businesses have come up with creative ways to attract business in the winter months.

    "It's usually from about May through October it's busy all the time and then things just really start to slow down and that's when we really depend on our locals and our regulars to come visit us," said Kate Keefe, a manager at Jolly Pumpkin and Mission Table on Old Mission Peninsula.

    Keefe says for the last few years they've partnered with Brew Bus for the Snow Shoe Wine and Brew on Sundays.

    Those who take part in the event are able to get a ten percent discount off their bill at Jolly Pumpkin or on brunch at Mission Table.

    "It's really helped our business on Sundays. It's really generated a lot of foot traffic," said Keefe.

    Silver Spruce Brewing Company opened in Traverse City last fall and the owner Leah Tyrell says weekdays can be slow in the winter months, but they've had a yoga and beer event the last few Sundays to bring people to the new business.

    "It definitely exposes us to a different group of people that maybe wouldn't have heard of it or aren't looking for a brewery but it seems to be a good open space to practice yoga and we like having people that are into physical activity and stuff to come to the brewery," said Tyrell.

    Tyrell says while it's the first winter and they don't have any other seasons to compare it to yet, they are hoping to have a schedule of events to draw people in next winter.

    "We're already kinda thinking of stuff to do for next year and stuff to do consistent," said Tyrell.

    At Jolly Pumpkin, Keefe says another thing that helps is restaurant week from February 24th through March 2nd.

    "It's really really good for us because we post our menus and then people can see and think oh that's gonna be different than what we usually have at jolly pumpkin so we've picked up quite a few reservations throughout that whole week," said Keefe.

    Keefe says one thing she enjoys about the winter is getting to interact with the local customers that visit on a regular basis.

    In another effort to draw people in during the winter Jolly pumpkin lets kids eat for free on Sundays and on snow days.

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