More people + more things to do = more 911 calls in Traverse City

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — Although it may not be surprising, 911 calls increase during times of tourism peaks in this Northwest Michigan town (for example, the annual National Cherry Festival last week), but why is this? Jim Danek, a 911 dispatcher, says, “Calls increase due to the amount of alcohol consumed during the National Cherry Festival and around the Fourth of July holiday. Both for medical and behavior issues. Traffic collisions increase due to the increased number of vehicles on the roadways and add some really cool air shows to distract the drivers and it’s an obvious recipe for disaster.”

Danek worked a total of 40 hours of overtime during the National Cherry Festival week. He says, “There is hardly a shortage of overtime shifts available during the Cherry Festival.

Traverse City businesses prepared for the National Cherry Festival

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — The annual National Cherry Festival is July 1-8 this year and Traverse City was busy preparing in recent weeks for the thousands of attendees, including both tourists and citizens. Steve Heap, a professional at the Association of Festival Organizers, says that communication is key when a city prepares for a festival. He also says it gets easier with experience, but still takes the whole year to prepare for the annual festival. Kaylie Camp, 19, has worked two previous Cherry Festivals at Fustini’s, an oil and vinegar store located in downtown Traverse City.

Traverse City has some special things to offer entrepreneurs

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — Traverse City in northwestern Michigan is home to many entrepreneurs. The town has a supportive food scene, excellent tourism, a strong Chamber of Commerce, and many citizens with amazing stories to tell. If you walk through Downtown Traverse City, you may come across Ben Phillips, owner and founder of Ben’s Boards, a company that rents paddle boards on Grand Traverse Bay. Scroll through social media and it’s likely you’ll see Sean Murray, founder of Green Light Podcast.

Could saint candidate be a miracle for UP tourism?

By CARL STODDARD
Capital News Service
LANSING — On a hill overlooking U.S. 41, between L’Anse and Baraga is the towering statue of a man who could become a saint. Frederic Baraga, Michigan’s famous “Snowshoe Priest,” traveled the Great Lakes region in the 1800s spreading the Gospel. He later became the first bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Marquette. Today efforts are underway to determine if his many works make him worthy of sainthood. The process could take years.

Should tourism support environmental protection?

By KELLY vanFRANKHUYZEN
Capital News Service
LANSING — It’s too early to know if national and international attention on Flint’s municipal water crisis may tarnish the Great Lakes region’s image of pure water. But there is a tie between the perceived quality of water and its value, experts say. “I hope that the tourist industry gives back funding for protection and remediation,” said Joan Rose, Homer Nowlin Endowed Chair of Water Research at Michigan State University. That’s a worldwide approach “we have to do in the future,” she said. For example, there should be a tie between tourism and Peru’s challenges with sewage treatment and water reclamation at Machu Picchu.

Tourists come to Lansing from outside and within

By Eve Kucharski
Listen Up Lansing Staff Reporter

It was over 20 years ago that Capital Tour and Information Service Director and Lansing resident Matthew Van Acker was hired on by the state Capitol. He has easily given hundreds of tours of the building throughout his career and yet still remembers his first visit. “I was 4 years old,” said Van Acker. “I remember the visit. It was one of the events for my brother’s Cub Scout group.”

It was on that trip that Van Acker received a ribbon as a keepsake.

Branding Manistee to lure tourists, businesses

By AMELIA HAVANEC
Capital News Service
LANSING – Creating a community’s brand is more than a logo and a few billboards along the highway. An effective branding strategy promotes recognition and can also unite community residents. “Some people have an impression in their minds of what a city sort of is, and by branding you develop this image and have some control over what that image is going to be,” said Suzeanne Benet, Seidman Marketing Department chair at Grand Valley State University. In the case of Manistee, the area is picturesque, according to Kathryn Kenny, executive director of the Manistee County Visitors Bureau. “Our tagline is ‘naturally more,’” Kenny said.

Branding Traverse City to lure tourists, businesses

By AMELIA HAVANEC
Capital News Service
LANSING – Creating a community’s brand is more than a logo and a few billboards along the highway. An effective branding strategy promotes recognition and can also unite community residents. “Some people have an impression in their minds of what a city sort of is, and by branding you develop this image and have some control over what that image is going to be,” said Suzeanne Benet, Seidman Marketing Department chair at Grand Valley State University. In the case of Traverse City, the area is designated as one of the “most beautiful places in America” by Good Morning America. But there’s more beyond the dunes.

Lansing’s status as state capital comes with great economic power

By Isaac Constans
Listen Up, Lansing Staff Reporter

Being the state capital means that Lansing is home to Michigan’s highest-ranking officials and is the source for legislation in Michigan. But governmental action is not contained to under the dome; government employees work throughout the city and their employment has an impact that can be felt throughout Lansing. The presence of the capitol also encourages many different state-wide businesses to settle their headquarters in Lansing, according to Keith Lambert, a tri-county development manager for the Lansing Economic Area Partnership (LEAP). “I think it has a huge impact on Lansing in general,” Lambert said. “Because we are the capital city of the state Michigan, we see a lot of businesses that are advocacy-oriented.