ANN ARBOR, MI (December 15, 2017) – The Ann Arbor Area Convention and Visitors Bureau announced key findings of a comprehensive economic impact study measures the 2016 tourism-related benefits in the Washtenaw County economy. This study was completed by Anderson Economic Group (AEG), a Michigan-based research and consulting firm specializing in economics, public policy, business valuation, and industry analyses.

“The impact of tourism in Washtenaw County continues to grow, and we’re thrilled to share these results,” said Mary Kerr, President and CEO of the Ann Arbor Area Convention and Visitors Bureau (AAACVB). “The increase in total visitors and visitor spending speaks to the charm and appeal of our world-class dining, attractions, and events. Additionally, we’re thrilled that employment solely supported by visitor spending has grown to almost 9,000 full-time equivalent jobs in Washtenaw County.”

 

Compared to benchmarks conducted with 2014 data, the industry experienced growth across all major economic indicators throughout Washtenaw County, including:

  • $1.1 billion in total economic impact, a 26% increase
  • $770 million in “net-new” visitor spending at area businesses, a 28% increase
  • 3.7 million visitors, a 23% increase
  • 8,974 full-time equivalent jobs, a 13% increase
  • $221 million in earnings and wages, an 18% increase

 

“The study also reaffirms the value of major events — such as Michigan football, the International Champions Cup, and the Ann Arbor Art Fair — while also acknowledging the contributions of community-based events and attractions like Thunder Over Michigan, the Purple Rose Theatre, the Milan Bluegrass Festival, Dexter Cider Mill, the Saline Celtic Festival, and Sharon Mills County Park.” said Kerr.

 

The analysis only measures the results of net-new visitor spending (spending that would not have been realized if not for visitors) within Washtenaw County. In the 2016 report, Anderson Economic Group updated its methodology, incorporating DK Shifflet data provided by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC). To ensure equivalent comparisons to previous results, Anderson Economic Group provided revised 2014 benchmarks within the report.

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The Washtenaw County Convention and Visitors Bureau is a 501 (c)6 not-for-profit organization whose mission is to enhance the economy of the Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti areas, and the county of Washtenaw in general, through promotion of the area as a destination for overnight and day visitors. Follow Visit Ann Arbor and Ypsi Real on social media for more information about attractions and events in the Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti areas.

 

Anderson Economic Group, LLC (AEG) offers research and consulting in economics, finance, market analysis and public policy. Since AEG’s founding in 1996, the company has helped clients including universities, state and local governments, non-profit organizations, and private and public companies. AEG has completed economic impact studies for clients located throughout the United States, including several economic impact reports of Michigan’s University Research Corridor.

 

YPSILANTI, MI (September 21, 2017) – The Washtenaw County Convention and Visitors Bureau announces its partnership with Eastern Michigan University to welcome people to Ypsilanti. Together, the two organizations have evoked the national #YouAreWelcomeHere campaign in a new video produced in Ypsilanti, highlighting the diversity and inclusivity of Washtenaw County.

“International students and faculty, and their families, are an important part of our communities here in Washtenaw County. We want Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti, and the rest of the county to be known for the inclusive way in which we celebrate them, and other visitors from all over the globe. By showing all our visitors, international and otherwise, an authentic and heartfelt welcome, we have the opportunity to create ambassadors for our great community throughout the country and the world. We’re delighted to partner with EMU for the production and promotion of this video.” said Mary Kerr, President and CEO of the WCCVB.

"Eastern Michigan University is proud to participate in this effort that highlights the rich diversity and the warm, welcoming community of Ypsilanti, Washtenaw County, and Eastern Michigan University," said James Smith, President of Eastern Michigan University. "This video effectively captures the spirit of our entire community. Our hope is that it will continue to elevate the perception and awareness that together Ypsilanti, Washtenaw County and Eastern Michigan University create a wonderful locality and a great place to live, work, study and to visit."

The #YouAreWelcomeHere video is the latest in a series of efforts by Eastern Michigan University to welcome international students and visitors. Earlier this year, more than 100 international students’ photos appeared on banners on campus and throughout Ypsilanti, representing more than 40 countries. All told, EMU enrolls nearly 1,000 international students from more than 80 nations worldwide. EMU’s #YouAreWelcomeHere campaign launched in April 2017 with a special video, website and other initiatives. A giant 80’ x 23’ banner hangs from the main parking structure in the center of campus to welcome students.

Ypsilanti Mayor Amanda Edmonds provided the voiceover for the #YouAreWelcomeHere video, and said, “As the mayor of Ypsilanti, I am very proud to be a part of this project spearheaded by EMU to welcome students from around the globe to our wonderfully inclusive community.”

To view the #YouAreWelcomeHere video, visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qX3sG9kBnO4&feature=youtu.be.

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The Washtenaw County Convention and Visitors Bureau is a 501 (c)6 not-for-profit organization whose mission is to enhance the economy of the Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti areas, and the county of Washtenaw in general, through promotion of the area as a destination for overnight and day visitors. Follow Visit Ann Arbor and Ypsi Real on social media for more information about attractions and events in the Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti areas.

ANN ARBOR, MI (August 7, 2017) – A recent study stated that the year-round training programs operated by The United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipefitting Industry (UA), including the annual Instructor Training Program (ITP), generated $7.6 million in economic impact for Washtenaw County in 2016.

The Washtenaw County Convention and Visitors Bureau (WCCVB) commissioned Anderson Economic Group, LLC (AEG) to complete the report, The Economic Impact of the United Association in the Ann Arbor Area. The study analyzed the economic impact of UA activities in the Ann Arbor area, including the annual ITP and year-round courses, both of which are conducted at the Great Lakes Regional Training Center (GLRTC) on the Washtenaw Community College campus.

The 64th UA Annual Instructor Training Program returns to Ann Arbor August 12-18, marking the 28th Instructor Training Program in Washtenaw County in partnership with WCC. “Every year, around 2,400 instructors, master instructors, industry partners and vendors attend and participate in our week-long program at Washtenaw Community College,” said the UA’s General President Mark McManus. “It is great to see the magnitude of the UA’s presence in Ann Arbor through this impact study. We take immense pride knowing that while we are investing in the future of our industry through training instructors who will teach new generations of highly skilled piping professionals, we are also giving back to the community that hosts us not only during the ITP event but throughout the year as well.”

Since 1990, Washtenaw Community College has hosted the ITP and in 2003, the GLRTC became the premier UA training facility, offering amenities tailored to industrial training including hands-on labs and workshops in everything from welding to rigging to heating and air conditioning. “As a result of our long-standing partnership with the UA, thousands of instructors have taught their peers the required knowledge needed to acquire jobs in a skilled trades profession,” said Washtenaw Community College President Dr. Rose B. Bellanca. “Our shared investment will help bridge the skilled trades gap currently affecting the country and assure a workforce that is job ready and one that meets the needs of business and industry.”

Washtenaw County resident and Local 190 Business Manager Kevin Groeb stresses the value of training, “The commitment from UA leadership to provide training plays a vital role in developing a career in the plumbing and mechanical construction industry. No other organization in the country commits so many resources ensuring its members are highly skilled, which allows us to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to worker safety, methods of installation, and becoming familiar with new products and materials.”

To welcome the group, the WCCVB will coordinate the “Rock Around the Block” community block party on Monday, August 14 from 6-10 p.m. on S. Main Street in downtown Ann Arbor, with a street closure between William and Huron. The block party will feature live music by The Milwaukee Tool Shed Band and outdoor dining at Main Street restaurants.

“Summers in Washtenaw County are packed with events — and welcoming the return of the UA to the area is truly a highlight,” said Mary Kerr, Washtenaw County Convention and Visitors Bureau President and CEO. “The relationship that’s developed between the UA, WCC, and the community over the past 28 years speaks volumes — it represents a value that extends beyond the significant economic impact of hosting the Instructor Training Program and has become a partnership built on camaraderie and a commitment to education.”

This year also marks the sixth annual UA 5K Run and Pub Crawl, benefiting the Semper Fi Fund, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, and its program America's Fund. The proceeds will help provide immediate financial assistance and lifetime support for wounded, critically-ill and injured members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families. Since the inaugural event in 2012, the UA has raised more than $250,000 for the Semper Fi Fund.

Members of the community are invited to join the 5K and/or the pub crawl by registering online at www.uapprun5K.com.

The United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry of the United States and Canada (UA) is a professional association for plumbing, pipe fitting, sprinkler fitting and heating, cooling and refrigeration professionals.

Link to high-resolution images.
Download press release.

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The Washtenaw County Convention and Visitors Bureau is a 501 (c)6 not-for-profit organization whose purpose is to enhance the economy of Washtenaw County through promotion of the area as a destination for overnight and day visitors. VisitAnnArbor.org and ypsireal.com are complementary resources for visitors as they discover the greater Ann Arbor area.

 

YPSILANTI, MI (February 23, 2017)Ypsilanti, Mich., will welcome participants from the 2017 Hemmings Motor News Great Race presented by Hagerty Insurance on Thursday June 29 for an overnight stop in Depot Town.

Spectators are encouraged to interact with participants and get a closer look at the vintage automobiles as racers pour into Depot Town at 5 p.m.

Participants will travel over 2,100 miles in nine days along the historic Dixie Highway, from Jacksonville, FL to Traverse City, MI. Each team will consist of a driver and one passenger, tested on their ability to navigate the route and maintain an assigned speed.

The Great Race is an endurance rally designed to complement the capabilities and condition of vintage cars. Teams will be required to follow detailed instructions to reach each check point in a timely manner; failure to do so can all affect a team’s score and eligibility.

The team with the lowest cumulative score will be awarded the title of “Grand Champion” and $50,000 of the $150,000 total purse. Though first place has the largest payout, the “Spirit of the Event” award is one of the most sought after prizes of the event, used to honor teams who demonstrate their dedication and enthusiasm during the race.

The Great Race has built a significant following over the years, creating a festival-like affair for cities fortunate enough to be involved in the race. Hickory Corners, Chesterfield, Frankenmuth, Alpena, and Salt Ste. Marie are additional Michigan cities scheduled to host competitors for a meal or overnight stay.

“Their arrival is cause for celebration,” said Mary Kerr, President and CEO of the Washtenaw County Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Visitors and residents alike are eager to celebrate automotive history and engage with the contestants.”

The city of Ypsilanti can expect to see Hudson vehicles, similar to the ones displayed at the Ypsilanti Auto Heritage Museum, that were built as early as 1916. A 1916 Hudson Four Passenger Speedster and Hudson Hillclimber will be among other remarkable vehicles in Depot Town.

The Ypsilanti Auto Heritage Museum was the last operational Hudson dealership. In honor of the museum’s storied history and the connection to the Great Race, Ypsilanti Auto Heritage Museum staff will host the Great Race participants for dinner to celebrate this remarkable event.

Residents can expect Cross St. to be closed from 5 p.m. until 8 p.m. when participants retire to the Kensington Hotel.

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The Great Race is the world’s oldest and richest vintage car rally with a mission to get antique cars out of museums and back on the road. The race is viewed by hundreds of thousands of spectators as the cars trek across the backroads of America each summer, competing for the $50,000 first-prize check, which goes to the most precise team over the entire 2,400-mile, 9-day event.

The Washtenaw County Convention and Visitors Bureau is a 501 (c)6 not-for-profit organization whose mission is to enhance the economy of the Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti areas, and the county of Washtenaw in general, through promotion of the area as a destination for overnight and day visitors. Follow Visit Ann Arbor and Ypsi Real on social media for more information about attractions and events in the Ypsilanti area.

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