Cold Temps Heating Up Michigan Tourism

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Tourism in Michigan is a $16 billion a year industry. Four billion of that money comes from winter tourism. Higher than average snowfall and cold temperatures are helping make sure that money is guaranteed this season.

George Zimmermann with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation says conditions have been great. But he also points out two-thirds of wintertime Michigan tourists are in-state residents. Only one-third comes from other states, close to opposite the rest of the states in the country. He says they are doing extensive PR in cities like Cleveland, Indianapolis, and Chicago to try and change that.

Zimmerman also says don't expect this good winter to make up for a bad summer season which didn't see a single 90 degree day in many parts of the state. He says summer typically does double the business the winter does, and there's just no way to make up the difference this winter.

Some businesses, however, did well in the mild summer. "Full Throttle Motorsports" in Lansing says while boat sales dipped some, people found new ways to spend their time during the cool summer, pushing up ATV and motorbike sales.

Adam Gibbs from "Full Throttle" does point out, though, the significant winter conditions are helping sales of snowmobiles.