Enjoy Michigan’s Outdoor Activities and Help Create Jobs – The Oakland Press
Over Thanksgiving weekend, a new COVID variant called Omicron was reported. With it came a lot of speculation. Which countries are closing their borders? How will this affect international travel? Just when we thought the doors to international travel were reopening, it looks like they are about to close.
On a personal note, it looks like my dream vacation and that of my wife will be on hold for the third year in a row. Well, maybe next year.
Meanwhile, during the Thanksgiving holiday, Michigan quietly announced that it was launching a $ 3 million advertising campaign encouraging tourists to visit our state this winter. Last year winter visitors spent $ 3.6 billion.
Sounds good, but overall traveler spending in Michigan fell 28.4% in 2020. That equates to a drop of $ 7.5 billion. Not so good.
That’s why I suggest at some point this winter that everyone get away from the couch and enjoy the many outdoor activities available in our great state. Encourage your family and friends to do the same. Michigan has two spectacular peninsulas to explore and plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy before heading into sunny Florida.
One of my favorite winter activities is snowshoeing. If you can walk, you can snowshoe. There is nothing quite like being on a quiet trail, exercising and enjoying the beauty of the outdoors.
I also like downhill skiing. Of course, I don’t push it’s hard like when I was younger, but it’s still a pleasure to hit the slopes. Most ski resorts have instructors and equipment available. For family fun, Boyne stations spring to mind. The instructors there were great teaching my grandchildren.
And then there is Mt. Bohemia in the UP. Traveling this fall
I stopped and checked. It is certainly aimed at experienced skiers and many believe it offers the best and most difficult skiing in the whole country.
For anglers, Houghton Lake hosts a big ice and winter fishing festival in January. This is very fun. Michigan also has about 7,000 miles of groomed snowmobile trails and an abundance of lakes. I could go on and on.
Why am I mentioning all of this in a financial column? Well, last year tourism related jobs in Michigan fell by over 60,000. It would be nice to help some of those people get back into the workforce and get back on their feet.
Without health, it is difficult for anyone to enjoy wealth. And being locked in day in and day out cannot be good for your long term health. Just as we feel the pandemic is approaching the finish line, it appears to be reappearing.
I’m afraid that with all the travel restrictions and health issues, a lot of people are cocooning way too much. Here in our own backyard there is an abundance of activities available. I’m no medical expert, but I know exercise and fresh air are good for the soul.
Michigan might not be as glamorous as traveling, and the sun often disappears for days. But we have a lot to offer, and spending a few dollars here at home can help a lot of families. Years ago our license plates proclaimed Michigan a Winter Wonderland. I believe it still is.
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