Economic impact of Esky150 big

ESCANABA – Though the Esky 150 sesquicentennial is now complete, the celebration is expected to have a large impact on local businesses, restaurants, and hotels in the area.

The economic success of the 10-day long celebration will be measured by follow-up surveys facilitated by the city and chamber of commerce.

“We believe the economic impact will be significant,” said Vickie Micheau, executive director of the Delta County Chamber of Commerce. “The direct effect is from the many visitors outside of the community who purchased food, lodging and fuel during their stay.”

She also noted local business owners, employees, and suppliers have also been impacted by the event’s festivities.

“All of the events seemed to be well attended by both residents and guests,” Micheau added. “It was a busy time for us at the Chamber. We were answering a multitude of questions about every single event – each as popular as the other.”

Micheau congratulated the various committees who planned and implemented the event and said event planning committee co-chairs Kay Johnson and Lori Hertig “did an exceptional job” to ensure it was an enjoyable activity for all ages and interests.

Brad Mantela, owner of Dobber’s Pasties, is one local business owner who noticed business had picked up during the celebration.

“We see travelers in the summer normally and we’ve seen an increase in visitors…coming back to town and traveling to the area because of those events,” said Mantela. “It’s been great all-around.”

He said he has heard many positive things about the Esky 150 festivities and thinks more people will return to the area in the future.

Jen Drown, owner of the Sunset Lodge Motel, said the motel was booked solid for the event and the time surrounding the event.

“We have only been here for one year, so we feel it’s busier than last summer and I’m sure that it has to do with the added events that we’ve seen in town this summer,” she said, noting many guests were not aware of the festivities happening as part of the Esky 150, but were interested in the activities.

According to Becky Moody, owner and manager of Hereford & Hops, having the Esky 150 festivities in town has been great for business.

“It’s probably the biggest thing that’s ever happened to us,” she said. “Every other year when the Logging Congress comes, that’s always a really big deal. And that’s just two or three days, but since this has been a two-week thing…it’s just been great for us.”

Moody said she credits the Esky 150 committee for planning and marketing the event and to the people in the city who helped out as well.

“The park is just a jewel. It looks just beautiful. My hat is off to them,” she said.