Birch Run asks county to allow them to spend money on own ads - WNEM TV 5

Birch Run asks county to allow them to spend money on own advertising

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BIRCH RUN, MI (WNEM) -

Drive up and down Interstate 75 from the Mackinac Bridge all the way to South Florida, and you will only find one exit busier than exit 136 in Birch Run.
 
"I mean, this is main exit off the highway. There's always cars coming on and off. I mean it's really crazy," said Jacob Renner.
 
The only attraction bigger is Disney World in Orlando, FL.
               
"During the summer, we're running 97-percent occupancy. And I believe all the hotels are," said Comfort Inn General Manager Kathy Konieczny.
 
Right now, the taxes tourists pay at those hotels go to the Great Lakes Bay Convention and Visitors Bureau, which uses the money to attract more visitors to the entire county.
But on Wednesday night, the Birch Run Convention and Visitors Bureau asked Saginaw County's Board of Commissioners to allow them to keep a larger portion of the hotel taxes paid locally so they can do their own advertising.
           
"Will it be big for Birch Run? Yeah, it will be big for Birch Run, but the winner will be the county," said Mike Szukhent, the executive director of the Birch Run Convention and Visitors Bureau.
 
Frankenmuth did the same thing back in 2000.
 
"They had the demand. They didn't have the supply. So they had to build a supply, three new hotels," said Szukhent.
 
It's a move the county subcommittee says it will consider.
 
"It could have an effect on northern Saginaw County. It could affect Bay and Midland, because they're all sharing in those funds as well," said Commissioner Dennis Krafft.
 
The head of the Great Lakes Bay Convention and Visitors Bureau said if handled properly, the move presents no problem to her.
 
"As long as we abide by the criteria established by the county board of commissioners and stay consistent with that and treat all communities fairly, I have no reservations about it," said Annette Rummel, chief executive officer of Great Lakes Bay Convention and Visitors Bureau.​

The issue will go back in front of the commissioners at a meeting in September.

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