Economic impact of Snowfest

Michigan’s Little Bavaria is transformed into a frozen wonderland for Zehnder’s Snowfest.

The festival brings more than just carvings with folks from all over the world coming to Frankenmuth.

It means big business for local shops and restaurants.

“Really good. We appreciate all the business when people come in. This is a good year this year, no rain,” said Rosa Barajas, the head prep cook at Pablano’s in Frankenmuth.

The Mexican grill and cantina is like a lot of businesses in Little Bavaria, ready to welcome throngs of customers attending Zehnder’s Snowfest.

“Well the people that come for the ice sculptures come and then see us and they like our food, they like the place, and they’ll come back whenever they come back later on in the year,” Barajas said.

That’s what Daniel Millar and Cody Dixon did. The pair took part in Zehnder’s Snowfest last year. They said the food was so good they had to have it again.

“I was actually a little under the weather but my teammates brought me some leftovers and even the leftovers were so good we had to come back and try it this year,” Millar said.

“The enchiladas were amazing,” Dixon said. “They were just wonderful and the nachos, big plate of nachos, so if you’re a fan of nachos I definitely say try it out too.”

Meanwhile, The Old Christmas Station restaurant is gearing up for a steady stream of foot traffic.

“We see new people. We can introduce ourselves to people that maybe have not been here before,” said Barbara Heidinger, the owner of The Old Christmas Station.

Heidinger said Zehnder’s Snowfest is a boost for winter business.

January is a rather slow month for restaurants and for Frankenmuth as well,” Heidinger said. “And so it makes January a little bit more fun.”

She hopes tourists and locals alike will try her new dish specially made for this weekend.

“Pork tenderloin with risotto and mushroom cream. It’s very nice,” Heidinger said.

Back at Pablano’s, Barajas is hoping those 21 and older will take advantage of her Zehnder’s Snowfest deal.

“Our margaritas half-off right now during the festival," Barajas said. "Have a margarita, have something to eat and warm up and go back down again."

Copyright 2019 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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