Sunday, September 8, 2013

Best of the Net 9/2-9/8

Purely Awesome

The Pure Michigan ads always bring a smile to my face when they air in D.C. It's comforting to experience 30 seconds of Michigan while living 500 miles from home.

Besides the nostalgic effect, I have always enjoyed the writing and production quality of the ads as well, so it's no surprise that they have continued to earn recognition from the U.S. Travel Association and National Council of State Tourism Directors. The ads recently received two more Mercury Awards for Best State Tourism Television Advertising and Best State Tourism Radio Advertising.

Since the campaign's launch in 2006, it has garnered 17 Mercury Awards. Here's a recent one for Detroit:

The Pure Campaign also has launched a fall campaign to run statewide and regionally. The campaign will feature billboards and television and radio ads and will run through October 1.

All That Jazz In Motown

Detroit has always been a music town, and the Detroit Jazz Festival not only celebrates Detroit's love of music, but also a spirit of rebirth within the city.

This MLive report shows how the festival's success is a harbinger of greater things for Detroit. Writer Mike Stratton sums it up well:
And as this past Labor Day weekend illustrated, there are signs of renewal. A swanky stretch along Woodward, luxury condos over swishy storefronts and restaurants, young couples dotting the sidewalks. Stuff you didn’t see a couple of years ago. Not to mention the corporate backing for the festival.
Even the fountain in Hart Plaza, which had quit working due to vandalism and metal scrappers, was fixed in time for the festival. These things are more than just symbols...
Jazz is alive and well. Detroit is coming back. She may be bankrupt, but she isn’t broken. Her people are not broken. Her culture is not broken. Detroit’s spirit isn’t broken.
Although the 2013 Jazz Festival is over, I encourage anyone who loves music and a sense of hope to attend the 2014 festival...better yet, visit Detroit before then and do do some of the things on this list (except for #2 Complain about the Lions...they are 1-0 after all. Restore the Roar).

Grand News For Grand Rapids

Rockford Construction Company has chosen Grand Rapids for its headquarters and will be moving into its $4.7-million dollar building on Tuesday. They also used green construction techniques to keep the building environmentally friendly (and also will save the company money on heating and cooling).

According to the Grand Rapids Business Journal, all of Rockford's 225 employees will be stationed in the building, and they expect to increase their workforce by five percent in the next two years.

Michigan Adds Another Wine Country

Michigan vineyards are producing award-winning wines and even draw out of state tourists who want an alternative to Napa or Sonoma. Despite the success of some northern vineyards, most people still do not think of Southeast Michigan as a wine destination.

A few entrepreneurs are trying to change that by bringing a wine trail to Macomb, Oakland, Sanilac, Huron, Saginaw St. Clair, and Lapeer counties. A total of sixteen wineries plan to be part of the trail. The trail will be broken into five loops so that wine enthusiasts will be able to visit wineries in close proximity to each other.

The Best Lakes State

Michigan is the only state that borders four of the five Great Lakes, and Michigan's 3,288 mile shoreline is the second longest shoreline in the country, after Alaska. We Michiganders take pride in our lakes.

This Huffington Post article highlights the beauty and wonder of the Great Lakes through some amazing photos. Although some of the pictures are from other states and Canada, that is okay. Just as Stephen in Braveheart claims that all of Ireland is his island, we Michiganders know that each of the Great Lakes, even Ontario, is our lake.

If you want to see these natural wonders in person, take a visit to Michigan, or bring your business to the Great Lakes State. After all, when on Michigan soil, you are never more than 85 miles from a Great Lake.

For more Michigan beauty, check out these Pure Michigan Fan Photos from August.

Creativity In Detroit

Hour Detroit profiled nine Detroit area artists, musicians and craftspeople who are rebuilding Detroit as a center of creativity at the same time many entrepreneurs are revitalizing Detroit's economy.

The artists include Shakespeare in Detroit, a furniture maker, and a former IT professional who makes handcrafted motorcycles.

How You Like Them Apples?

A lot of focus in the media is on urban renewal in Michigan cities. However, Michigan still is a great agriculture state that produces many excellent crops including cherries, corn and apples. In fact, Michigan is the third largest apple-producing state behind only Washington and New York.

2013 was a very good year for Michigan apple growers after a tough year in 2012 when a late freeze destroyed much of the crop. Michigan is expected to harvest 30 million bushels of apples this year, which would be a huge boost to Michigan's economy.

Michigan's apple harvest is in full swing. Take a trip to an orchard or your favorite cider mill and celebrate a good year for Michigan apple growers.

Pontiac: Growing Stronger

Detroit is not the only city in Southeast Michigan that is making strides to rebuild from urban blight. Pontiac, once the home to the Detroit Lions, is using its prime asset, Woodward Avenue, to bring people and business back to its downtown.

New restaurants are moving in, and small businesses are taking advantage of cheap rent. One of the more ambitious projects is a lawn tennis club with 24 grass courts.

The Motor City...This Is What We Do

The Detroit auto industry reported increased sales for the month of August. They are also doing well on the stock market.

Eminem might not be able to give a coherent interview during a football game, but I swear his Chrysler Imported from Detroit Super Bowl commercial from a couple years back has everything to do with the increased auto sales for the Big Three. That commercial is still the BEST COMMERCIAL EVER.

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