Monday, January 13, 2014

Best of the Net 1/6-1/12

Pure Michigan Is #1 Again

The Pure Michigan travel campaign continues to be the gold standard of state tourism campaigns. Its advertising campaign already wins more awards than any other state's tourism campaign. Pure Michigan also can claim the most-visited state travel website in the United States for the seventh straight year. According to Experian Hitwise, Pure Michigan's website had more than 9 million web visits in 2013. Michigan's website attracted nearly 1 million more visits than second place Florida.

Detroit's Co-Working Opportunities

Co-Lab Detroit's co-working week will commence on January 20th. As reported by Michipreneur, the five-day event will feature several of Detroit's co-working spaces. Each participating co-working space will host visitors and provide information about its collaborative environment, as well as information about Detroit's creative economy.

These Teens Are Fired Up

Water Street Glassworks in Benton Harbor is a nonprofit school and studio dedicated to glass and metal arts. Its Fired Up! program allows local teens to learn glassblowing, fusing, bead making or stained glass. Michigan Nightlight highlighted the after school program's efforts to teach teamwork and other important life skills. The 27 students who participate in Fired Up! attend the program tuition-free thanks to fundraising efforts.

Embrace Michigan's Snow

Head to Frankenmuth between January 22nd and 27th for the 23rd annual Zehnder's Snowfest. The Snowfest is one of the largest ice sculpting events in North America. The event will host several world and national ice and snow carving competitions and will include music, fireworks, and a petting zoo for children.

Corktown's Development

Detroit's Corktown neighborhood is the former home of the Detroit Tigers, but it did not die after the Tigers moved to Comerica Park in 2000. The neighborhood boasts several popular restaurants and is now home to one of the Best Urban Distilleries in America according to Fodor's Travel. Two James Spirits is one of Corktown's newest businesses and the first licensed distillery to open in Detroit since prohibition. Fodor's commends Two James for using locally sourced ingredients to make its spirits.

One developer is hoping to create office space in Corktown by converting an abandoned school into workspaces for small businesses and entrepreneurs. Curbed Detroit reports that development company Quality Pheasant will convert St. Vincent Middle School into a collection of smaller workspaces with plans to begin renting the spaces out next summer. For more information, visit the website for St. Vincent Corktown.

The Great Beer State

Michigan has a multitude of delicious craft brewers, and two upcoming beer events are excellent opportunities to try Michigan's beers, plus craft brews from other states and countries. First, the Kalamazoo Beer Week, or KBW, kicks off on January 11. KBW supports and promotes the craft brewing experience with a weeklong series of tastings.

On the other side of the Lower Peninsula, Royal Oak will host the Royal Oak Beer Fest Polar Bear Club on Saturday, January 18. The one-day festival will feature 56 breweries and 143 beers.

Two Views Of One Detroit

Lately, it seems that Detroit is one of the most popular subjects of national news articles, books and television news segments. Two online articles from last week show two vastly different Detroits. First, the delicious day gives readers 16 reasons to go to Detroit. From Belle Isle to the Guardian Building, the writer gives readers examples of Detroit's still-standing history and its emerging economy.

Writer Drew Philip gives a contrasting view of Detroit through his experience buying a a house on the East Side for $500 when he was fresh out of college. His article in BuzzFeed is a gritty portrayal of parts of the city that do not make lists of things to do in Detroit. It is not always complimentary towards the city or its racial problems of the past and present, but Philip's words show a neighborhood of Detroiters that is an oasis of hope in a desert of despair.

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