By Steve West –
Beaver Island tourism business, while still short of historic early decade highs, was clearly up this season. Local realtors report both interest and home sales are up nicely. New construction and remodeling business is also up. Many owners of Island rental property said they could have rented the prime summer weeks “several times.”
Newsstand sales of NorthernIslander were up 9% in June and 26% in September. “These single copy sales have historically tracked very closely with the number of Island visitors, said Editor / Publisher Elaine West.
“It’s clear that Island tourism is up in the shoulder seasons and that is where Chamber marketing efforts have been focused for several years,” said Chamber of Commerce President Rachel Teague. She is owner / general manager of Fresh Air Aviation and reports a nice increase in business in September as well as year to date. The Chamber also reports that year to date sales of Beaver Island maps are up 13%.
The Detroit News recently reported on an interesting phenomenon – an uptick in the purchase of second homes in Michigan by Texans, New Yorkers and others outside the region. The Pure Michigan advertising campaign is likely a factor. This follows a familiar Beaver Island pattern. People first discover the Island as tourists and some go on to purchase second homes or retirement homes.
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