Governor signs bill for Pure Michigan ads

By Corey Williams

Associated Press

DEARBORN (AP) -- Gov. Rick Snyder is sold on selling the state, signing a bill into law last last Thursday that drops an additional $10 million into the popular Pure Michigan advertising campaign.

In a state facing a $1.4 billion deficit in the coming budget year, the tourism campaign has been one of its success stories, Snyder said at the bill signing ceremony at The Henry Ford museum complex in Dearborn.

"It brought in more tax revenue than it has cost our state," he said of the campaign. "If you look at the dollars coming in in terms of tax revenue to our state versus cost, we're almost $3 for every dollar we spend."

Pure Michigan's funding would be hiked to $25 million this budget year. The extra funding will be moved over from the state's 21st Century Jobs Fund. The bill is the third signed by the Republican in just over two months as governor.

Pure Michigan campaigns promote the state's beaches, golf courses and other destinations to potential tourists. The extra $10 million will pay for regional campaigns targeting cities such as Chicago, Columbus, Cleveland and Indianapolis.

The campaigns will focus on spring, summer and fall travel. A national advertising push is scheduled to start this week, Snyder said.

Pure Michigan and the tourism dollars it generates fits into Snyder's business approach to reverse the state's fortunes.

Visitors spend $15.1 billion annually traveling in Michigan, generating $850 million in state taxes and supporting 142,500 jobs, state officials say. Being able to run the Pure Michigan campaign nationally in 2009 generated 680,000 new trips to the state from outside the Great Lakes region, according to a study conducted by the Longwoods International research firm.

For every dollar invested in Pure Michigan, the state receives a $3.29 return from tourism, said Patricia Mooradian, state Travel commissioner.

"Visitors are coming to this state when they see this great campaign," she said. "We have something for everybody in every season. We have great outdoor resources, cultural resources, heritage resources. We want visitors to come from all over."

Mooradian also is president of The Henry Ford. Thirty-five percent of its visitors are from outside the state.

Pure Michigan was launched by Jennifer Granholm, Snyder's Democratic predecessor.

Published: Mon, Mar 14, 2011