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CONTACT: Annie Kelley

June 17, 2021                                                                          

Communications Manager

Calhoun County Visitors Bureau


BATTLE CREEK, Mich.-- More than 20 travel experts converged on Mackinac Island to share how they’re ready for the return of summer vacation.

From Frose (frozen rose wine) to tours of natural wonders, the Michigan tourism industry is happily anticipating visitors.

Linda Freybler, CEO of the Calhoun County Visitors Bureau, helped represent Southwest Michigan.

Each expert had an opportunity to recommend attractions during a broadcast called “Pure Michigan LIVE: A Return to Summer.”

Dave Lorenz, director of Travel Michigan, and Tom Daldin from the TV show “Under the Radar” acted as hosts on the porch of Mackinac’s Grand Hotel. 

“We’re super excited that our very first event is a big one,” Freybler said. “It’s the Battle Creek Field of Flight Air Show and Balloon Festival and it’s taking place just in a few weeks on June 30 through July 4 at the Battle Creek airport.”

With acrobatic airplanes, hot air balloons, carnival rides and fireworks, the festival is going to be the biggest event of the summer.

Freybler also promoted developments at FireKeepers Casino and Binder Park Zoo’s new wolf exhibit.

“I was so excited when I heard you were going to be here,” Daldin said, “because I love the part of the state you’re in. I love Battle Creek, I love that city, it’s beautiful with the river running through it. I love Marshall, the town of Marshall, you’ve got the American Museum of Magic. You’ve got Schuler’s there, an iconic restaurant. And Binder Park Zoo. The Binder Park Zoo is a treasure.”

Lorenz remembers how cool the zoo’s safari experience is in Wild Africa. 

“Go feed the giraffes, that’s the best part of the zoo,” Freybler said.

According to a 2019 report on the economic impact of tourism, visitor spending has grown by 14% since 2015. 

The year before the pandemic saw a big increase in visitors statewide. With vaccinations and reopening, Michigan should be on track to improve those numbers.

“I am happy that Travel Michigan recognizes the importance of Calhoun County as a must-see destination,” Freybler said after the promotional event. “We’re all working together to get the word out to travelers that the state of Michigan is welcoming visitors.”

The Calhoun County Visitors Bureau was formed in 1979 and is the only organization that promotes Calhoun County as a destination for business meetings, sporting events, and tourism-related activities. The mission is to enhance the local economy through tourism – to position and sell our community, in partnership with public and private sectors, as a premier destination for competitive sporting events, conventions, tradeshows, corporate meetings, group tours, and individual leisure travel. In pursuit of its mission, the CVB generates increased visitor spending, local tax receipts and job development.