News from the Greater Munising Area: What is the Munising Visitors Bureau – and what does it do?
You’ve seen its logo on almost every event poster in the Munising area as one of the sponsors, but what exactly is the Munising Visitors Bureau – and what does it do?
The MVB operates under Michigan Public Act 59 as a nonprofit organization that’s funded through the collection of a 5% occupancy/assessment tax to pay for promotions, marketing programs, events and other projects around Munising.
The mission of most visitor and convention bureaus is to encourage long-term development and marketing of a destination. Reports show that travel and tourism enhance the quality of life for local communities by providing jobs, bringing in tax dollars for improvement of services and infrastructure, and attracting facilities like restaurants, shops, festivals, and cultural and sporting venues that cater to both visitors and locals, according to the EmpowerMint – a CVB marketing company – website.
“Munising is so unique and blessed with our natural resources and we, as the tourism board, want to be good stewards to our area. We try to be community partners and to invest in things that benefit the community as a whole,” said Cori-Ann Cearley, president of the MVB. “For example, we have sponsored the repaving of the tennis courts and the youth hockey program. Our bigger investments would be the development of the Munising Bay Trail Network (MBTN) biking trails and our work we have done with the Snowmobile and ORV Association of Alger County (SORVA). We also sponsor community events such as the Concert in the Park series and Rekindle the Spirit.”
In 2015, SORVA worked closely with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and MVB to take over managing 80 miles of the area’s snowmobile trails. Various restoration and improvement projects were accomplished through that partnership.
The MVB is also considered a platinum sponsor of the MBTN.
“The Munising Visitors Bureau, an important community partner, has provided monetary support to MBTN since its conception. Their support has enabled MBTN to; pursue grants requiring matched funds, organize events such as the Pictured Rocks Road Race, and hire an experienced trail builder to rough cut the trail utilizing a Kubota U17,” the MBTN website states. “Combining the support of these important partnerships with thousands of volunteer hours has empowered MBTN to continue expanding the trail network they envision for the community.”
The MVB has also partnered with other local organizations, including the Alger County Chamber of Commerce/Greater Munising Bay Partnership and Munising Downtown Development Authority.
“The Munising Visitors Bureau does not have a physical location, but we have been fortunate to partner with them in sharing an employee who works here assisting at our office while working with special projects, social media and communication initiatives,” said Kathy Reynolds, executive director of the Alger County Chamber of Commerce/ Greater Munising Bay Partnership and Munising DDA. “This enables all of our entities to enhance our offerings, service our community and strengthen our relationship.”
The MVB is also essential in helping fund various projects and events, Reynolds said.
“Whether it’s infrastructure projects, including Art in the Alley, the art banners, the ‘Welcome to Munising’ signs, or events – we just couldn’t do some of the things without the Munising Visitors Bureau,” said Reynolds. “We’re just so appreciative of their support and being able to partner with them to make Munising a better place not only to visit but to live.
“They’ve been great supporters and I don’t think people realize how many other organizations they’ve supported – whether that’s Alger Park and Rec, the Fuzzy Fitness Center, the Moose when they do ‘Beer on the Bay,’ or us when we do ‘Rekindle the Spirit’ and ‘Pictured Rocks Days,'” Reynolds stated. “I think without that sponsorship, some of the events just wouldn’t happen.
The MVB appreciates all the support it’s received over the years, Cearley said.
“We appreciate the overall support we have received from the community and look forward to working hand in hand with private business and multiple local organizations to give back to the community and protect and develop it for future generations,” she said.
For more information, visit www.munising.org or visit the MVB Facebook page.
Editor’s note: Jaymie Depew is the communications and special project assistant for the A