By JASON RAICHE
Escanaba Daily Press
ESCANABA - The Esky 150 sesquicentennial is expected to have a large impact on local businesses, restaurants, and hotels in the area.
The final weekend of Esky 150 included various events at the fairgrounds and Ludington Park in Escanaba. Above, a soldier memorial is revealed during a dedication to two War of 1812 soldiers at the Gas & Steam Engine Village on Saturday. (Escanaba Daily Press photo by Jenny Lancour)
The economic success of the 10-day celebration will be measured by follow-up surveys facilitated by the city and chamber of commerce.
"We believe the economic impact will be significant," said Vickie Micheau, executive director of the Delta County Chamber of Commerce. "The direct effect is from the many visitors outside of the community who purchased food, lodging and fuel during their stay."
She also noted local business owners, employees and suppliers have also been impacted by the event's festivities.
"All of the events seemed to be well attended by both residents and guests," Micheau said. "It was a busy time for us at the chamber. We were answering a multitude of questions about every single event."
Micheau congratulated the various committees who planned and implemented the event and said event planning committee co-chairs Kay Johnson and Lori Hertig "did an exceptional job" to ensure it was an enjoyable activity for all ages and interests.
Brad Mantela, owner of Dobber's Pasties, is a local business owner who noticed business had picked up during the celebration.
"We see travelers in the summer normally and we've seen an increase in visitors ... coming back to town and traveling to the area because of those events," Mantela said. "It's been great all-around."
He said he has heard many positive things about the Esky 150 festivities and believes more people will return to the area in the future.
Jen Drown, owner of the Sunset Lodge Motel, said the motel was booked solid for the event.
"We have only been here for one year, so we feel it's busier than last summer and I'm sure that it has to do with the added events that we've seen in town this summer," she said.
According to Becky Moody, owner and manager of Hereford & Hops, having the Esky 150 festivities in town has been great for business.
"It's probably the biggest thing that's ever happened to us," she said. "Every other year when the Logging Congress comes, that's always a really big deal. And that's just two or three days, but since this has been a two-week thing ... it's just been great for us."