WXYZ Editorial: If Pure Michigan funding is to be restored, now is the time!

Posted at 7:38 PM, Jan 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-16 19:38:34-05

WXYZ DETROIT — Something important to our state is missing for 2020! For the first time since 2008, the successful Pure Michigan advertising campaign is on winter ice. Funding has run out and we may be on the way to hurting one of our state’s most important businesses – tourism!

In last year’s tug-of-war budget with the Michigan legislature, Governor Gretchen Whitmer vetoed $37.5 million in funding for Pure Michigan. The final deal hammered out in December did not include advertising dollars for the award-winning ads.

It’s not too late to save Pure Michigan. State Representative Jack O’Malley, a Republican from Lake Ann, has introduced a bill to fully restore the campaign. O’Malley’s district includes the popular Sleeping Bears Dunes National Park. He has support in the Michigan Senate from Traverse City Republican Wayne Schmidt. That kind of leadership is critical in a state legislature where Republicans are the majority and have the power to pass a supplemental budget.

In 2018, tourists spent more than $25 billion dollars in Michigan and more than 125 million people visited the state. Overall, Michigan's tourism industry generated more than 200,000 jobs.

Rep. O’Malley recently said, “Pure Michigan has been a fantastic way to promote everything our state has to offer. This funding must be restored to help continue Michigan’s economic comeback.”

Over the years, Pure Michigan has had its critics. They argue the program has been ineffective, expensive and favors tourism over other industries.

Now is the time for our Lansing lawmakers to decide on the future of Pure Michigan in fierce competition with the economies our neighboring Great Lakes States. Contact your elected representative. Your voice matters!

I’m Mike Murri, VP & General Manager
Broadcast: January 16 - 19, 2020