Ypsi Real (let’s keep it that way)

Over the past several months, we’ve talked quite a bit here about an attempt on the part of Ann Arbor hoteliers and their supporters on the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners to defund the Ypsilanti Area Convention and Visitors Bureau (YACVB), and move their $1.1 million annual budget to Ann Arbor, where it could help further promote “the Ann Arbor area.” This, they tell us, would not just be good for Ann Arbor, but for Ypsilanti. If we just stop promoting our community and hand over our current allotment of the Washtenaw County Hotel Tax to the Ann Arbor Area Convention and Visitors Bureau (AAACVB), they tell us, good things will happen. With a bigger budget, they’ll be able to do a better job of getting the word out about Ann Arbor, and, being just a few miles outside of Ann Arbor, we’ll naturally reap the benefits. The prosperity, we’re told, will eventually trickle down… no doubt as people attracted to Ann Arbor turn the wrong way on Washtenaw when getting off the highway. As we’ve discussed here before, though, I’m skeptical. I’ve been around long enough to know how these things typically work out.

When the Ypsilanti and Ann Arbor Chambers of Commerce merged, we were told the new, improved Chamber would keep a presence in Ypsilanti. It didn’t. And, when the Washtenaw Development Council was reborn as Ann Arbor SPARK about a decade ago, we were told that, by promoting Ann Arbor, as opposed to the entire region, good things would happen in Ypsilanti. It hasn’t happened, though. While Ann Arbor is booming, the only new commercial building to have been built in Ypsi over the past several years is a dollar store on Michigan Avenue.

But yet they tell us that “Ann Arbor is the brand” that drives our region. And that’s what this move is about… the reallocation of resources to more loudly proclaim the awesomeness of Ann Arbor. Sean Duval, the board chair of the Ann Arbor Area Convention and Visitors Bureau recently told the Ann Arbor News, “It’s absolutely our vision to see one countywide marketing agency, one voice for the Ann Arbor area.” You’ll note that he didn’t say “Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti.” He said “the Ann Arbor area,” which is how they see us.

Commissioner Conan Smith has said recently that, when the merger goes through, it will mean more resources for the eastern side of the county. And that might be true in a sense, as it could be argued that certain spending is being done for our benefit. The thing is, we’d no longer have a true say in how this money would be spent. Sure, we’d have a seat at the table, and a few employees of the new, bigger AAAVCB might even be from Ypsilanti, but they wouldn’t have an independent budget to spend on our behalf, as they do now, and they wouldn’t be able to make decisions based on what’s best for our community. And, when that happens, you can be sure you won’t see campaigns like the following, which, just started being rolled out this afternoon.

Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 4.56.44 PM

Screen Shot 2015-09-08 at 4.56.59 PM

IMG_3028

IMG_3040 (1)

IMG_3036

This, in my estimation, is exactly the kind of work a CVB should be doing. And it reminds me why this fight we’re having is so important. This isn’t just about the $1.1 million we’d be losing as a community… it’s about the loss of our ability to define ourselves.

And, here, so you get a sense of how Ann Arbor’s CVB is marketing the Ann Arbor area, is an ad that they’re currently running in the AAA magazine. [If they cropped the shot differently, you’d be able to see the thirty-some year old iconic mural is no longer on the side of a quirky used book store but on the side of a fast food franchise.]

Tell me which, in your opinion, is doing a better job of selling its city as the kind of place you’d like to visit, live, etc.

AALivingMag.com

No offense to the people of Ann Arbor… I know they’re smart. And I know they feel as though they’re helping, even if it might come across as paternalistic… But, as someone who intends to one day open a business in Ypsilanti, I’d much rather have local people at the YACVB calling the shots as to how we promote our community than folks in Ann Arbor, regardless of how well-intentioned they might be. I want the employees of my CVB to be down the street, eating at our restaurants, and talking with our local business owners on a daily basis. I want them to know this community and what makes it special. And I’m not convinced that any of that would happen under a merger, in spite of the promises I’ve heard to the contrary.

“Ypsi Real,” is a serious campaign. It gets to the heart of who we are. And who we are isn’t just “a small town close to Ann Arbor.” We have something unique and different here, and we need to protect it. And I’m not convinced, if we trust our fate to the AAACVB, that they’ll understand that.

One last thing… It’s probably worth stating that I’m not adverse to finding ways for our two bureaus to better work together. If there is in fact redundancy, I think we should do our best to eliminate it. As both bureaus, for instance, employ staff charged with pitching our respective towns as possible locations for conventions, I suspect there may be an opportunity to cover more ground by working together. What I don’t want, though, is for us to totally hand over the development and articulation of our community’s identity to people who don’t understand what it is that truly makes Ypsilanti unique. I realize the stakes are high here, and that the cards are stacked against us, but I feel as though this is something worth fighting for… If we give up our percentage of the Washtenaw County Hotel Tax now, you can be sure we’re never going to get it back again. It’ll be gone forever… as will our ability to define ourselves.

This entry was posted in Ann Arbor, Marketing, Uncategorized, Ypsilanti and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

37 Comments

  1. stupid hick
    Posted September 10, 2015 at 11:56 pm | Permalink

    I sympathize, but when I visit the web sites in the ads in your photos, ypsireal.com doesn’t work (domain parked) but visitannarbor.org does

  2. Frosted Flakes
    Posted September 11, 2015 at 7:05 am | Permalink

    I will offer my opinion because you asked: The “Ypsi Real” campaign is a variation on the equally repulsive Hipsilanti campaign. (I have no idea who was in charge of that.). YPsilanti has been littered with different light post banners for years. They detract from the city big time! You need to tear that crap down not add to the collection. The written text, you provided, that accompanies the “Ypsi real ” campaign is horribly self congratulatory and comes across, to me, as A form of desperate self promotion.

    If you want to get a date you don’t drool on yourself and tell the person you attracted to how cool you are do you? The person who tells you they are “real” at a party is likely the fakest person in the room. Hate it!

  3. Amy Probst
    Posted September 11, 2015 at 7:27 am | Permalink

    For myself as Ypsi, I don’t want “a date.” I want to be known for who I am, and the YpsiReal campaign nailed that identity. I like Ann Arbor for its Ann Arbor-ness, and I feel misrepresentation and loss if we are lumped in and diluted. Frankly, I like Ypsi as-is, but realize I don’t have an educated perspective on the financial needs if the township as a whole.

  4. kjc
    Posted September 11, 2015 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    honestly, if FF hates it, this is a good sign.

  5. Posted September 11, 2015 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    @stupid hick – I work for the CVB and we’re in the process of rolling out the brand. YpsiReal.com is a later portion of the rollout but is coming soon! Check out visitypsinow.com for visitor info.

  6. Frosted Flakes
    Posted September 11, 2015 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    Kjc, i don’t know if it is a good sign or a bad sign to you but: I liked living in Ypsilanti and I like visiting Ypsilanti and I wouldn’t let cheesy branding get in the way.

  7. Shane
    Posted September 11, 2015 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    I don’t think it detracts from anything if it is true, and generally the attitude of people that have visited Ann Arbor vs Ypsi would say Ypsi is more “real”. I think what they mean by that is it represents a more diverse cross-section of society demographically, which results in things like people being less pretentious and less prone to judging you based on your Goose Island, North Face, Ugg Boots, etc

    Maybe a more successful campaign would be “There are less bros here”. Certainly the hipster crowd prefers Ypsi

  8. Mariah
    Posted September 11, 2015 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    The design on the banners is really fresh and nice. I am usually meh on campaigns like this (“Meet me in Chelsea” still seemed like the strangest campaign in my child/teenhood), but I am completely in agreement that each town should be able to determine its own.

    Ypsi and A2 are very linked, but each has a distinct identity. Although I bristle at how much each is held up as a foil for the other, I’d be fooling myself to think both identities *should* be somehow mushed together. Then Ypsi loses its distinctive voice.

  9. Anonymous
    Posted September 11, 2015 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    I am not terribly keen on slogans and campaigns, but this one strikes me as more authentic than most. It’s not just photos of models pretending to eat at a downtown restaurant, or shopping at a Depot Town store. These are people that I know. And I think that reflects the spirit of Ypsilanti. I also agree that, if a merger goes through, we will see less of this.

  10. JAV
    Posted September 11, 2015 at 10:30 am | Permalink

    I think that the writers mural is really cool, but still I find it pretty funny (and fitting) that Ann Arbor has a Potbelly’s Sandwich Shop building as the backdrop to its tourism ads.

  11. XXX
    Posted September 11, 2015 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    There’s more to the campaign than the banners.

    https://instagram.com/p/7ecVIkMjVZ/

  12. Anonymous
    Posted September 11, 2015 at 10:57 am | Permalink

    Someone once told me the Ann Arbor visitor bureau spends a large amount of its funding on a marketing company based in PA. That’s probably why AA’s ads don’t sell the city very well.

  13. Frosted Flakes
    Posted September 11, 2015 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    Anonymous,

    I had a different thought. How is it that Ypsilanti is understood by most of us, myself included, to be a way better place than its outside reputation might suggest? Whereas, Ann Arbor, although a good place, is nowhere near as good as its outside reputation?

  14. Lynne
    Posted September 11, 2015 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    To me this is just more of the usual. Rich folks trying to grab all of the money.

  15. E.
    Posted September 11, 2015 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    Ann Arbor is awesome on paper. In reality, though, it’s not that interesting of a place, which is why few graduates stay. While I don’t doubt that they want the money, I think it’s probably also true that they’d love to no longer have Ypsi marketing themselves as “real”. The implication is obvious. Ann Arbor is not.

  16. Katch
    Posted September 11, 2015 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    What, no “Here is Real Blogging?”

  17. Andrew Clock
    Posted September 11, 2015 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    If you take a look at this merger proposal, a few things become glaringly obvious:

    1. Ypsilanti and anywhere else in Washtenaw that isn’t Ann Arbor will have their marketing identity swallowed by the Ann Arbor Area. We’ll get second tier billing at best, and I suspect that will fade to even less representation as time goes on. Even the fonts in the document are AACVB fonts.

    2. A 25% sake on the board guarentees Ypsilanti will be outvoted, and reeks of the Chamber, Spark, and Real estate board “mergers” that were thinly veiled decamps to Ann Arbor.

    3. This is really all about justifying and supporting Ann Arbor’s over zealous hotel building boom. Because Ann Arbor doesn’t know when to say when on hotels, we loose our voice.

    http://www.ewashtenaw.org/government/boc/of-interest-information/cvb-taskforce/ann-arbor-cvb-proposal

  18. kjc
    Posted September 11, 2015 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    Conan thinks he could be perceived as paternalistic because he’s open and straightforward. Wrong. It’s because he and his constituents (and the silent people on the board who are letting him lead the sales charge) set the terms of the debate and then tell people to offer feedback or contribute based on those terms. But anyone who wants to debate the terms themselves is unrealistic and whiny and doesn’t understand how things work. That’s paternalism. It’s why he keeps pleading his good intentions and referring to “conspiracy theorists”—as if questioning his and others’ motivations and interests and being skeptical as to whether they are the same as ours puts you in the category of paranoid ignoramus. Suspecting that commissioners don’t actually have the same goals for the eastern side of the county, or see clearly the effects of their actions, or perceive the city at all the way we perceive it, and our future, is not a conspiracy theory. It’s a different understanding of the situation. People aren’t digging in their heels because they’re childish; it’s because the terms of the debate have been set from the outside and we’re being told what our choices are and aren’t. Notice on the last thread that the question of “why is a single CVB a foregone conclusion?” was never answered. And it won’t be. The answer is: because we have the votes. Conan is working to “get people on board” with what has already been decided, not supporting their voices in the actual decision making. It has nothing to do with whether Conan and his friends think he is a nice guy or not. Who fucking cares. It’s not personal. He and his yes votes are in the way of local control.

    If in fact there will be one CVB—because they have the votes— how do we get some version of our own local office with decision making power? Is this a “realistic” option?
    Murph suggested: “Maybe Ypsi could pitch a new division of responsibilities that addresses the concern A2 says is very important to them [hotels], but isn’t so important to us…”

    Maybe Conan could pitch this division since he cares so much about Ypsilanti and is mediating a solution he claims to not have wanted and is representing the people who decide what can be decided

    “The single-CVB approach was not my preferred solution, but maintaining the status quo is also not acceptable to me or my constituents. Contrary to the beliefs of the conspiracy theorists here, I’m not the architect of the single-CVB solution, but I am doing my best to influence it so that it meets a wide array of interests”.

    If we take these comments at face value, then it has to be noted that that certain “interests” haven’t been accommodated: actual residents and businesspeople of Ypsilanti.

    Mark writes: “as someone who intends to one day open a business in Ypsilanti, I’d much rather have local people at the YACVB calling the shots as to how we promote our community than folks in Ann Arbor, regardless of how well-intentioned they might be. I want the employees of my CVB to be down the street, eating at our restaurants, and talking with our local business owners on a daily basis. I want them to know this community and what makes it special.”

    Can this “interest”, which is widely shared, be accommodated? Is YACVB leadership in the position to offer an alternative? (seems unlikely. they have no say about their very existence.) Who gets to pitch this “division of responsibilities” and be heard? Obviously public opinion doesn’t matter. We can write Ronnie Peterson all we want (he never wrote me back btw), but Conan reminds us that Ronnie doesn’t really have any choice and that if RP sides with public opinion he will be marginalized further.

    I don’t understand what we’re supposed to do to fight an outcome we don’t want and don’t find fair. Unless we can’t fight it and that’s the point.

  19. David Gomez
    Posted September 11, 2015 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    Hi Mark,

    I read your blog a lot. I often do not agree with a lot of the things you say on here. That being said I think you make some very good points about the potential YACVB defunding. Ypsilanti should be presented as it’s own place with it’s own identify. I went to school at EMU and while I loved going to Ann Arbor to eat and walk around, I preferred Ypsilanti as a place to live. People can get offended if they like but I feel that people behind the Ypsi REAL campaign have done what good marketers are supposed to do and that is sell what is appealing about a given product. Ypsilanti is awesome because it is not Ann Arbor. The relationship both cities have with each other is awesome but at the end of the day people choose to live in one or the other for very specific reasons. This sounds like an attempt to grant favors for the hotel interests in Ann Arbor. I think they just want to defund the YACVB to market Ann Arbor more.

    I worked at Ann Arbor SPARK for a short time and no one really wanted to focus on developing Ypsilanti. They talked about it but they never made it their mission to develop Ypsi like they did Ann Arbor. It was mostly lip service to keep the money coming in so they could divert it to Ann Arbor. Sure they have a SPARK office in Ypsi but have they really made an impact in Ypsi compared to the focus they put on Ann Arbor? I think Ypsilanti affairs should be left to people who live in Ypsilanti. I also think that some of the money SPARK gets from the state to promote all of Washtenaw should be given back to the state or given to the neglected cities like Ypsi. They act like they are trying to promote the whole region but they have never ever spent real time trying to do something in Ypsi, who needs it most.

  20. Eel
    Posted September 11, 2015 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    Discover your Ann Arbor: It’s a 30 year old mural outside a Potbelly Sandwich Shop, an artifact from a time when Ann Arbor was interesting.

  21. Frosted Flakes
    Posted September 11, 2015 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

    Kjc,

    There are a lot different valid and productive things you can say in response to hearing “the disbanding of the Ypsilanti bureau is an inevitability”. “Debating”, if that is what you want to call it, that the terms of the debate are being set from the outside is not one of them at this point in time. Reasonable proposals and negotiations will fit within either the 2 bureau system or the 1 bureau system depending upon how 9 people vote. if you disagree with the assessment/ prediction/ information regarding how the vote will go that is one thing…but you are stating an understood fact, but stating the fact in an elaborate way (with a lot aspersions), and quite frankly, the “gotcha” tone is odd because everyone knows the decision as to whether or not Ypsi’s bureau will disappear is outside of Ypsi’s control. Is this unfair? I don’t know. I suppose someone could create a worthwhile argument about fairness….I haven’t heard one yet….

  22. Jcp2
    Posted September 11, 2015 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

    The funds belong to a budget under the control of the County commissioners. There’s no legislated need for a convention and visitors bureau at all, the money just has to be spent to attract tourism to the county. Maybe there could be a Washtenaw County CVB. Maybe there could be a Washtenaw County Tourism Board. Maybe there could be a Washtenaw County tourism grant fund. Maybe if Ann Arbor hoteliers want more direct control of the funding they could form their own private association and pay their own dues towards it. Maybe the hotel excise tax could be split between a contact office and staff to help convention planning anywhere in the county and then a grant source directed to promote promising areas of tourism that do not have adequate other finding. There are all sorts of answers here, but an appropriate function of government is to function as a utility for the public good.

  23. Marie
    Posted September 11, 2015 at 10:06 pm | Permalink

    Although I’m glad Ypsi is trying to gain more visibility and understanding (because it is awesome!), I’m kind of with frosted flakes. If you have to say you’re real, then it immediately seems suspect. People looking for authenticity will be turned off. I know it’s counterintuitive. I wonder if there is a way to convey it without saying it?

  24. Posted September 11, 2015 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

    I thought exactly the same thing a decade ago when banners were put up around town that said, “Cool City.” At the time, I remember saying, “There’s nothing less cool than someone with a jacket that says ‘I’m Cool’ across the back.” Maybe I’m just getting old, but I think this is different. For one, this concept was one that grew out of sessions with real Ypsilantians. And, I think there really is some sense of authenticity here. Maybe “real” is too much of a simplification, but, when I think of Ypsi, I think of a place that hasn’t yet fallen victim to the corporate homogenization of other communities around us. I still feel a sense of place here. And I think that’s important. I can see where you might find it annoying, though. I’ve known people, for instance, who keep insisting on telling me how “real” they are, and it’s annoying, but I see this differently. I don’t see this as bragging or posturing. I see it as a community embracing what it is, and saying, “We are who we are.” And I think there’s some beauty in that. But, yeah, any marketing campaign is going to have things about it that some people don’t like. All things considered, I think this is as close to the mark as we could come here, though.

  25. EOS
    Posted September 12, 2015 at 3:00 am | Permalink

    What’s equitable? Let Ann Arbor keep the taxes from their hotels, let the township keep the taxes from the Mariott, and let Ypsi City keep the taxes from Your Motel.

  26. Cheryl Farmer
    Posted September 12, 2015 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    I am in total agreement. Ypsi needs its independent CVB. Not until EMU relinquishes its marketing to U of M , and St Joseph Mercy Hospital relinquishes its marketing to University of Michigan Hospital should we in Ypsilanti relinquish our CVB for a merged Bureau with Ann Arbor.

  27. kjc
    Posted September 12, 2015 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    FF,
    Uh yeah pretty much my whole post was stating understood facts, debating nothing and wondering what we can do to make things more fair. If you don’t find that in any way useful that’s ok. As you know, I find most of your comments bullshit, so fair’s fair.

  28. Jcp2
    Posted September 12, 2015 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    EOS,

    I’m not against your notion that revenue from this excise fee remain in the local area to help those hotels in the area, but then the most efficient way to do that is through the private market. No fees at all. No tourism board. No CVB. But I suspect that this would be too much effort and cost for each hotel to go through this process. That’s why this fee exists. It allows some scale in marketing the area in general as well as a supposedly neutral third party that should be free on conflict of interest. It also relies on the government, a representative of all citizens in the area, to administer this program. Therefore I don’t think it’s unreasonable for these fees go towards promoting all geographic areas within the governments jurisdiction.

  29. Frosted Flakes
    Posted September 12, 2015 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    Thanks for getting the ball rolling on the issue of fairness, EOS. The Ypsi bureau supporters do not seem to want to discuss whether or not their receiving of 25 percent of the revenue generated from hotel taxes is fair in the first place? Not a rhetorical question: How is the split justified given the utter lack of hotels in Ypsilanti? Has the Ypsilanti bureau distributed its resources in a fair way? Or has the Ypsilanti bureau given an absurd amount of attention (at the expense of other businesses) to 3 or 4 restaurants? Seriously, I don’t even need to name the names of the businesses– the over-representation is disgustingly obvious…

    I can understand why politicians that already know how they are going to vote do not want to reveal their real reasons for voting one way or another because they would simply be burning bridges for no reason, but The Ypsi supporters of a separate bureau, if they truly want to keep it “real”, need to explain some of this stuff–or at least stop pretending like people are not justifiably skeptical about the fairness of 2 bureaus ; as well as skeptical about the unequal attention given to 3 or 4 of the Ypsilanti bureaus favorite places to get a beer, scrambled eggs, a sausage, or a hamburger.

  30. Andrew Clock
    Posted September 12, 2015 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    Yeah, totally crazy that a bureau that is charged with promoting tourism would promote the most tourist friendly businesses in town.

    And yes, it is perfectly fair to give the YCVB, which really represents committees all over the county that the AACVB fails to service, at least 25% of the hotel tax. As someone pointed out, it is county money, and it needs to go to serve the needs of the whole county. I personally don’t believe those needs are best met my an Ann Arbor Area CVB or Washtenaw CVB, but by independent entities.

    The real story of this merger is on page 2 of the future proposal: Ann Arbor hoteliers need the money to market the glut of rooms they have created in the last year by overbuilding hotels. The rest of the county shouldn’t have to suffer because of Ann Arbor’s overly high opinion of themselves as a tourist and convention destination. And no, they don’t need another convention center, either.
    http://www.ewashtenaw.org/government/boc/of-interest-information/cvb-taskforce/ann-arbor-cvb-proposal

  31. Jcp2
    Posted September 12, 2015 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    FF, I understand your point, but if the money from hotel excise taxes should promote the areas the hotel immediately is in, then get rid of the excise tax to begin with and let the hotels do that on their own. I’m not interested in having government be the advertising arm for a small set of private interests.

  32. EOS
    Posted September 12, 2015 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

    You’re right JCP2. If the cost of a hotel room in Ann Arbor was reduced by the amount of added tax, maybe less people would book a room in Canton near 275 when Ann Arbor is their destination. People visit Ann Arbor for University functions – it’s not a vacation destination that needs to be marketed.

  33. Frosted Flakes
    Posted September 12, 2015 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    The restaurants who are “tourist unfriendly” are getting what they deserve?

  34. Frosted Flakes
    Posted September 12, 2015 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

    I would love to see your list that ranks restaurants according to how “tourist friendly” they are.

  35. Andrew Clock
    Posted September 12, 2015 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

    Its pretty easy FF. Is it a shit hole coney island, a fast food restaurant, or a run down diner? Not tourist friendly. Is it a historic establishment or has it won local/regional/national acclaim? Probably an establishment you want to brag about. Kind of like Ann Arbor, where nobody talks about Potbelly or Amer’s, but raves about Frita Batida and Logan.

  36. kjc
    Posted September 12, 2015 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    Andrew, hope you’re calling in tonight…

  37. Posted September 13, 2015 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

    I own a small business in Ann Arbor – actually a lodging business – a bed and breakfast. The Ann Arbor CVB assigned all promotions associated with B&Bs to the Ypsilanti CVB several years ago – no matter where they are located: Ypsilanti, Ann Arbor, Chelsea, Saline – all of the outlying areas. The Ypsi CVB produced a comprehensive brochure: “The Bed and Breakfasts of Washtenaw” The Ypsi CVB held meetings to get input from us. The Ypsi CVB included us in the information gathering for their strategic planning. The Ypsi CVB calls on us to help, as volunteers, for special events. The Ypsi CVB has made huge inroads in bringing unique and unusual events to the region: Color Run, Beer Festival, Heritage Festival, Elvis Fest, and so many other wonderful happenings

    The Ypsilanti CVB also has full responsibility for helping Washtenaw County’s small towns improve their ability to attract visitors to their towns when people come to the region for business or leisure. They established a grant program, for which each of the small towns could apply, to fund a special project of their choice that focused on the unique characteristics of that town. The grants were used for a variety of projects, run by citizens of those towns – predominately volunteers – with the money going to pay the costs associated with services they could not get donated. It was a wildly successful campaign; with each of the towns benefiting tremendously from the initiative.

    The Ypsilanti CVB has an assembled, and retained an amazing, responsive team of individuals, and like any good organization, has invested in training and incentified staff to earn nationally recognized certification credentials. The Ypsi CVB has shared the knowledge and skills of their staff with small business owners to help us be better business men and women in areas like social media, market research, marketing, and more. These individuals are approachable, responsive, capable industry professionals.

    Ann Arbor CVB does a fine job – for Ann Arbor. I am a member of the AA CVB. I’ve volunteered with the AA CVB for the Puck Drops Here, for several years of the Union Workers Run and Pub Crawl, and many other volunteer opportunities where they’ve needed help – so I know the work of the Ann Arbor CVB, too. Ann Arbor has been their focus for years. I expect they will continue to do a fine job – for Ann Arbor in the years to come. However, I truly believe, the learning curve for them to get up to speed on all of the projects the Ypsi CVB manages could set those projects back by a year or more.

    In my opinion, it would be sad to see this merger happen. I get that the Powers that Be believe they are instituting cost cutting. I truly believe that the result of this decision will negate the fine work the Ypsilanti CVB has initiated and hinder the opportunities that have only begun to emerge by the efforts of the Ypsilanti CVB. Talk to those people in the industry who are being served by the Ypsi CVB; talk to the towns who have benefited from the Ypsi CVB investment into their futures; talk to the people who come from around the region to enjoy the events and festivals in Ypsilanti; talk to the small business owners in Ypsilanti who know how hard the Ypsi CVB works in their favor every single day.

    Were I to have a vote – it would be in favor of keeping both CVB organizations. I don’t have a vote – only a compelling voice. I sincerely hope it is heard.

3 Trackbacks

  1. By Bedridden and angry in Ypsilanti on September 21, 2015 at 9:23 pm

    […] an Ypsi-based newspaper had covered the rollout of the Ypsi Real promotional campaign, which the banner in question was a part of, they likely would have pointed to […]

  2. […] a new video that was just released this evening by the Ypsi CVB, as part of their recently launched Ypsi Real campaign. If you don’t like it, don’t worry. Once our CVBs merge, I’m sure […]

  3. […] new slang, the current state of the Washington Street corridor, and the controversy surrounding the “Ypsi Real” banners that went up last fall, some of which featured her […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Connect

Sidetrack ad Aubree’s ad BUY LOCAL... or shop at Amazon through this link Banner Initiative John Maggie