Glen Arbor Resort Owner Lawsuit Challenges State Mandated Tourist Fee

“Any way to generate more year round tourism business for the space, that’s really the purpose for those funds,” says Trevor Tkach, President and CEO of Traverse City Tourism.

A new lawsuit is challenging a state mandated tourist fee.

The Mackinac Center Legal Foundation filed the suit on behalf of Glen Arbor resort owner, David Gersenson.

The Michigan Strategic Fund and Sleeping Bear Dunes Visitors Bureau charge guests a two percent fee on every room.

The money goes toward advertisement campaigns to attract more people to the area.

But Gersenson says the fee violates his first amendment rights.

Plus, he says he doesn’t need the ads.

But it’s something the Traverse City Tourism Bureau says really does attract visitors in the area.

“Those dollars are used to promote group sales and conventions, they’re used to market through advertising channels,” says Trevor Tkach, President and CEO of Traverse City Tourism.

“There’s a supposed two percent tax that I need to pay of my revenue to the visitors bureau in which they then have the right to advertise how they see fit for my business, without any input from me,” says David Gersenson, owner of Sylvan Inn and Lakeshore Inn.

Gersenson says the Sleeping Bear Dunes Visitors Bureau advertises the wrong hours for both of his resorts.

It’s the second lawsuit the Mackinac Center has filed over the issue.

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