Northern Michigan Tourism Bureaus, Parents React To Bill Possibly Changing School Start Date

Local tourism bureaus, worried business could take a sizable hit based on a decision on the table for Lansing lawmakers.

A bill moving through the Capitol would allow schools to start before Labor Day without getting state approval.

But there is a catch: class could not be in session on Mondays or Fridays in August.

The move would allow families to keep taking their weekend trips.

"It’s extremely important to us that we keep our July and August. Extremely important," said Linda Hoath.

Linda Hoath, the Executive Director for the Soo Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, made her case in Lansing after learning their critical time to bring in tourism dollars may no longer be the cash cow it is today.

"It’s really about the revenue coming in and keeping businesses open, because they make that money to take them through the winter," she said.

And its not just the Soo. Linda says over Labor Day tourists from across Michigan packed into hotels, like in Traverse City, where she says 93% of customers had a Michigan license plate. And right after.

"We drop 24% in our lodging. When you drop 24% then go back a few weeks early just think about that’s less dollars for our small businesses to have," Lisa said.

But not all parents are convinced.

"If they are doing good in one subject they do lose some of the knowledge but I think that is typical when you go on summer vacation you do see it," said Myra Hamer.

Myra Hamer has three kids. She says she definitely sees a difference when they haven’t been hitting the books.

"I can see yes our kids do lose some of the knowledge they retain they lose some of it over that time, but I can also see it being an issue with vacation time and kids involved in sports and extra curricular activities," she said.

That bill currently is in the state senate. If it passes from here it goes to the house.