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Northern Michigan U.S. 131 Corridor Towns Launch Explore 131 North

There’s a new push to bring visitors to towns along U.S. 131 in Northern Michigan.

For the past year, towns along U.S. 131 from Cadillac to Petoskey have been working with Networks Northwest out of Traverse City.

Together, they developed the Explore 131 North campaign.

Towns along U.S. 131 are hoping this will better market what the area has to offer, meaning more visitors stopping and exploring.

“The consensus was to market the corridors as a whole all the communities from Cadillac to Petoskey,” said Cash Cook of the Kalkaska Downtown Development Authority.  

It’s a new way of thinking for towns along U.S 131 between Cadillac and Petoskey, market the area as a whole to visitors, making them more aware of what the area has to offer.

“The assets along the corridor are unbelievable, lakes and trails, we have trails for all sorts of usage, snowmobile, ATV, horseback, mountain biking,” said Cook.

With a fresh logo in hand, the next step is developing a web site and working on social media, with the hope people will soon follow.

“Through this process we’ve been able to get together, talk about the things we have in common, talk about how we can market ourselves and brand ourselves so that when folks come, they come to this area, to this neck of the woods they can experience everything that is out there,” said Cadillac City Manager Marcus Peccia.

We visited downtown Big Rapids where they’ve recently started promoting the downtown as a whole through their Band of Locals. They say the results have spurred growth in the area.

“When you belong to organizations no matter what, they give you the extra knowledge that you need to enhance your business. Now it’s just more of a team effort and that’s important,” said Carleen Rose, President of the Band of Locals.

Explore 131 North is also working with towns along U.S. 23 in the Northeast part of the state who launched a similar program several years ago.