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Suttons Bay Businesses See National Cherry Festival Impact

National Cherry Festival crowds don’t just pile into Traverse City businesses, surrounding communities also have their hands full.

National Cherry Festival tourists go beyond city limits to explore what else northern Michigan has to offer.

9&10’s Megan Woods spoke to Suttons Bay businesses about what the festival means for them.

“Traverse City is only about 15 minutes outside of Suttons Bay, Leelanau County.”

 Even though a lot of tourists start their adventures in Traverse City for the National Cherry Festival, it doesn’t end there.

Martha Ryan, owner of Martha’s Leelanau Table says, “When I talk to tables I find out where they’re from and why they came here and a lot of times it is because they’re here for the cherry festival, but they’re here for Leelanau County you know to come out and visit all the other areas.”

Beau Webb, owner of MI Market says, “Because it is so close you know Suttons Bay is kind of the entry way to the rest of Leelanau County you have to come through here to get to Lake Leelanau to get to Northport, Omena, and Leland so it’s really a nice little meeting grounds.”

The festival is a chance for tourists to see what all of northern Michigan offers and keeps businesses busy. Ryan says, “We just we’re staffed to the hilts with people we just do it, we do it and work hard.”

For newer businesses like MI Market it’s a chance to show off cherry-themed foods or just local products that people may have overlooked at the festival.

Webb says, “The cherry festival is so busy so at a certain time somebody might run out something there so it’s definitely good to have those kind of items that people can also get here you know that don’t make it to the cherry festival.”

National Cherry Festival is just the beginning when it comes to Traverse City summer overflow.

Ryan says, “We’re getting ready for film festival in a couple of weeks and that’ll be the same kind of thing, people from all over the world come to visit this area because of the films and the restaurants and wineries.”