"Fall is a Good Time to Plan"
By Capt. Fred Davis
Published: Friday, September 22, 2017

An old saying in Michigan, "If you don't like the weather, stick around a few minutes it will change," rang true the past week or two.

We have seen everything but snow and at the rate our weather is changing, we could see that any day.

A few days ago the morning dawned with a beautiful sunrise and the overnight dew quickly dried. The temperature read in the low 40s, but shot up to the 60s by noon and by mid-afternoon was near 70. What a great day.

About 3:30 p.m., a breeze came up followed by a few clouds and by 4:30 p.m., the wind was roaring. Dark clouds raced across the sky and the temperature plunged to 40 degrees and it began to rain. That day sure fit the old saying and my description could also apply to many days the past few weeks.

A favorite comedian I enjoy might advise, "Git'er done!" because the great days may not last.

Few local residents are complaining about the fall weather after the warm summer we experienced. It was just perfect for those in tourist related businesses.

I took time to chat with some of the visitors who expressed how pleasantly surprised they were with our area. They spoke of returning next year and some even talked of looking for property perhaps becoming residents instead of visitors.

Many people have been to the Thumb in the past, but drifted away to other resort areas. I wonder what brought them back. Perhaps the cost of fuel -- we promote ourselves as "only a tank away" to many areas. Our many campgrounds could be the lure or the activities we host that fit right into good family fun.

When I chat with visitors, I always tell them about our longstanding attractions, but I make sure to mention the new ones too. Boy do we have new ones, and more on the drawing board in each of our small communities.

My wife Pat is really excited about the Butterfly House that will be a wonderful attraction in Port Austin. There are lots of plans to entertain the kids at Veterans Park - a splash zone is among them. I saw one while visiting in New York and boy did the kids love it.

The growing attendance of visitors at our popular activates indicate those that come tell others and the numbers keep going up.

As those in tourism businesses -- and many others who support them -- spend the off season planning the coming year, lets determine to tell visitors about our attractions. Long established places like The History Center, the Octagon Barn and the Nature Center Arboretum. We can also acquaint them with entertainment targeting children such as miniature golf, kid's fishing events, petting zoos and the host of pumpkin and Halloween activities around the area. The more we let them know what the Thumb has to offer, the more likely they are to return.

As I see it, business owners and residents struggling with the changing weather trying to get outdoor projects done, should give some thought to our fall activates still going on and take time to enjoy them.

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