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Cadillac Area ORV Initiative Rolls Out New Attraction

Newly dedicated Cadillac ORV Scenic Ride offers 100-plus miles of trails for off-roaders

By Kathy Gibbons

Building Wexford County’s brand as a destination for people who love to ride ORVs is intended to sustain business for the area’s hospitality industry all year long. || Courtesy of Cadillac Area Visitors Bureau

The Cadillac Area Off-Road Vehicle (ORV) Initiative just got another boost. The Cadillac Area Visitors Bureau (CAVB) and local partners have developed the initiative to showcase Cadillac and surrounding Wexford County as an ORV destination. State, regional, and local business leaders recently dedicated a new 100-plus-mile Cadillac ORV Scenic Ride at the Michigan Cross-Country Cycle Caberfae Trailhead Staging Area. They also unveiled a Cadillac ORV Scenic Ride kiosk with a map of the entire 100-plus-mile trail network—one of four kiosks at businesses along or near the route.

CAVB Executive Director Kathy Morin explains that the Cadillac area has long been a popular destination for snowmobiling, with 200 miles of groomed snowmobile trails. Yet with 299,195 licensed ORVs in Michigan as of September 2022, the CAVB saw an opportunity to position the region as an ORV recreation destination via the Cadillac Area ORV Initiative to spur more business for the local hospitality industry year-round.

“We know that winters are getting more unpredictable as far as being able to have snow sports, so that has been a challenge for our area,” Morin says. “We also know there’s been a significant increase of users with ORVs.”

The Cadillac Area Visitors Bureau and partners are building the area’s reputation as a destination for ORV fans. || Courtesy of Cadillac Area Visitors Bureau

Morin says the Cadillac Area ORV Initiative’s focus on driving more business to the area this way is helping local hotels, restaurants, and ORV rental outlets—some of which see opportunities for outings and activities among groups coming for events.

One of our rental facilities has focused on corporate groups … doing some smaller corporate outings, probably a less-than-20-machines type of thing,” Morin says. “As this is continuing to build, our local rental companies are starting to build their inventories as well. People don’t necessarily have to have their own equipment—they can come up here, rent it, and have everything taken care of when they arrive.”

And as the Cadillac Area ORV Initiative continues to mature, Morin expects more groups visiting the area to tap into this resource. “I can see it as something that will be growing more as far as more opportunities, with more things for people to try and do for team building or a gathering,” Morin says. “[It is] something beyond a golf outing or something they’ve done before.”