Why does the Mount Pleasant Area Convention & Visitors Bureau channel some of its venue revenue to support community the number of courts available projects? Because it pays off, says Executive Director Chris Rowley. “It is part of the Mount Pleasant Area CVB’s strategic plan and [Michigan] Public Act 59 to invest back into our community,” she says. “Our goal is to encourage and fully support the branded development of the area’s attractions, events, amenities, hospitality services, and related tourism infrastructure.”
Not including 2022, the Mount Pleasant CVB has spent $67,500 on various improvements that include canoe launches and sports and recreation facilities. The CVB also helped fund bike-repair stations installed around the community.
“We look at partnerships that focus on sports tourism and outdoor recreation development as well as improving the community’s tourism needs,” Rowley says, adding, “The CVB doesn’t plan on fully funding projects, but to be a partner at the table on projects that improve tourism.”
As an example, she recalls helping to pay for lights at ballfields and supporting the purchase of more volleyball equipment at the Morey Courts Recreation Center to expand the number of courts available for use at a time, which makes it possible to hold larger events, she explains. “For our community or general destination development, we have helped improve canoe launch sites with Isabella County Parks and Recreation along with other donors.”
Funding is sourced from the CVB’s annual budget, which relies on assessments paid by visitors staying in Mount Pleasant lodging properties. Nonprofit and governmental entities are eligible to apply for grants. “We look for projects that generate visitors, related new spending, or a higher community quality of life,” Rowley says.
Enhancing what’s available to guests can only help attract more interest in visiting the area from individuals and groups. “The more visitors we have staying in our community, the more [resources] we have to market the community to bring in more visitors, tournaments, meetings, etc.,” Rowley says.