Published on : Wednesday, March 25, 2020
The President Donald Trump said that he wants the lockdowns around the country to end by Easter to keep the economy from getting worse. The pandemic is expected to cost Mid-Michigan millions of dollars in travel and tourism alone.
Julie Pingston, President and CEO of the Greater Lansing Convention and Visitors Bureau said that the the pandemic has crippled our industry. Pingston said tourism normally brings more than $682 million a year to the region. She said most of the meeting have been cancelled or postponed until mid to late May right now. So they are working on rescheduling with the people.
More than 90% of the hotel rooms in Lansing are open till now. Pingston said everyone in meetings and tourism industry is getting hit with the coronavirus shutdowns.
Pingston said that their visitors get out in our community and hit everywhere. Since they’re not able to do that, and our businesses are closed, that makes it very difficult. The biggest events impacted so far are sporting events, including the Lansing Lugnuts season, which is postponed.
The team’s general manager Tyler Parsons said he gets the need to push things back.
Many shows at the Wharton Center are also cancelled because of coronavirus crisis, including the first two weeks of Wicked. Spokesman Bob Hoffman said this is something that happens all the time in theater.
Hoffman said that in the performing arts business, that happens all the time. They add shows all the time and then subtract them. Even without putting them out there for the public. So we’re used to shows cancelling.
Pingston said the Greater Lansing Convention and Visitors Bureau is still working on promoting Lansing so visitors will be ready to come once the stay at home order is lifted.