MIDLAND (WJRT) (10/9/2017) - Last weekend's Northwood University International Auto Show was a boon for students and Midland businesses.
A scene from the 54th annual Northwood University International Auto Show
Organizers estimate 50,000 people attended the 54th annual event on Northwood's campus on Thursday through Sunday.
"We've got Ford, the Nissan truck over there. We've got some radical race cars. They're $100,000, so they are cheap entry race cars," said Sahara Huhn, one of the student organizers. "We got some snowmobiles, motorcycles -- I know we've had the Oscar Mayer Weinermobile here today as well."
The three-day student run event attracts people from all over.
"Most of our people are actually from Midland. They come out. But we have people from all over the state," Huhn said. "All the students have their parents come. I'm from New York. My parents came all the way from New York for the weekend. People come from Illinois. We even had some students whose parents came from California."
Most of those spend money in the city of Midland.
"Oh I'm sure all the businesses do really well, especially the hotels," Huhn said. "People who stay overnight, all the places to eat -- my parents and I went out to eat three times, so they are doing well."
Justin Hughes, manager of the Basil Thai Bistro, said he had a noticeable uptick in business last weekend thanks to the auto show. The much hyped Michigan vs. Michigan State football game didn't even slow traffic to the restaurants.
"It definitely went way better than we expected," he said. "We definitely got busier (Saturday) night, as we didn't expect that with the game going on as well, so it definitely helped us out."
Matt Ku, manager and bartender at Which Craft Taproom in downtown Midland, said businesses count on these types of events for a chance to showcase themselves and grow.
"A lot of new faces and people stopping in," Ku said. "Anytime that generates good revenue for the all the downtown businesses is always good, so we had a really nice turnout this weekend."
The auto show is also good for the students, who receive college credit for participating in the event.