Horsepower... and spending power on display at Back to the Bricks in Muskegon

Back to the Bricks Promo Tour
Back to the Bricks Promo Tour
Updated: Jun. 8, 2021 at 8:43 PM EDT
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MUSKEGON, Mich. (WJRT) (6/8/2021)--It’s a wrap on the second to last stop for the Back to the Bricks convoy, spending Tuesday on the West side of the state in Muskegon before moving on to the final leg of its journey in St. Johns.

The Promo Tour, a statewide tour de force that has locals seeing dollar signs. ABC12 looked into the economic impact of the six day event.

“This is exciting. Everybody’s trying to get back into some sense of normalcy… It’s been great seeing everybody come out and enjoy this event.”

Jake Eckholm, Muskegon’s economic development chief, has a fancy sounding word for it.

“In my field, we call this ancillary economic impact,” Eckholm explained. “So, this event’s free, but everybody coming down here is buying food, they’re buying products, they’re shopping retail.”

Opening their hoods, opening their wallets and leaving one T-Rex sized fiscal footprint.

“I think the real impact is the dollars spent,” Amber Taylor, Back to the Bricks executive director related.

A college study conducted locally several years ago found the show’s flagship event in August injects around $50-million into the city’s economy over a two week period.

It’s only gotten larger since then. Even the Promo Tour – which lasts only several days by comparison – amounts to an eye-popping figure. Between food, fuel and hotel rooms, Back to the Bricks ballparks around half a million dollars in economic impact.

“You can imagine these small towns that have been closed during the pandemic, they needed this,” Taylor explained. “They needed this little boost and we’re happy to provide that.”

Making dollars and cents for the mom and pops that haven’t exactly felt the love in recent months.

“We’re bigger and better than ever and coming back larger in 2021,” Taylor said. “I can’t wait to see what those projections are.”

“We love that,” Eckholm related. “We want to welcome everybody back for a great tourist season and this event is super helpful in creating that economic impact.”

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