FLINT TWP. — The largest car and motorcycle events in Genesee County will be marketing their 2011 season at the Detroit Autorama Feb. 25-27 at Cobo Hall. This year, they are joined by the Baker College of Flint Center for Transportation Technology (CTT). The new partnership was announced at a news event Jan. 19.
Back to the Bricks, Bikes on the Bricks and the Sloan Museum Auto Fair, in cooperation with the Flint Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, exhibited at Autorama in 2009 and 2010 to promote the events. The Baker College of Flint Center for Transportation Technology will join the group to promote their 2011 car and motorcycle event.
“This is a great opportunity to showcase Flint and Genesee County’s major car and motorcycle events,” said Cheryl Defrain, interim executive director of the Flint Area Convention & Visitors Bureau. “By partnering with other organizations we have been able to create a larger than life presence at the Autorama and we think it pays handsome dividends.”
The five partners have adjoining exhibit spaces at the event. In their 24-foot x 64-foot space they will re-create a downtown Flint scene, including a faux brick street, a scaled-down version of one Flint arch, a stop sign, traffic signal and other elements. Then the space will be populated with custom cars and motorcycles. A scaled-down version of the exhibit is on display at the CTT.
“We like the team concept and the impact that working together can have,” said Phillip Whitmer, Baker College of Flint Dean of Transportation Technology. “We had more than 250 cars and motorcycles at our event last year and several hundred attendees. We look forward to growing our event. Autorama will help us do just that.
The Baker College of Flint event will be May 22 at the CCT and is free of charge for exhibitors and attendees.
The Sloan Museum Auto Fair will be held June 25-26 on the Flint Cultural Center campus. Back to the Bricks will be held Aug. 16-20 and Bikes on the Bricks Sept. 23-25. Both events will be staged in downtown Flint and are free to the public.
“The setting we create really helps differentiate Flint and Genesee County from other exhibitors at the Autorama,” said Al Hatch, founder and chairman of the popular Back to the Bricks event. “Our combined events attract well over 300,000 people to the community. The Detroit Autorama attracts nearly 150,000 car and motorcycle buffs and we think many of them will visit our shows as well.”
In the last two years, the Flint exhibitors have won Autorama’s Outstanding Community Display and Outstanding Club Display show awards. Last year, awards were given to five cars and motorcycles placed in the display.
“Our team of exhibitors has put Flint and Genesee County on the national stage of car and motorcycle events,” said Defrain. ”We also had visitors from Canada, Belgium, France, Germany and other countries at last year’s events and we expect to attract more visitors in 2011. The four events have a significant economic impact on the community and the FACVB will continue to support them in every way we can.” — Natalie Blythe