It has been 15 months since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States and now all restrictions put in place in Michigan are lifted, including capacity limits, mask mandates and social distancing protocols. These changes come after more than 60 percent of Michigan residents (aged 16+) have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, decreasing the risk of spreading the virus.
With all state-mandated restrictions lifted, entities can begin to plan meetings, events and conferences without the worry of having to reschedule or cancel. We are seeing this in our community as summer festivals are back on the schedule including Back to the Bricks and Crim Festival or Races. Also, the Capitol Theatre and Local 432 are planning live shows and sports tournaments such as the Gus Macker 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament and the Ally Challenge are being held here locally.
This is great news for our area in several ways. One, it gives locals and visitors a chance to explore the great things that Flint & Genesee offers. Two, it helps our region by filling hotel rooms and giving local restaurants and shops a boost in business strengthening our local economy. Finally, it helps to shape our region as a desirable destination.
I am excited to see new events and gatherings come to our area, and I am able to experience it through the work of Explore Flint & Genesee, the Convention and Visitors Bureau division of the Flint & Genesee Group.
Explore Flint & Genesee staff is equipped with the knowledge and expertise that groups and individuals coming to the county need. This includes relationships with area hoteliers and meeting spaces, intimate knowledge of local attractions and businesses, and the tools to help plan activities such as group meetings, events and tours.
If you or someone you know is planning to bring a group to the area, Explore Flint & Genesee is the best place to start. Whether it is a wedding, convention, family reunion or anything in between, our staff is available to assist with planning and promotion for any event.
Additionally, Explore Flint & Genesee recognizes those who work with their team to bring events to the county, through the Community Champions award. We do this knowing that once someone visits our community, they are more likely to come back to Flint & Genesee.
Any individual in the community has the power to bring people here, not just businesses and organizations that are hosting events in Flint & Genesee. Think about families coming back home, people with shared interests or longtime friends reuniting. And with restrictions lifting, we are excited to see who gathers here once more.
Planning an event or looking to attend one? Visit ExploreFlintandGenesee.org where you can learn more about events in our region.
Kristina Johnston is the Chief Operating Officer of the Flint & Genesee Group.