Destination Detroit

Before columns are written and published, before suitcases are unpacked, before the adrenalin  quits pumping from the fabulous Bloomington Conference, Brian O’Connor, newly elected Conference Chair, is already beginning to make plans for us to visit his exciting city in 2011. He has big shoes to fill after Mike Leonard, but appears to be up to the challenge.

Brian reports, “Talked to the Detroit convention bureau yesterday to let them know we are on for 2011, and got quite an enthusiastic response.”

The Detroit Convention and Visitors Bureau is excited that we are coming: “Congratulations, this is a big win for the entire region. I promise we’ll do our part to make this conference and incredible success.  You’ll have the entire support of the Detroit Metro Conventions & Visitors Bureau and the entire hospitality community.  Thank you for your support of our incredible destination and bringing this very important conference to Detroit, rest assured we’ll make you proud.”

What more could we ask for than a welcome like this?

Detroit, as you know, is referred to as “The Motor City”, and the city’s identity has largely been shaped by the auto industry. Detroit is also known as the birthplace of Motown, making the city a pioneer in the music world.

Detroit is home to the Detroit Tigers major league baseball team. Automotive pioneer, Henry Ford was born in the Detroit metropolitan area and Detroit boasts  the world-renowned Henry Ford Museum. Other attractions in Detroit include The Detroit Zoo and beautiful Belle Isle, America’s largest city-owned island park.

Detroit has been down on its luck lately and there are all sorts of jokes floating around about Detroit’s decline. But residents are trying hard to turn things around and revitalize it’s once-sparkling urban area.

President Ben Pollock was on the way home from the 2010 Conference and, “On the airplane, we read this story about Detroit.” As it turns out, the dive bar mentioned in the lede, PJ’s Lager House, is owned by news photographer Donna Terek and her husband, PJ.  Donna was the first-place winner of the best online column award at the 2010 Conference. We may kick up our heels at her place with a pre-conference party.

We will be looking forward to hearing much more about Detroit from the Conference Chair in the coming year. Stay tuned and start getting in a Motown mood.

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