Bay City businesses count Tall Ships cash flow

Restaurants and pubs report large crowds during Tall Ships Celebration. / Matt Horne

Now that the Tall Ships have sailed out of Bay City, business managers are counting the cash that raked in during the four day event, boosted by a headlining concert with Alice Cooper.

Analysts at the Great Lakes Bay Region Convention and Visitors Bureau projected a $252 million cash infusion in to the region this summer, with the Tall Ships Celebration being responsible for the majority of that figure. Bar and restaurant managers we spoke with called that figure an easy reality.

It was busier than River Roar. It was busier than the 4th of July, said Nikki Schuhmacher, waitress at Hooters of Bay City. A lot of the guys off the ships were down here, said Aarron Buzzard of the Brady TMs Sports Bar and Diner on Midland Street.

Tourists were projected to spend about $30 a day during the major summer events. Final numbers and crowd estimates have not yet been issued.