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A long time ago, I was a child. (I started out as Cathy First from Colon, Mi.) For the past several years I’ve been an adult. A lot of things went on between those two stages of life; probably no more or no less than anyone elses. My husband and I moved to “da U .P” from southern Lower Michigan several years ago (yes we were trolls at one time). We owned and operated and operate Clementz’s Northcountry Campground and Cabins just north of Newberry, Michigan until May 2015. We have grown kids and grandkids (who all live downstate). My passion is life and all that Nature has to offer us and trying to photograph it in unique ways. Our intention in life is to see all that Nature has to offer us. We hope that you will be a part of our adventures as we cruise through our lives together. Come back often!

Monday, April 13, 2009


Anyone of us who owns a tourism driven business is going to have it even worse than last year, so MSU predicts.

I am suggesting to those of you who might be headed up our way to the beautiful Upper Peninsula of Michigan, regardless of whether it is the Newberry area or points beyond, you might find some good deals and lesser priced places to stay.

We do hope you will include a stay with us, whether it is camping or lodging (and we are offering some discounted rates which you can find info on our website at http://www.northcountrycampground.com/). But in the meantime, read the following article that appeared in the Traverse City Record Eagle.

Projections indicate numbers will drop 3 to 4%

TRAVERSE CITY -- Michigan's tourism industry is expected to drop by 3 to 4 percent this year on the heels of a 6.2 percent drop in travel volume in 2008.

The projections were presented by a research team from Michigan State University at the recent Driving Tourism 2009 Conference held in Detroit. Analysts said the tough economic conditions both in Michigan and throughout the country are expected to create a 3 to 4 percent drop in both travel volume and spending for 2009.

"This year will be an even more challenging year for Michigan's tourism industry because this state, which is typically the source of about 70 percent of our tourists, has slipped even further into recession, and the economies of the other states that we rely on for out-of-state visitors are far weaker than last year," said Donald Holecek, a tourism analyst for MSU.

The projections are based on various travel data collected over the past two years and discussions with a dozen industry experts from around the state. Travel prices are expected to drop 1 to 2 percent this year, in large part because of lower gasoline prices in 2009 after they hovered around $4 a gallon for much of last summer.

Analysts also presented an overview of the 2008 tourism season, where statewide travel volume fell around 6.2 percent from 2007.

In the northern Lower Peninsula, traffic counts were down about 7.5 percent last year while stops at state visitor centers fell 5.1 percent.

Room assessments collected in northern Michigan were down 1.6 percent last year, compared to a 0.5 percent drop statewide.

Nationally, business travel is expected to fall 5.6 percent in 2009, while leisure travel is expected to fall by 3.5 percent.


  1. I hope they are wrong, and I really think they are a little bit of a gloom and doom report.
    We are friends with some realtors who say that things are picking up...and the restaurants in Marquette have been really busy over the last few weeks.
    Also, my neice is getting married in May, and a lot of the hotels are already very busy to book rooms in the area for then...so something must be happening to increase tourism to the U.P.
    Hang in there...I hope they are very, very wrong and that you have a wonderful season!!

    The Retirement Chronicles

  2. That sounds encouraging. Bridge crossing stats for this year compared to the previous (winter included) were very dismal. Our reservations are very slow coming in. At least we do have a caravan coming in May so that will be a good start to the season.

  3. Cathy,

    My husband, Brian, knows that I follow your blog. We have a vacation planned in July to the Island. Since that trip is only taking up half of our week we are still undecided what to do the second half of the week. Brian suggested coming and staying at your campground for the remainder of our stay. So who knows, we may be making a visit!

    Hope your camping season this year is a good one.

  4. Ashley, that would be wonderful! I enjoy meeting people in person that I have met online. Hope we see ya this summer!


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