168 days until Michigan City Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram's Great Lakes Grand Prix 2018.

Press Release

Visit Michigan City LaPorte CVB Reports Most Successful Grand Prix Ever

Michigan City, IN (October 24, 2017) - As the popularity of Michigan City’s Great Lakes Grand Prix powerboat race grows, so does its impact on the local economy, with this year’s event bringing more people and dollars into the community than ever before, according to a report released by the Visit Michigan City LaPorte CVB. The four-day event, held August 3-6, 2017 generated more than $10.7 million for LaPorte County’s economy from non-local visitors alone, with three-quarters of expenditures going to food, beverages, shopping and transportation, according to Certec Inc., a marketing analysis group based in Lexington, Kentucky. The organization, recognized as a leader in providing economic impact studies on tourism-related events, compiles the report for the Visit Michigan City LaPorte CVB each year. “The impact of this race on our community is off the charts,” said Jack Arnett, executive director of Visit Michigan City LaPorte, noting that the economic impact was up by more than a million dollars from last year. Total attendance, compiled from a variety of sources, was estimated at over 150,000 for all the weekend events, with 80,000 people attending the races alone. “Bringing this race to Michigan City was the best decision we have made. We couldn’t do it without our sponsors, especially Michigan City Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram and Blue Chip Casino Hotel & Spa.” The Certec report showed that economic benefits reached a large cross-section of LaPorte County. Jobs generated by the event itself provided nearly $2.4 million in wages to LaPorte County workers. More than a half million dollars in tax revenues generated by visitors went into local coffers. In addition, the study noted, “Great Lakes Grand Prix visitor spending stimulates non-tourist businesses.” Increased demand for hotel rooms, restaurant meals and other services brings added business to areas such as agriculture, food processing, brewing and distilling, the report said. The report noted that tourism is a key component of the LaPorte County economy, with that industry “generating more than $680 million in economic impact for the county in 2016. The county’s festivals and events are an important part of the local tourism industry.” The CVB plays a key role in attracting these events, Arnett noted, with the Grand Prix as a prime example. It all started nearly 10 years ago, when the CVB was looking for an event to showcase Michigan City and its lakefront, Arnett said. “We researched promoters and went with Super Boat International – the premiere promoter in the industry.” The city’s location on the shore of Lake Michigan made it an ideal spot for a stop on the summer-long circuit of Super Boat International, often referred to as the NASCAR of powerboat racing. In addition to the high-speed action on the water, a host of activities take place inland, including a boat parade, bands, vendors and the Taste of Michigan City event. “Now this is our signature event for LaPorte County,” Arnett said, adding that planning and securing sponsorships is a year-long process that includes ongoing marketing and promoting for the Grand Prix, as well as securing vendors and lodging. In the end, it all pays off. “All hotels are full during and around the event, and we farm out rooms to neighboring counties,” Arnett said. He adds that Michigan City’s location is a tremendous plus for attracting events like the Grand Prix and tourists in general. “Having Indiana’s Ocean in our backyard allows us to broaden our outreach into other parts of the county,” he said. With the Great Lakes Grand Prix’s 10th anniversary on the horizon in 2018, Arnett and his staff are already involved in planning. “We expect next year’s race to be even bigger and better,” he said. “Stay tuned.” For further information or interviews, contact: Jack Arnett, Visit Michigan City LaPorte CVB, Marquette Mall, 4073 S Franklin St., Michigan City, IN 46360. (219)608-9659 or (219)872-5055.

Silent Auction Check Presentation

Michigan City, IN (September 14, 2017) - After a very successful 9th Annual Award-Winning Michigan City Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram Great Lakes Grand Prix presented by Blue Chip Casino, Hotel & Spa offshore powerboat race, Visit Michigan City LaPorte could provide a fiscal boost to Michigan City Emergency Management Volunteers. Their mission is to minimize the impact of catastrophic events on our community. When nature or man-made disaster descends upon Michigan City, Emergency Management Volunteers are activated to provide emergency services to the community and they are invaluable when it comes to keeping everything and everyone safe and running smoothly during the Great Lakes Grand Prix, the Boat Parade and Taste of Michigan City. Jack Arnett, Executive Director and Jane Daley, Community Relations Manager from Visit Michigan City LaPorte, presented Officer Jeff Loniewski from the Michigan City Police Department and the volunteer group with a check in the amount of $2,206.40. The money was raised through an annual silent auction that takes place at the Great Lakes Grand Prix on Sunday each year. Jack Arnett said, “It is amazing what the volunteers do for the race, parade and the entire community. In 2018 Great Lakes Grand Prix will celebrate their 10th anniversary. This is our signature event and we could not do it without you. It’s a big deal”. For more information on becoming a sponsor of the Great Lakes Grand Prix annual charity auction or any other sponsorship opportunity please contact the Visit Michigan City LaPorte at 219.872.5055.

Michigan City Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram and Blue Chip Casino will once again be Major Sponsors for Award Winning Race

Michigan City, IN (June 16, 2017) - Visit Michigan City LaPorte and Michigan City Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram recently announced the title sponsor of the Great Lakes Grand Prix will be known as The Michigan City Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram’s Award Winning Great Lakes Grand Prix. And, as in the past 8 years it will be presented by Blue Chip Casino, Hotel & Spa. “We’re thrilled to be back in town”, said Scott Clausing Michigan City’s General Manager. The acquisition of Michigan City Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram represents a full circle for the Taylor Automotive Group. In 1991, David Taylor began his automotive career when he became a partner in Michigan City Chrysler Dodge Plymouth dealership located on 11th Street. While nearly 30 years have passed, we couldn’t be more excited to be back with the brand-new Michigan City Chrysler Dodge Jeep and Ram! Opening a new dealership in Michigan City provided an opportunity for us to plant our flag in another vibrant community. Like the other areas where we operate, we actively look for opportunities to give back. As such, we’re excited to be the title sponsor for the 9th Annual Award Winning Great Lakes Grand Prix. We look forward to getting more acquainted with our community and sponsoring the Michigan City Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram Award Winning Great Lakes Grand Prix. Make sure to stop by our booth and say hello at the race August 4-6. Blue Chip Casino, Hotel & Spa has been one of Chicago's favorite getaway since 1963, providing an unforgettable experience of exciting casino gaming & luxurious relaxation. They have supported the Great Lakes Grand Prix since day one by providing sleeping rooms for the race teams, an awards banquet following the boat race and monetary support in various other ways. “The Great Lakes Grand Prix brings millions of dollars annually into our community and this would not happen without the long-time support of these two outstanding community partners” said jack Arnett, Executive Director of the LaPorte County Convention and Visitors Bureau. Midwest Living Magazine along with Indiana State Tourism Association awarded the 2016 race “Best Festival or Event” for the state of Indiana.
“The 2017 Grand Prix in its 9th year along with the Taste of Michigan City has become the signature event for the county” said Arnett.

Indiana Tourism Association Announces Inaugural Award Winners

Michigan City, IN (March 21, 2017) - Indiana’s annual tourism conference was held March 13-15, 2017 in West Lafayette. The inaugural Indiana Tourism Awards, presented by Midwest Living, were awarded on Tuesday, March 14. The awards honor tourism businesses who are creative, innovative and maximize the dollars invested. The winner for Best Event or Festival-Under $300,000 was Visit Michigan City LaPorte for their nomination of the 8th Annual Great Lakes Grand Prix. The judges said “Visit Michigan City LaPorte showed good thorough summary, including great discussion of visitor numbers/impact and included an excellent statement of ROI”. The Great Lakes Grand Prix has turned a boat race into a festival like no other. Visitors from many states including Indiana, Illinois, Michigan and as far away as Texas, looked forward to the event as the city welcomed the teams and they prepared for the race held August 4-7, 2016. These large, powerful and fast catamarans and vee bottom style super boats came to race in Washington Park on Lake Michigan as part of the Super Boat International circuit, the world’s most recognized, professional offshore power boat race organization. Visit Michigan City LaPorte has successfully hosted, with the help of some major sponsors and local partners including the City of Michigan City (with help from their police, fire, park and recreation department, U.S. Coast Guard Station Michigan City, LaPorte County Emergency Management Service, Michigan City Port Authority and the Michigan City Mainstreet Association, a truly wonderful event. As part of this event, a Taste of Michigan City is held for 2 days in the Uptown Arts District with local restaurants showcasing their specialty foods and the boat racer’s parade down the middle of the street to personally meet residents, toss beads and sign autographs. This event attracted visitors to the area with a demonstrated economic impact for hotels, shopping, dining, transportation and gaming revenue. Local accommodations filled up, as race teams and fans poured into the area, and the excitement built for the race and festival weekend. The 2,016 rooms in LaPorte County, were completely sold out during this event, with overflow going to neighboring counties. The total dollars attributed to the race and related events from non-local visitors were $9.6 million during the 4 days of race related activities that started August 4th through race day on August 7th, according to a study done by Certec, Inc. The study also found more than $2.5 million of that was in tax revenue with $925,600 going to state government, $498.700 to local government and $1.09 million to federal government. Additionally, $2.1 million went directly to local employees’ wages because of this event, both benefiting the entire county. The event was a Win-Win for everyone, young and old. We can’t wait to see everyone return to enjoy the world’s best offshore boat racing and experience the top-notch hospitality that keeps racers and visitors coming back to our county to watch the Great Lakes Grand Prix.