US: Woodward Dream Cruise lifts Detroit image, brings cash spenders image

Even if metro Detroiters don’t like cars, the Woodward Dream Cruise is still beneficial to the zone because it puts on the tourism map, brings heavy cash spenders and also lifts the city’s marketing image.

Smoke from the thousands of exhausts are now up in the air, while the more than one million car aficionados that visited last week the annual Woodward Dream Cruise are now at home. Many residents in the area are now happy that noise and traffic is gone, while others are busy counting their proceeds from the heavy spenders that tag along with any such feast. According to the Oakland County Sheriff, attendance for this year’s Woodward Dream Cruise – which is an annual event since 1992 – was of well over one million people. The Dream Cruise has swiftly transformed from a local curiosity to regional tradition and now to a buzz act that will send positive trends across the entire state, believes University of Detroit Mercy Professor of Marketing Michael Bernacchi. “It’s grown to become another prideful, powerful Michigan brand,” he comments. “And then when you have an event with this kind of positive economic impact, what’s not to like?” he adds, with the 64-year old professor living a mile west of Woodward in Huntington Woods.

He knows all about the Dream Cruise because his student researchers this month were tasked to cover the regional effects of the event. They found the overall economic impact is almost impossible to sum up, though this year’s Dream Cruise and the week leading up to event day had an influence of $75 million on metro Detroit alone.