Businesses say they are ready for the return of crowds at the Detroit Auto Show

Posted at 12:10 PM, Sep 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-12 18:28:00-04

DETROIT (WXYZ) — At the Golden Fleece in Greektown, co-owner Yanni Dionisopoulis has good and bad memories of the North American International Auto Show.

"My birthday is February 1 and we used to live in Greece for 10 years and my dad would never be at my birthday because he had to be at the auto show," said Yanni Dionisopoulis, co-owner Golden Fleece Restaurant.

His dad relied on auto show customers to bring success to the family restaurant. But in recent years, even before the pandemic, the show in cold January and February brought in less business.

"Being in September, we want to invite everyone to Detroit’s original rooftop," Dionisopoulis said.

The warmer weather means the Golden Fleece will have more capacity, offering outdoor and indoor dining. The same is true for all of the businesses in the area, such as the Checker Bar, which hopes to gain more visibility as people go to auto show exhibitions in Hart Plaza, Cadillac Square and Campus Martius.

"I am not a fan of the winter," Omar Khalasawia adds.

Inette Simpleton says she plans to attend because of the change.

"It is exciting to me that it is going to be in different locations," said Detroiter Inette Pimpleton.

Visit Detroit says historically, before the pandemic, the auto show had an estimated economic impact of $450 million.

Visit Detroit is eager to see this year's impact as it expected to potentially pay dividends beyond the immediate spending during the show.

"Because it demonstrates the beauty of Detroit to people from all over the country and world," Chris Moyer with Visit Detroit said.

People who know how beautiful Detroit is might say it's about time for an evolved annual spotlight on the city.

"I would like to invite everyone, since they will be out walking, to come check us out on Monroe. We have only been here for about 52 years," said Dionisopoulis.