Ahead of this weekend's Woodward Dream Cruise, the economic impact is guaranteed to be significant for restaurants along Woodward Avenue and area hotels.
“Nothing quite compares to Dream Cruise,” said Thomas Rossana, manager at Como’s Restaurant.
Inside Como’s restaurant in Ferndale, it’s the calm before the proverbial storm. Como’s manager, Thomas Rossana, anticipates profits may double during the Woodward Dream Cruise as he expects the restaurant to fill up Friday night and all day on Saturday.
“More staffing. Get ready,” Rossana said of Como’s plan to handle larger crowds.
Car enthusiasts coming from all over the country spend 10’s of millions of dollars at local restaurants, hotels and other businesses during the Woodward Dream Cruise.
Robert Zanoni says this is his 9th year driving 600 miles from Tennessee with a group of fellow Mustang lovers.
“I can tell you tonight we have reservations at the Ocean View, and we’re staying at the Somerset Inn just down the road,” said Robert Zanoni who drove to Michigan from Tennessee to enjoy the Dream Cruise.
Just down the road from Como’s sits ‘Regeneration,’ a local thrift shop. Owner Melanie Williams says some of the out-of-town visitors flock to the shop. But, many locals avoid the gridlock.
“There are repeat customers that do visit. However, we’re usually pretty dead and we often close early. We usually close at 3 o’ clock on Dream Cruise day” said Melanie Williams, Owner, Regeneration.
After 15 years, Williams has a system in place to ride out the influx of visitors the shop sees during the Woodward Dream Cruise.
“Yea, and there are years where we embrace it and have a barbecue. And even though it’s slow, it’s kind of fun to hang out,” Williams said about Regeneration’s strategy to handle the ebb and flow of business during the Woodward Dream Cruise.
The impact is also felt by non-profits like Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeastern Michigan - in a good way.
The food bank's 2021 Woodward Dream Cruise fundraising event, Cruisin’ for Zero Hunger Party, raised $62,000, including a large donation from Kroger.
“We can provide three meals for every dollar that is donated to us,” said Angela Halverson, Gleaners, Director of Donor Engagement. “We’re just seeing the increased need with the ever-increasing inflation and the rising costs of food prices.”
“We have great partners in the work that we’re doing and the need that we’re trying to meet,” said Halverson about Gleaners’ commitment to feeding those in need.
For tickets and more information on the Gleaner's event head here: https://www.gcfb.org/event/krogers-cruisin-for-zero-hunger-dream-cruise-party-2022/ [gcfb.org]