HOLLAND, Mich. — While it's the blooming season for millions of beautiful buds in Holland, barley is going to good use at Big Lake Brewing as beer makers, like many Holland businesses, prepare for a flood of customers.
“It’s one of our busiest weeks of the year,” Big Lake Brewing General Manager Jeff Genova said.
Half a million people are expected to visit the lakeshore for this year’s Tulip Time Festival, a far cry from what has been seen in the past few years.
“In the early days of this pandemic, we had to ask people not to come,” chief operating officer for the Michigan West Coast Chamber of Commerce Jodi Owczarski said. “And even though tulips are still blooming, it just wasn’t safe to have a lot of visitors here."
This year, it’s no holds back with parades, dutch dancers, tours and so much more. And with all the crowds coming to see these colorful flowers, also comes a lot of green.
$41 million comes back into our local economy as a direct impact from Tulip Time from just two weeks,” Owczarski said.
That business is welcomed news for downtown Holland businesses like Peachwave which relies heavily on revenue made during the festival.
“So annually, Tulip Time is going to hit somewhere around 7% of our sales over just an eight-day period,” Peachwave Owner Boyd Feltman said. “So for us, you know, we're looking at 300 to 400% increase in traffic.”
That flood of customers over eight days allows Feltman to give the frozen yogurt spot a facelift that lasts year-round.
“From things like furniture, improvements at painting, thinking about inventory, maintenance and repairs of the place in general,” Feltman said.
Like Peachwave, Big Lake Brewing also relies on Tulip Time for a boost in sales.
“We almost doubled our sales from what we're doing in the first three months of the year,” Genova said.
Another addition that likely will have an economic impact on downtown business during Tulip Time? This year’s social district.
“It allows someone to get a drink here, they like to walk around on the sidewalks downtown and go to Waverly Stone and get a different drink or put their name in on the waitlist,” Genova Said.
So while thousands of flowers are about to be on display, the city of Holland hopes visitors will enjoy all this city has to offer.