Rep. Franz honors Tim Allen for Pure Michigan

August 15, 2013

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MANISTEE — When comedian and actor Tim Allen recently performed a show in Manistee, state Rep. Ray Franz took the opportunity to deliver thanks from the state Legislature and Gov. Rick Snyder for Allen’s help to make the Pure Michigan advertising campaign successful.

“Those of us who live and play in Michigan know what a special place on earth we have, and Mr. Allen has been part of that effort to tell others to come visit whether they are an hour or several days trip away, because we’re worth it,” said Franz, R-Onekama. “Our state’s tourism industry remained a stable draw and economic engine for Michigan during the years of recession we went through.

“The Pure Michigan campaign reminds everyone that our natural beauty and resources are here to enjoy, and Tim’s role in the production adds the perfect atmosphere to get people excited to visit Michigan.”

Allen grew up in Southeast Michigan and launched his comedy career in Detroit before gaining fame on the “Home Improvement” television show and starring in numerous popular movies. He has become the voice-over narrator of the popular Pure Michigan statewide and regional travel commercials aired across the country and abroad.

The special tribute Franz presented to Allen from the Legislature and governor reads, in part: “That it is a pleasure and a privilege to commend Tim Allen and recognize his exceptional career and life being a proud citizen of the State of Michigan and voice of the “Pure Michigan” tourism campaign. With his service to the great men and women of Michigan, Tim has exhibited the highest standards of dedication, hard work and leadership, and truly serves as an inspiration for us all.”

The Pure Michigan campaign began in 2006 as through the Travel Michigan division of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

When Allen, who moved to the state when he was 11, became part of the campaign, he said of Michigan, “It’s a great state, and they are great people. We moved to Michigan from Colorado, which is a nice state, but then we moved here and there were cars and lakes and it was just an exciting place to be and it never really got any recognition.”

Initially funded by the state’s general fund and 21st Century Jobs Trust Fund by amounts varying from $13 million to $33 million, recent years have dedicated $25 million from the trust fund for the campaign. The state’s 2013-14 budget allocates $29 million, after the Legislature approved a statutory floor of at least that much for the program.

The funding support has allowed the advertising campaign over the years to develop summer, fall and winter messages on 15 national cable channels, and regional cooperation for local tourism advertising provides matching funds for some of the commercials.

Forbes Magazine named Pure Michigan one of the All-time 10 Best Tourism Promotion Campaigns Worldwide.

In 2011, travelers paid $70 million in Michigan taxes for a return to the state of $4.90 for each dollar invested in the Pure Michigan campaign.

The 2013-14 funding plan is expected to allow for Pure Michigan marketing expansion in the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, Japan, China and South Korea.

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