Categories: Economic News

Economic impact of the Woodward Dream Cruise for businesses along Woodward Ave.

FERNDALE, Mich. (WXYZ) — Ahead of this weekend’s Woodward Dream Cruise, the economic impact is guaranteed to be significant for Woodward Avenue vendors as they prepare to sell wares.

“Nothing compares to the Dream Cruise,” said Thomas Rossana, manager of Como’s Restaurant.

Inside Como’s Restaurant in Ferndale, it’s the calm before the proverbial storm. Como manager Thomas Rossana anticipates profits could double during the Woodward Dream Cruise, as he expects the restaurant to be packed Friday night and all day Saturday.

“More personal. Get ready,” Rossana said of Como’s plan to handle larger crowds.

Car enthusiasts from across the country spend $10 million at local restaurants, hotels and other businesses during the Woodward Dream Cruise.

Robert Zanoni says this is his ninth year driving 600 miles from Tennessee with a group of fellow Mustang lovers.

“I can tell you that we have reservations tonight at the Ocean View and we’re staying at the Somerset Inn down the road,” said Robert Zanoni, who drove to Michigan from Tennessee to enjoy the Dream Cruise.

On the road from Como’s is “Regeneration”, a thrift store. Owner Melanie Williams says some of the out-of-town visitors come to the store. But, many locals avoid the blockade.

“There are regular customers who visit. However, we are usually pretty dead and often close early. We usually close at 3 o’clock on the day of the Dream Cruise,” said Melanie Williams, owner of Regeneration.

After 15 years, Williams has a system in place to avoid the influx of visitors the store sees during the Woodward Dream Cruise.

“Yes, and there are years when we embrace it and have a barbecue. And even though it’s slow, it’s fun to hang out with,” Williams said of Regeneration’s strategy for managing the ebb and flow of business during the Woodward Dream Cruise.

The impact is also being felt by nonprofits like Gleaners Community Food Bank of Southeast Michigan, in a good way.

The food bank’s Woodward Dream Cruise 2021 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 given to us,” said Angela Halverson, Gleaners director of donor engagement. “We’re only seeing the need increase with ever-increasing inflation and rising costs of food prices.”

“We have great partners in the work we’re doing and the need we’re trying to meet,” Halverson said of Gleaners’ commitment to feeding those in need.

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