Tourism News: Horse shows reach deal with Acme, TC Tourism releases survey data

Traverse City Horse Shows has reached an agreement with Acme Township that will allow the event, whose season was suspended in 2022, to continue this summer if a list of environmental, health and safety issues are resolved by June. 2. The announcement is positive news for the region’s still-recovering tourism economy, which is estimated to have a $120 million direct impact on horse shows. In other tourism-related news, Traverse City Tourism released preliminary results of a public survey this week that measured the views of local residents on the impact of tourism in the Grand Traverse region.

horse shows
After Acme Township issued an ultimatum to Traverse City Horse Shows (TCHS) earlier this month to address outstanding zoning violations or face a total shutdown, the township trustees held a special meeting this week and approved an agreement that allows the festival to move forward. . this summer if the list of conditions is met by Thursday and additional conditions are met by November.

The town of Acme began filing claims against TCHS last year, alleging that the organization repeatedly failed to obtain timely permits for new construction and beautification projects at Flintfields Horse Park on Bates Road. The township allowed TCHS to hold events in the summer of 2021 despite permit violations, but sent a letter to TCHS lawyers last September stating that the festival “must fully comply with the requirements of the Acme Township Zoning Ordinance for the 2022 TCHS season or there is a risk of an order.” cease or desist or injunctive relief,” according to the municipality.

This spring, TCHS requested and received municipal approval for a modified special use permit to cover its expansion projects, but that approval was conditional on TCHS meeting a long list of conditions to continue operating. When TCHS attorneys subsequently sent a letter to Acme Township in April asking for waivers and exceptions to some of these conditions, the township warned that TCHS would face an “inevitable suspension” of the 2022 event if the violations were not corrected.

The township trustees held a special meeting this week and held an hour and a half closed session to discuss the situation with their attorney before returning to public session and voting unanimously to approve the terms of the compromise with TCHS. The trustees have identified 15 health, safety and environmental conditions that event organizers must meet by June 2 and submit to the city for prior approval before the festival’s June 8 start date. These include things like storm drain permits and a storm drain maintenance plan, an emergency road construction inspection, road signs and building numbers for emergency services, signs prohibiting vehicles from driving without a license on Bates Road, a dust control plan for roads TCHS, concrete pad. at a manure transfer point, a source of water supply with sufficient flow and permits for a two-story THS …

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