Social media video is designed to invite visitors to Bay City this summer

A video showing the best of Bay City is making the rounds on social media is much more than a feel-good piece for those who live here. The Bay Area Chamber of Commerce is hoping the video catches the eye of out-of-towners looking for summer road trips.

Chamber President Ryan Tarrant says the first step was sharing the video within Bay City. “People locally will see it because clearly they’re the ones who are proud of their hometown and their home community,” he says.

Next, the Chamber is pushing the video to population centers such as Ann Arbor, Bloomfield Hills, Muskegon, Oscoda, Detroit, Grand Rapids, Lansing, and Traverse City.

Early indications are that the video is getting noticed. It was posted on social media on Fri., June 11 and reached about 30,000 people in less than a week. Already, the video has been played nearly 12,000 times.

“We’re putting some significant advertising dollars behind it around the state,” Tarrant says.

Tarrant says the Chamber hopes the video shows people from other communities all that’s happening here. The video, which you can watch here, highlights festivals and local businesses as well as the Feet on the Street program which allows outdoor dining in Downtown Bay City and the Midland Street Business District.

The end goal is to encourage people to come here for weekend getaways or to enjoy local festivals.

“The city and county have done a phenomenal job of supporting businesses, but if we’re the only ones who know about it, does it really matter?” Tarrant asks.

He has personal experience to show that people from other parts of the state aren’t aware of all that’s happening in Bay City. Tarrant’s family visited during the YWCA Great Lakes Bay Region Riverside Art Festival. “I had one family member who said ‘I didn’t know Bay City was like this,’ ” Tarrant says.

The timing of the video is perfect for the Bay City Fireworks Festival. “You had a lot of places that canceled their fireworks early. This is an opportunity. We’ve got a great fireworks festival here,” Tarrant says.

It’s far from the only local festival, though. The video leads viewers to a page on the Chamber website that promotes local events. Tarrant says he’s open to adding links to the page.

“If we missed something, people can feel free to get us our logo and we’ll add that,” Tarrant says.

Enjoy this story? Sign up for free solutions-based reporting in your inbox each week.