$1 Buys Admission, Transportation to 30+ Flint Attractions on July 18


Looking to stretch your dollar? How about all the way around the city of Flint? Then check out the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce’s third annual “Be a Tourist in Your Home Town” event, which gives area residents and non-residents alike the opportunity to experience the best the community has to offer – all for only $1.

As part of the event, scheduled to run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, July 18, “tourists” purchase passports that will grant them access and transportation to 30-40 venues throughout Flint. The passports are also valid for discounts in downtown Flint restaurants and businesses that day.

“Every year, our event has grown to include more venues, more tourists and more business discounts,” said Cheryl DeFrain, Director of the Flint & Genesee CVB. “There’s no better value. We give tourists the passport, a map and a bus to ride, and they choose their own stops on the tour. Participants love being able to customize their own routes to whatever best suits their interests.”

At some venues, tourists get special access to areas that usually are off-limits to the public. Some of the most popular Be a Tourist stops each year include:

  • Applewood, the Charles Stewart Mott estate
  • The Flint Cultural Center, including the completely renovated Longway Planetarium
  • The Michigan School for the Deaf Superintendent’s Cottage
  • The Whiting
  • Glenwood Cemetery

New stops and corresponding events this year include:

  • Dort Federal Credit Union Event Center, home of the new Flint Firebirds
  • Stockton House at Spring Grove
  • Grace Emmanuel Baptist Church and its Family Fun Festival
  • Gospel Fest will be held on the grounds of the Flint Cultural Center
  • An American Institute of Architects Walking Tour

“The main complaint we hear every year is that tourists couldn’t fit in all the stops because there’s so much to see and do,” DeFrain said. “We get people who haven’t visited downtown Flint in years, and they thank us for showing them what’s to see and do in Flint. They always vow that they’ll be back.”

To purchase your passport online, or to read the full list of participating businesses, click here. You can also register on the day of the event at the Riverfront Banquet Center in downtown Flint, where tourists will also receive their maps and catch free bus rides courtesy of of Flint MTA, a Be a Tourist co-sponsor.

Wonder what else is going on in #flintandgenesee?  See What’s Possible right here.

Two New Visitor Centers Set To Open Locally

VisitorCenterFor decades visitors to the area have always been able turn to the convention & visitors bureau for information on the places and things that made an area vibrant and now our local CVB will have two more spots where people can do just that.  In the coming weeks the Flint & Genesee Convention & Visitors Bureau will be opening two new Visitor Centers in the heart of Downtown Flint to help get the word out about the many destination spots, festivals, and other attractions our county has to offer.  The FGCVB unveiled the first of their new centers on May 1 in the lobby of the Commerce Center Building in Downtown Flint.  Located at the corners of Saginaw Street and First Street this first location will be ideal in its central location and for those visitors looking for information during the regular work day.  The second Visitors Center will be located in the new Downtown Flint Farmer’s Market which is set to open this summer.  The market location will be in a space that will be shared by the FGCVB and The Whiting and will serve as an outlet for both groups as they get the word out about the many things to do and see in the area and will also be a great way for those of us locals that may not know about some attractions or just want some additional information.

Both Visitor Centers will have information and brochures at the ready as well as volunteers on hand to answer any questions that might arise.  While providing information these two small information stations will also have Flint & Genesee merchandise on sale for those looking for a small keepsake, something that has been sought after for years.

With festival and event season just around the corner this is a great time for the opening of these two Visitor Centers and they’ll serve as important satellites of information for all the people who come to our area for the large events.  And heck, let’s face it, when the warm weather hits and we’re looking for something to do these two spots will be the first places we’re hitting so we can find the perfect thing to do when we’re starting to feel a little restless.


Flint & Genesee Convention & Visitors Bureau Visitor Centers

519 S. Saginaw Street

Hours – 11AM – 4PM Monday – Thursday

Flint Farmer’s Market (open in Summer when the new market opens)

Hours – 11AM – 4PM Monday – Thursday

Taking Time To Thank The Hospitality Industry

The Hospitality industry is one that we all use but tend to forget that we’re using…unless they do a lousy job serving us.  Too often the people who check us into our hotel rooms, serve us our food and drinks, and who help us get to where we need to go are overlooked in our rush to get to the next place but once every year these forgotten members of the Hospitality industry are given their due at the Hospitality Awards.  This year marks the 25th Anniversary for the Flint & Genesee Convention & Visitors Bureau Hospitality Awards and it was a night to remember.  CVB Director Cheryl DeFrain and Emcee Theo Valley oversaw this evening that shined a light on all of the many people that deserve recognition for everything they do to make your stay, meal, and trip smoother and more enjoyable.  Throughout the year patrons have been asked to fill out survey cards in restaurants, hotels, and other establishments to nominate the places they love to eat, drink, and stay for their exemplary service.  People were also asked to list standout employees that went above and beyond what was needed so those people can be acknowledged as well.  On Thursday, May 23 these people and places that remind us how much we rely on the Hospitality industry were honored and had a night just for themselves.  Not very often do we get a chance to say thank you to the people that make sure our leisure time is as fun and stress free as possible and the Flint & Genesee Convention & Visitors Bureau and their 25th Annual Hospitality Awards made sure all of those folks know how much we appreciate their hard work.

The Winners for the 25th Annual Hospitality Awards

Hospitality Restaurant of the Year

J. Porters American Chophouse

Hospitality Hotel of the Year

Wingate by Wyndham

Community Champion

David White

Gloria J. DeHart Hospitality Ambassador of the Year

Sheryl Champine

Holiday Inn Gateway

 Hotel Front Desk

De’Aidre Avant

Holiday Inn Express of Grand Blanc

Hotel Housekeeper

Angela Murphy

Hampton Inn & Suites

Outstanding Customer Service

Norma Jean Barlow

Holiday Inn Express of Flint


Cherish Cowan

Holiday Inn Gateway

Food Server

Nate Johnson

Residence Inn


Adam Davis

Holiday Inn Gateway


Mary Galloway

Holiday Inn Express of Grand Blanc

Congratulations to one and all for the wonderful jobs they do.