Following extended closures due to the coronavirus pandemic, you can once again make more than just a pit stop at Michigan’s Welcome Centers as they will resume tourist information services just in time for the Memorial Day weekend ahead.
After taking proactive steps to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, the Michigan Department of Transportation closed the information lobbies at all 14 of the state’s Welcome Centers in March of 2020, and that aspect of the Welcome Centers has remained shuttered ever since.
Now, however, in accordance with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services’ May 15, 2021, Gatherings and Face Mask Order, the team at MDOT tells us they will resume those tourist information services prior to the Memorial Day holiday weekend this week.
MDOT Welcome Center tourism services will resume on Friday, May 28th, with appropriate safety protocols in place. Gov. Whitmer’s MI Vacc to Normal plan ties loosening coronavirus restrictions to vaccination rates. Since more than 55-percent of eligible Michiganders had received at least one dose by May 10th, businesses are allowed to resume in-person work starting today, Monday, May 24th.
State Transportation Director Paul Ajegba says, “MDOT Welcome Centers play a key role in highlighting all Michigan has to offer both to in-state and out-of-state travelers,” and adds, “Our knowledgeable Welcome Center staff have a wealth of Pure Michigan information to help travelers find the destinations, events and activities they’re looking for.”
Demand for travel and tourism information is expected to be high over the long Memorial Day weekend. The American Automobile Association (AAA) forecasts more than 1 million Michigan residents will take a trip during the holiday period, a nearly 57-percent increase from last year.
Quick and cost-free COVID-19 testing continues to be available at the following high-volume Welcome Centers:
- New Buffalo (Berrien County) on eastbound I-94
- Dundee (Monroe County) on northbound US-23
- Coldwater (Branch County) on northbound I-69
- Monroe (Monroe County) on northbound I-75
A map of MDOT Welcome Centers is available online.
Dave Lorenz, Vice President of Travel Michigan, part of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, says, “Pure Michigan is ready and eager to welcome back visitors and help drive Michigan’s recovery by promoting safe travel across the state,” and notes, “Our Welcome Centers play a critical role in ensuring a positive ‘first impression’ visitor experience, and the safe reopening of the Welcome Centers is great news for the industry.”