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Michigan Welcome Centers to reopen for Memorial Day weekend
May 24, 2021 -- In accordance with Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services' May 15, 2021, Gatherings and Face Mask Order, the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) will resume tourist information services at all Michigan Welcome Centers prior to the Memorial Day holiday weekend.
MDOT Welcome Center tourism services will resume on May 28, 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 10, businesses are allowed to resume in-person work starting May 24.
"MDOT Welcome Centers play a key role in highlighting all Michigan has to offer both to in-state and out-of-state travelers," State Transportation Director Paul Ajegba said. "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: Dundee (Monroe County) on northbound US-23, Coldwater (Branch County) on northbound I-69, New Buffalo (Berrien County) on eastbound I-94, and Monroe (Monroe County) on northbound I-75. A map of MDOT Welcome Centers is available online.
"Pure Michigan is ready and eager to welcome back visitors and help drive Michigan's recovery by promoting safe travel across the state," said Dave Lorenz, vice president of Travel Michigan, part of the Michigan Economic Development Corp. "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."
Taking proactive steps to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, MDOT closed the information lobbies at the state's 14 Welcome Centers in March 2020.