Fri, 12 Apr 2013 00:26:53 GMT — With the countdown clock to FinnFest USA 2013 ticking down, one of the biggest things on everyone's mind is tourism and how those five days of FinnFest are going to affect our economy. In 2005, FinnFest brought in an estimated $10-$12 million to the Marquette area. A similar impact is expected in the Copper Country. Representative Scott Dianda says he hopes the festival will boost tourism. "It's going to be a new economic tourist development for us," said Dianda. "We are going to have so many people coming over from across this country, along with the country of Finland. It's just so very important for us to promote tourism and also economic development." One small business that expects a positive effect is the Kangas Caf and Catering in Hancock. Chef Kevin Kangas said most of their money is made by catering events. He anticipates FinnFest will bring more visibility to the business. "I mean, we're kind of out of the way. We're off the beaten path," said Kangas. "We've never really truly advertised, so the good part with us is that it's all been word of mouth. With this many people in town, the locals will hopefully bring them around, so when they come back to visit again, they'll know where we're at." On a normal week, the Kangas Caf only makes pasties on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and they pump out around 300 pasties a week. During the week of FinnFest, they plan on making them every day that week and expect to make almost 1,500 pasties. "It should get pretty chaotic," Kangas said. "That's what we're hoping for, anyhow. It should be very, very nice for the community, especially for all the local businesses, the restaurants, the hotels, everything like that, including ourselves. We're really hoping to get a good influx of people." And that influx will be thousands of people bringing an adventurous spirit in their hearts to explore the Copper Country because the Finns are throwing a party--and you're invited!
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WLUC, Upper Michigan’s News Source provides news, sports, and weather coverage for Marquette, Michigan and nearby communities including Escanaba, Iron Mountain, Houghton, and many others throughout the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.