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These are external links and will open in a new window Close share panel Image copyright Getty Images Detroit's history of industrial decline and financial failure has culminated in bankruptcy. So why have some companies been using the city's name to sell their products?
Detroit's woes are well documented - an economic powerhouse reduced to a shrinking, impoverished and decaying shell of its former self. It is a story one might expect marketing and branding departments going out of their way to avoid.
But several companies have been detroit news business reporter to turn the brand of Detroit to their advantage, in a trend that marketing experts expect to gather pace. The most striking example is Shinola, a resurrected shoe polish brand now being used to sell watches, bicycles, leather goods and journals, which plays heavily on its Detroit base.
The company, backed by the financial muscle of venture capital firm Bedrock, says it is the first in decades to produce watches on a large scale in the US.
It uses local labour and, where possible, materials - though it sources many watch components from Switzerland and China. Image copyright Shinola The timepieces have been on sale for about six months in sleek stores with exposed brick interiors in Detroit and New York, but also in shops throughout the US, and in Paris and Singapore.
London will be next. Having "Detroit" on the dial was a source of fascination and pride for many customers, said watch seller Steven Katz. The store's PR manager Guillaume Salmon says the story of Detroit was one of the reasons behind the move. Shinola's factory is in the former Argonaut building, once General Motors' first research and design studio and now owned by the College for Creative Studies.
Detroit's cheap rents and post-industrial spaces had already been attracting innovative businesses, generating a local buzz. It began selling them in November and has sold since then.
The store's PR manager, Guillaume Salmon, says they fell in love with the fact that the watches came from Detroit, "that this brand has decided to rebuild, to give momentum and energy to this city".
One customer, Michael from Moscow, says he bought one because it had a "wonderful design and a splendid leather bracelet". When he saw that it was made in Detroit, he liked it even more. But before launching, Shinola's backers wanted to test the broader appeal of "made in Detroit", and created focus groups in Dallas.
It found that people seemed keen to give the economy in Detroit, and the US, a hand. Solutions is a healthcare IT company based in New Jersey that expanded its workforce in Detroit - currently people - after judging that it made economic sense to be in the city.
Solutions That's part of a broader reported trend of businesses being moved back to the US. Figures just released show that in November the US trade deficit fell to its lowest level in four years, a result partly attributed to rising consumption of US-produced goods and services.
Solutions' promotion of Detroit created lots of positive publicity, says Bryan.Carol also is an award-winning columnist at Detroit Free Press, writing about business, politics and more. A prolific writer, she also pens stories and columns for CBS, Dome Magazine and others.
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Detroit’s history of industrial decline and financial failure has culminated in bankruptcy. So why have some companies been using the city’s name to sell their products? Small Business Saturday shops in metro Detroit Come one, come all, to a small business near you! Probably the best part of shopping at small businesses is finding specialty.