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MI Gov proposes new license fees


L. Gallagher

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you have folks bitching about license increases driving around in 35K trucks that cost $80 bucks to fill up, in their back pocket is a $100 a month cell phone.

No kidding.  Pulling the plug on that $1000+/year TV rerun package could maybe help people cope with the impending financial doom promised by these onerous fee increases.

We went through this same nonsense last time there was a fee increase in Minnesota.  There were guys on the news standing in front of $50k+ worth of truck, boat, and trailer telling the newscameras with a straight face that if fees went up they just couldn't afford to go fishing anymore.  The fees went up.  They still went fishing.  It was nothing but talk.

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Steelheadfred

ok, sure, Fritz, but I am very familiar with a whole lot of other businesses up here that are having a very hard time surviving on 6-8 weeks a year...I understand that Marriott is supporting you, that's what keeps a lot of the chains going, support from higher income, busier areas elsewhere. But that's not what keeps everybody else going.

Again, you have no idea what you are talking about. We are a franchise, Marriott does not "support us" financially. We are in partnership with Marriott, we pay a % of gross revenue to Marriott to fly their flag and take advantage of their gross marketing power. Marriott is extremely demanding and expensive to partner with, think "renovation" requirements every seven years at 8-15K a key.  But they are worth it. They have very high standards, if you don't perform, they wash you out of the system, short license agreements, they don't care if you're in Toledo or New York City, they are in this business to make money at every hotel they own or franchise.  Marriott does not give it's hotels a dime in cash flow support. Why would they?

Again, I don't care what keeps everyone else going, it's location location location, you are stuck in the area you live between destinations on the "Gold Coast." The non chain business's in Traverse City are doing just fine also, if they offer a product that is desired and meet and exceed customer expectations.

It was $30 at ALL the golf courses, including Cedar. Yes, it was after 3 p.m., but you should have seen the business they did after 3 p.m.

Again, you agreed with me, good for them, but was it profitable? Supply and demand, if they could make money on $30 a round, they should be running it all day, not just after 3pm so what gives.

Here is a math problem for you, I can sell 10 rooms at $100.00 bucks and make the same amount of revenue, but profit more than if I sell 20 rooms for $50.00 bucks. Does that makes sense to you?

And maybe it's not in the Top 100 golf courses in Golf Digest, but how many courses in Michigan are?

About a dozen off the top of my head.

And isn't that the point of Pure Michigan? To make people more aware of what awaits them in this state and bring them up here?

Hell Yes, but it costs you the same amount in Gas to drive to Traverse City from Chicago as it does to drive to Mio. Now Mio is a very nice town and I enjoy hunting and fishing there, but where you gonna GO Traverse City or MIO? So you can advertise all you want for some destinations, but unfortunately looking at return on investment, multiplier dollars, spending money through Pure Michigan on Mio, MI is a waste of money.

They didn't think there was too many golf course in Michigan when they built them-only when the economy started to slide...and although it is a tiny bit better, it's still sliding...no matter what our Governor says. It won't take much to put us back down again.

The numbers don't back your theory. First Golf Courses, it was clear we had more supply than demand, no different than the housing collapse, those courses were real estate investments as much as they were dividend businesses. The idea being the Courses would pay for themselves and the investor would receive his return as the sale of the real estate for what ever purpose. When the economy slid, everyone took a hit in this state. Second, all economic indicators in our state do not show we are still sliding, unemployment is down, commerce is up, tourism is up. Foreclosures down, home prices increasing.

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Steelheadfred
This is long overdue, if it's $150.00 bucks it's $150.00 bucks.

I'm reading it as $10.00 bucks will cover the base fee which includes small game.

The state lodging association just increased the bed tax from 2-5%

You are see a drop in resident small game, a modest increase in deer, and a drop in Fishing License fees.

Typical liberal thinking, screw someone else out of money so you can keep more of yours.

Here's hoping this passes as written and your out of state hunting collapses with a big loss of revenue.

I'm anything but liberal. If you compare our out of state hunting licenses to our competition we have been a bargain, completely out of line with our competition. What I am in favor of is fees/taxes that have a return on investment and increase commerce.

If we take this money and do a better job of management, increase available habitat, bird and deer numbers go up, more fish enter spawn tribs, access increases to boats. Well our supply just increase which will allow demand to increase also, because we are offering a better product. The million dollar question is, will the supply increase or will these funds be wasted?

Now we are exceeding that competition, I think it's a bit high. If I had it my way we would sell a 7 day out of state for $85.00 bucks.

Put it this way though:

If you live in Ohio, PA, Indiana, KY, NY and you want to hunt grouse in the great lakes, MI is still the cheapest, we are the cheapest because even though our license is $150.00 we are closer than WI and MN. Which is a reduction in your gas bill on your big truck with your diamond plated dog boxes hauling your multiple thousand dollar shot guns.

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you have folks bitching about license increases driving around in 35K trucks that cost $80 bucks to fill up, in their back pocket is a $100 a month cell phone.

No kidding.  Pulling the plug on that $1000+/year TV rerun package could maybe help people cope with the impending financial doom promised by these onerous fee increases.

We went through this same nonsense last time there was a fee increase in Minnesota.  There were guys on the news standing in front of $50k+ worth of truck, boat, and trailer telling the newscameras with a straight face that if fees went up they just couldn't afford to go fishing anymore.  The fees went up.  They still went fishing.  It was nothing but talk.

I don't know who the hell you run with, but that doesn't describe anyone I've been going up north with for the last 12 years.

I'm done.  ****** keep 'em.

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Steelheadfred

My guess is this will be opened up for public comment, the state tourism councils will voice their opinion and we will reach a happy medium on the out of state fees.

I'll start working on this now, I agree $150.00 is too much for small game.

This afternoon I'll get an email on the Gov's desk (just trust me on this). I'll also get the Tourism industry on board and voice my opinion as to the out of state fees harming tourism operators and we will get some feed back going.

Fritz

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My guess is this will be opened up for public comment, the state tourism councils will voice their opinion and we will reach a happy medium on the out of state fees.

I'll start working on this now, I agree $150.00 is too much for small game.

This afternoon I'll get an email on the Gov's desk (just trust me on this). I'll also get the Tourism industry on board and voice my opinion as to the out of state fees harming tourism operators and we will get some feed back going.

Fritz

Thanks Fritz.

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bosco mctavitch

Charging more for something is pure economics.  

If an item is the same as what is offered for sale everywhere, it is a commodity, and it is price-sensitive (i.e. why pay more for the same thing).  However, if the item is unique, it can be sold on it's unique merits--whatever qualities make it stand out (i.e. some # of people are always willing to pay more for those different qualities).  

Commodity products generally have very little "margin" in them, in that prices are held to a very low level and any investment in further developing the product or making the product stand out from the crowd--i.e. making the product better--has to come from increasing sales volume.  this means that in order to raise enough money to invest a lot of additional money, a very significant increase in sales volume is necessary.  

It strikes me that Hunting in Michigan is not at all a commodity.  There are location issues (perhaps it is nearer to population centers than many of its competing neighbors), there are quality issues (flush count?  Amount of accessible land? amount and quality of habitat? etc) and other factors (proximity to lakes and other activities, developed infrastructure for tourists, etc, etc) that give it some unique qualities.  However, IF little is being done for habitat as Linda suggests...and if said habitat work is no longer necessarily a paying proposition and requires paying FOR it...and IF non-res sales are already declining or relatively flat (?? Just a guess based on overall participation trends and economy)...and IF licenses are already too cheap as others have suggested and as it seems to this outsider...then it seems the only way to make the situation better is to invest in the product, i.e. improve it--that takes cash, and if you cant do it by selling more licenses then the only option is to raise prices so you have money to invest...that INVESTMENT in the product is what allows you to market the product through a program such as "pure michigan" as genuinely unique and high quality, and that is what makes people willing to spend more on it (as in Iowas $432 deer tags) and it allows you to continually invest in it over time and keep the product healthy and in viable condition.  

As in every other market, the consumer trend will decide whether the price is too high or not, not any one person.  I would hope that Michigan has done some research on this, and for sure I expect it would result in some # of people choosing not to visit, at least in the short term...but as someone who sells ultra-premium priced products for a living I would not AT ALL be scared of pricing a small % of your consumer base out of the market (7% was the estimate in the paper I think Windy cited), if it allowed you to overall increase revenues that would allow investing further in making the overall product better.  

Frankly, if the above situation accurately described my own state, I'd be furious if my own DNR didnt do exactly that.  Keeping prices too low guarantees there will be no investment in the product quality, and it becomes a commodity. How is that good for anyone, resident or non-resident?

As much as I truly feel for people like Cooter who might not be able to make a trip due to a +/- $115 additional cost, I dont believe an out of state hunting trip is anything but a luxury and I dont think anyone is "entitled" to have it come easily.

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My guess is this will be opened up for public comment, the state tourism councils will voice their opinion and we will reach a happy medium on the out of state fees.

I'll start working on this now, I agree $150.00 is too much for small game.

This afternoon I'll get an email on the Gov's desk (just trust me on this). I'll also get the Tourism industry on board and voice my opinion as to the out of state fees harming tourism operators and we will get some feed back going.

Fritz

How many non-resident grouse/woodcock hunters travel to MI each season?

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My guess is this will be opened up for public comment, the state tourism councils will voice their opinion and we will reach a happy medium on the out of state fees.

I'll start working on this now, I agree $150.00 is too much for small game.

This afternoon I'll get an email on the Gov's desk (just trust me on this). I'll also get the Tourism industry on board and voice my opinion as to the out of state fees harming tourism operators and we will get some feed back going.

Fritz

How many non-resident grouse/woodcock hunters travel to MI each season?

I don't know how many but I see quite a few and I hunt the whole state. I have seen trucks from as far away as Texas and Cali, so they must like something here, because the could have went to Wisc or Minn.

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you have folks bitching about license increases driving around in 35K trucks that cost $80 bucks to fill up, in their back pocket is a $100 a month cell phone.

No kidding.  Pulling the plug on that $1000+/year TV rerun package could maybe help people cope with the impending financial doom promised by these onerous fee increases.

We went through this same nonsense last time there was a fee increase in Minnesota.  There were guys on the news standing in front of $50k+ worth of truck, boat, and trailer telling the newscameras with a straight face that if fees went up they just couldn't afford to go fishing anymore.  The fees went up.  They still went fishing.  It was nothing but talk.

I don't know who the hell you run with, but that doesn't describe anyone I've been going up north with for the last 12 years.

I'm done.  ****** keep 'em.

Like I said earlier, it doesn't describe me either.  But looking around the woods this season I don't think I spotted another grouse hunter driving a vehicle that was more than 10 years old.  Less than five years old was more like the norm.  I also don't think I spotted anyone else driving a vehicle that gets 30+ mpg.  Gas guzzlers were the norm.  To me, new and/or inefficient vehicles are an indication of disposable income because the drivers are literally choosing to dispose of their income out the tailpipe.  Judging by what I see out in the woods, the cost of a license isn't going to change many grouse hunters' behavior.  Your mileage may vary, but I bet overall demand for hunting licenses is in practice pretty darn inelastic.

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My guess is this will be opened up for public comment, the state tourism councils will voice their opinion and we will reach a happy medium on the out of state fees.

I'll start working on this now, I agree $150.00 is too much for small game.

This afternoon I'll get an email on the Gov's desk (just trust me on this). I'll also get the Tourism industry on board and voice my opinion as to the out of state fees harming tourism operators and we will get some feed back going.

Fritz

How many non-resident grouse/woodcock hunters travel to MI each season?

I don't know how many but I see quite a few and I hunt the whole state. I have seen trucks from as far away as Texas and Cali, so they must like something here, because the could have went to Wisc or Minn.

I don't blame them. All out of state hunters should chase the king in Michigan. It is the best state for grouse hunting!

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as someone who sells ultra-premium priced products for a living I would not AT ALL be scared of pricing a small % of your consumer base out of the market (7% was the estimate in the paper I think Windy cited), if it allowed you to overall increase revenues that would allow investing further in making the overall product better.  

Of the 7% or so that is priced out of the market, what % do you suppose were losing financial propositions all along?  Here's an example from my own life.  A few years ago I was living on the MN/WI border as a MN resident but spending most of my hunting days in WI.  I filled up on gas before I left home, packed a lunch and a thermos, and drove across the St. Croix on the public roads to hunt the public land whose maintenance the taxpayers of Wisconsin funded.  Total cost to me for an entire season of hunting was something like $85 for a nonresident license.  I'm pretty sure I didn't contribute a dime to Wisconsin's economy in any other way except that license fee - I didn't get gas there, I didn't go to cafes for lunch, I didn't even get a cup of coffee.  All I did was beat up their roads, use their public lands, and repatriate their birds to Minnesota in my game bag.  Was inviting a cheap SOB like me into their state to go hunting a winning business proposition?  I doubt it.  It wouldn't surprise me to find out I cost them more in infrastructure maintenance than the price of my license.  Pricing me out of the market would be a good financial idea on Wisconsin's part and they may very well have come out ahead by doing so.

A high license fee might price some people out of the market, but it might also lead to a greater concentration of the sort of customers that will spend money and contribute to the local economy by eating in restaurants and staying at Fritz's Marriott.  If they price the guys like me that will sleep in a tent and pack Grain Belt returnables out of the state, I don't know if that's a big loss to the state.  It might even be a net gain.

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SHF  +1000

What is the price of 1 day at Disney world?  $100?  Go out west skiing at the big resorts?  $100/day plus food.  

The outdoors is my amusement park and laugh at the absolute bargain it provides me.

Amen!!!!!!

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WI Brookie Guy

as someone who sells ultra-premium priced products for a living I would not AT ALL be scared of pricing a small % of your consumer base out of the market (7% was the estimate in the paper I think Windy cited), if it allowed you to overall increase revenues that would allow investing further in making the overall product better.  

Of the 7% or so that is priced out of the market, what % do you suppose were losing financial propositions all along?  Here's an example from my own life.  A few years ago I was living on the MN/WI border as a MN resident but spending most of my hunting days in WI.  I filled up on gas before I left home, packed a lunch and a thermos, and drove across the St. Croix on the public roads to hunt the public land whose maintenance the taxpayers of Wisconsin funded.  Total cost to me for an entire season of hunting was something like $85 for a nonresident license.  I'm pretty sure I didn't contribute a dime to Wisconsin's economy in any other way except that license fee - I didn't get gas there, I didn't go to cafes for lunch, I didn't even get a cup of coffee.  All I did was beat up their roads, use their public lands, and repatriate their birds to Minnesota in my game bag.  Was inviting a cheap SOB like me into their state to go hunting a winning business proposition?  I doubt it.  It wouldn't surprise me to find out I cost them more in infrastructure maintenance than the price of my license.  Pricing me out of the market would be a good financial idea on Wisconsin's part and they may very well have come out ahead by doing so.

A high license fee might price some people out of the market, but it might also lead to a greater concentration of the sort of customers that will spend money and contribute to the local economy by eating in restaurants and staying at Fritz's Marriott.  If they price the guys like me that will sleep in a tent and pack Grain Belt returnables out of the state, I don't know if that's a big loss to the state.  It might even be a net gain.

What are you driving -- a logging truck?

You're overstating the negative impact and underestimating the economical benefits of nonresidents.  There's a huge difference between nonresidents paying more for the privilege to hunt/fish than residents and being punitive. Incremental increases are justifiable, but putting it all on the backs of nonresidents will accomplish one thing -- kill off any kind of tourism in that state that involves hunting and/or angling.

Good luck with that.

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