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Focus groups to discuss Traverse City’s drinking culture


Inebriated bridal parties and bar crawls that end with trashed beaches.

To some, Traverse City’s image has become synonymous with excessive drinking. But a local group is working to counteract drunken behavior in the downtown area.

Starting this week, the city’s Downtown Development Authority is holding listening sessions with residents and business operators to discuss how to improve the area’s culture of drinking.

The project, which is funded by the Northern Michigan Regional Entity, already has the insights of a thousand surveys and dozens of interviews about the problem.

The DDA’s CEO Jean Derenzy says they’re taking a community-first approach.

“A lot of people think we are tourist-driven. It’s a piece of it,” she says. “But we need to be more driven by this is a place where we live and be able to do business here as well.”

The focus groups will happen over the next several weeks and Derenzy says they hope to bring solutions to local leaders.

More information about the project can be found at https://healthierdrinkingtc.com/.