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MANISTEE, MICHIGAN - A class of Baker College students is going to work to help quantify the impacts and potential marketing strategies for the Vogue Theatre. The Theatre was reopened in December 2013, backed by grants and donations of $2.1 million from 740 people and organizations and the volunteer work of over 300 individuals.

"Anecdotally, we know of many positive impacts on the Manistee community since the Vogue opened its doors," said Steve Brower, member of the Historic Vogue Theatre of Manistee nonprofit Board of Directors. "We feel that downtown businesses have benefitted and that several new businesses looked favorably on the Vogue in making a decision to locate in the City. We also feel that we have met our pledge to provide diverse and appealing film entertainment at a reasonable price. We're hoping that this Baker College study can help us get at the facts about the Theatre's impacts and steps we can take to reach an even broader audience of Theatre-goers."

The Baker College Class is Project Management 301 taught by Instructor Adam Hatchew. It is the most recent of several Baker College classes that have used real-word conditions in Manistee County as a theme for learning.

"One objective is to assess the economic impact of the Theatre on local businesses," says Hatchew. "The students will complete an analysis of the Theatre's strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. We will attempt to determine the impact of existing Vogue marketing programs and provide recommendations on ways marketing might be expanded. We also hope to do a community survey of businesses and we hope people will watch for an upcoming survey announcement and provide us input that will be invaluable." Hatchew said the project will be completed in early June.

"We believe this project will be a terrific win-win," said Brower. "Students will learn by focusing on the real world results of a major community project and develop recommendations about how we can achieve even greater results. At the same time, we will be receiving input about the Theatre's impact and influence to date and specific steps that we can take to make the Theatre even more successful."

Brower said that the need for the assessment was identified in an updated strategic plan for the Theatre that was facilitated by the Alliance for Economic Success.

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