Auto Show expected to generate $400 million for Detroit area eco - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Auto Show expected to generate $400 million for Detroit area economy

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Detroit, MI - The North American International Auto Show opens to the public this weekend in the Motor City. It's a city that began 2014 in bankruptcy.

Hotels and restaurants in the Detroit area are expecting to get a much-needed economic shot in the arm because of the crowds from around the world heading to the big event.

13 ABC's Christine Long is in Detroit outside the Cobo Center.

$400 million dollars is the anticipated impact the auto show will have on the area economy.

It's more than businesses in the region saw for the Super Bowl in 2006.

If you're looking for a sign, it all starts inside.

On Tuesday we found something that may have been faked here for years: optimism.

"I sense a lot of excitement," says John Weber, CEO of VIA Motors.

The glitz and glamour are revved up to a level not seen in years at the Detroit Auto Show.

Displays are more lavish and flashy as automakers celebrate the resurging auto industry post-bankruptcy.

Ford set up a robotic workshop.

Acura assembled what appears to be an aerial race track and brought in a caterer.

Nissan built its own bistro.

Meanwhile, Lincoln delivers the fancy factor with overhead fixtures that expand and contract like a sea creature.

"Jump?" asks one businessman. "Ya, Jump up," laughs the Chevy representative.

Chevy is helping visitors create a 10 second stop motion video.

"Alright, big finish! Blow a nice big kiss at me!" encourages another Chevy representative. You can make your own silly flip book that is printed out and uploadable to Facebook.

"It's very clear to me that there's a different feel at the auto show this year than there has been in the past few years," says Weber.

Outside the Cobo Center, business is already strong.

Downtown hotels are reporting occupancy is at 85 percent during this week's media preview.

Restaurants and bars plan to be packed with many of the 800,000 visitors expected to attend the show.

"It's huge," says Kelly Pendleton, the manager of The District Bar & Grill. "It brings in so much business. It's great for the city."

Tracy Culver is a cab driver in Detroit and proud father of a daughter who lives in Toledo. He says the big crowds bringing their cash to the auto show could help rejuvenate his bankrupt, blighted city.

"It's needed bad," says Culver. "Our downtown area is really picking up, but it needs to be taken out into the neighborhoods."

"Detroit is coming back and it's coming back strong," says Pendleton.

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