• Place Construction, Identity, and Capital Investment: An investigation of two tourist landscapes in Michigan

      Stawarski, Andrew (2011-07-20)
      Tourist communities exist all over the world. They are areas that are focused on tourism and are often tailored to resemble specific regions or themes to better achieve capital gain. In this study, two cities in Michigan are examined to better understand how the cultural landscapes are experienced and what practices are employed throughout the landscape. Specifically, this thesis investigates the spatial practices that are involved in re-creating and re-presenting ―themed‖ landscapes. Another question analyzed is whether the ―themed‖ landscapes reflect the resident‘s daily lives and/or their histories. This thesis examines the two Michigan cities of Gaylord and Frankenmuth, re-presenting and re-creating Alpenfest and Frankenmuth, respectively, and their emphasis on tourism within their respective communities. To better understand the cultural environment and themed landscapes, digital images are used throughout this thesis of both cities. The data for these themed landscapes were geocoded and analyzed. Also, photographs of both cities were used to demonstrate that only modifications to the façade and additions to the structures were merely aesthetic in nature, and are not realistic but stereotypes of the regions they were representing.