There are now more than 1,000 good reasons for Michigan residents to discover the advantages of the Department of Natural Resources’ Passport Perks program. The number of Michigan businesses currently enrolled in the statewide shopping discount program – designed exclusively for Recreation Passport holders who purchase the Passport through the Secretary of State – recently topped 1,000.

In fact, participating Passport Perks businesses and retailers can now be found in nearly every Michigan county throughout the Lower and Upper peninsulas – and those numbers are climbing every week. The current lineup of discount savings, on everything from lawn care and heating and cooling to salon services and restaurants, is available at www.michigan.gov/passportperks.

Recreation Passport holders (Michigan residents who elect to pay an additional $10 when registering their vehicle with the Secretary of State) not only purchase their annual vehicle admission into Michigan’s state parks, recreation areas, state forest campgrounds and boat launches, but also become eligible to participate in the Passport Perks program.

While Michigan residents are realizing the potential savings the Perks program offers, some 1,000 business owners are discovering the advantages, too.

“Approximately 600,000 Michigan residents are eligible to renew their license plates each month, and many will check ‘YES’ for the Recreation Passport, making them eligible for Passport Perks savings,” said Maia Stephens, recreation programmer for the DNR’s Parks and Recreation Division.

Stephens said that by becoming Perks Providers, it’s possible for local businesses and retailers to reach more customers who track the discounts on the DNR’s website and check the daily discounts featured on the DNR’s “Morning Perks” feed on Twitter.

Michigan residents who show their vehicle registration with the words “Recreation Passport” printed at the top qualify for the discounts on goods and services offered by participating restaurants, stores and local businesses.

“With discounts available on many of the items and services they would normally purchase, Recreation Passport holders potentially can save the equivalent of their license plate renewal costs and more,” Stephens said.

A Recreation Passport holder can take advantage of Passport Perks discount savings for a full year until his or her next vehicle license plate renewal date.

There is no cost to businesses or retailers that wish to join the program. For a list of participating businesses or for details on how to sign up to become a Perks Provider, visit www.michigan.gov/passportperks.

The Recreation Passport is an easy, affordable way for residents to enjoy and support outdoor recreation opportunities in Michigan. By checking “YES” for the $10 Recreation Passport ($5 for motorcycles) when renewing a license plate through the Secretary of State (by mail, kiosk, online at www.expresssos.com or at branch offices), Michigan motorists get access to state parks, recreation areas, state forest campgrounds, non-motorized state trailhead parking and state boat launches. In addition, Recreation Passport holders can experience real savings at businesses and retailers that participate in the Passport Perks discount program. The Recreation Passport is valid until the next license plate renewal date. Nonresidents can purchase the Recreation Passport ($29 annual; $8 daily) at any state park or recreation area or through the Michigan e-Store at www.michigan.gov/estore.

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