Historic Sign Returns to West Michigan Tourist Association

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – A historic sign hanging in Grand Rapids bar One Trick Pony has recently been returned to its home at the West Michigan Tourist Association (WMTA).

WMTA has worked to support local businesses since the start of the organization in 1917, highlighting West Michigan’s best to travelers from around the world. WMTA was the precursor to Travel Michigan and the beloved Pure Michigan campaigns, and has been instrumental in the promotion of tourism to the West Michigan region for over 100 years.

The sign, seen below, is from the early 1930s and was distributed by WMTA to their partners to be displayed, and mark the business as a trusted travel destination, similar to the digital TripAdvisor badges that tourists rely on and trust today.

historic sign

From 1970-1995, WMTA’s offices were located in the building that currently houses One Trick Pony (136 Fulton, Grand Rapids). When the team from WMTA moved out of the space, the sign was left behind, and was decoratively hung inside of One Trick Pony for several years. Former One Trick Pony owner Dan Verhil actually worked for WMTA for two years prior to purchasing the bar’s building from his father in 1980. Dan sold One Trick Pony in early 2021 and is now moving into retirement.

Dan has returned the sign to the WMTA, handing it off to WMTA president Dan Sippel in a ceremony during WMTA’s October board meeting. The team at WMTA is grateful to have the sign returned to them, to hold a piece of their history once more.

For more information about the West Michigan Tourist Association and their partners, visit WMTA.org.