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Ann Arbor man wins Marketplace's 'plastic pig' for financial savvy

The MGoPatio in Ann Arbor.
Martin Vloet
The MGoPatio in Ann Arbor.

Marketplace's Tess Vigeland handed out their "Piggy Bank Award" to Ann Arbor's Martin Vloet.

Vloet and his wife bought a house in Ann Arbor a few years ago near Michigan Stadium.

They knew the garage needed some work, so when they re-built, they decided to make the space big enough for tailgaiting events.

"I found through some of the people that I worked with and through some of my connections in town, that there was a lot of interest in a space like that, because it was so close to Michigan football. "

Vloet says they spent around $80,000 to create the space, and found out they could recoup their costs relatively quickly - making their investment worthy of Marketplace's Piggy Bank Award.

"...when we were looking at trying to figure out what to charge for it, I looked around town and tried to find a comparable. If you're selling something, you see what other people are selling the same product for. And there aren't, unfortunately, very many places like this. We found one around the stadium, so I gave them a call. They told us we got everything booked this season, except once game. And this was month's ago -- they booked the whole thing now, as I understand it. And they were charging about $3,500 an event. And I looked at it and I thought, 'That's fantastic!'"

You can listen to the segment here:

After the interview, Vigeland 'fessed up to being a Big Ten fan. She's not a Wolverine, but a Wildcat.

You can visit the MGoPatio Facebook page to see more photos. Vloet says they have two dates left open for the football season--Illinois (Homecoming) and Northwestern.

Mark Brush was Michigan Radio’s Digital Media Director. He succumbed to a year-long battle with glioblastoma, an aggressive brain cancer, in March 2018. He was 49 years old.
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