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

The MGoPatio in Ann Arbor.
Martin Vloet
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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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