Category Archives: Business News

See 26 projects, $1 billion in investments coming to Muskegon County

More than $1 billion in investment in the Muskegon lakeshore area is in various stages of development, from recently completed to underway to proposed.

The Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce keeps track of these projects, and says, “Watch Us Grow,” a spinoff of the “Watch Muskegon, We’re just getting started” campaign.

Those investments, so far, translate into more than 1,000 open jobs in a Muskegon County where the unemployment rate was 4.9 percent in March.

The Chamber lists 26 projects, totaling about $1.2 billion in investment.


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Meeting need for health, manufacturing workers among MCC’s future plans

MUSKEGON, MI – To meet future employment demands, Muskegon Community College is looking to advanced manufacturing and medicine-related degree programs.

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May 9, 2017


Bob Lukens




Visit Muskegon highlights positive tourism and hospitality growth during

National Travel & Tourism Week


MUSKEGON, MI – The hospitality and tourism businesses of Muskegon County, Michigan continue to see growth in the industry as the county develops as a visitor and meeting/events destination.


Numbers released this week from Visit Muskegon, the county’s convention and visitors bureau (CVB), demonstrated that growth, showing a 4.7% increase in accommodations tax collections for Muskegon County, the third straight year in a row that the county has collected over $1 million in accommodations tax revenues. This number translates into $24,156,340 in revenues for owners of lodging facilities within Muskegon County.


“There are many factors that are helping our industry grow in Muskegon County,” said Bob Lukens, director of Visit Muskegon. “Festivals and events draw new and returning visitors, and Muskegon County’s festivals are growing bigger and better every year. Fishing, boating and other outdoor sports are seeing tremendous growth as visitors want to get out and enjoy Pure Michigan.”


“Additionally, our meetings and conventions, group tour, and sports and niche markets are also seeing considerable growth, thanks to the effort of our sales team and our expanded sales marketing outreach,” Lukens said, referring to Visit Muskegon’s industry trade show attendance and industry trade publications and websites.


Visit Muskegon also participates in Travel Michigan’s “Pure Michigan” marketing partnership programs, reaching potential visitors in Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, and Wisconsin, and is a member of Michigan Beachtowns, a consortium of 7 CVBs along the Lake Michigan shoreline, from the state line north to US 10. Visit Muskegon reaches potential leisure visitors via billboards, cable TV advertising, radio show sponsorships, leisure publication advertising, and of course, social media.


“We’re riding the social media wave, but continue encouraging people to put down their phones and tablets to really ride the waves at any one of our Lake Michigan beaches!” Lukens said.


He cited festivals as just one example of the kind of activities that are drawing new visitors to Muskegon County. “Our festivals and events are off the charts,” he said. “Every one of our annual festivals have shown visitor increases in 2016, with the Lakeshore Art Festival, Shoreline Jazz Festival, Unity Festival, and Michigan Irish Music Festival drawing bigger and bigger crowds every year. These annual events, combined with newer festivals like the upcoming Port City Crit (bicycle race) this Saturday, May 13, the Back to the Bricks car event on June 11, and the Burning Foot Beer Festival in August, demonstrate the explosive growth the tourism industry is having in Muskegon County.”


Another visitor driver is sports and fishing. “This summer, we are hosting 37 fishing tournaments on our inland lakes alone,” Lukens said, “and that’s not including the salmon tourneys out on Lake Michigan. We’re hosting a Michigan collegiate bass tourney, and many, many additional bass tournaments throughout the summer and into the fall.”


“Additionally, more and more cyclists are discovering Muskegon County as a place to begin, stop over, or end their cycling trips,” Lukens said. “Our large network of trails and scenic rides – plus Lake Express service to and from Milwaukee – makes Muskegon County an ideal cycling location.”


The Tourism and Hospitality industry is Muskegon County’s fourth largest industry, after High-Tech Manufacturing, Healthcare, and Agriculture, and tourism continues to grow year-over-year in the county. Recent research indicated that people’s perceptions of Muskegon as a “factory town” are indeed changing, and potential visitors are seeing that change in the many new festivals and events, new retail businesses, restaurants and entertainment establishments, and construction projects currently underway in Muskegon County.


Lukens specifically cited the water park expansion at Michigan’s Adventure as a project that will help draw more visitors to Muskegon County.


Visit Muskegon markets Muskegon County to potential visitors 50 miles or more outside of Muskegon County in an effort to produce hotel and lodging overnights.



Visit Muskegon

The Muskegon County Convention & Visitors Bureau

610 W. Western Avenue · Muskegon, MI  49440

Phone: 231-724-3100 · Toll-free: 800-250-9283 · Fax: 231-724-1398 ·


Construction imminent on new 84-unit downtown apartment complex

MUSKEGON, MI – Construction on 84 senior apartments in central downtown will start this week, with the first tenants moving in in about a year.

The Berkshire Muskegon apartment complex will be constructed at the corner of Clay Avenue and First Street in downtown Muskegon. In addition to the apartments for residents ages 55 and older, the complex will have 5,000 square feet of first-floor commercial space.

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Taste of Muskegon Teams up with Burning Foot Beer Festival

Contact: Lisa Kraus

Marketing Manager

Press Release
Taste of Muskegon Teams up with Burning Foot Beer Festival

Muskegon, MI (May 8, 2017) – Taste of Muskegon is adding a taste of the Burning Foot Beer Festival to their lineup. A pint-size Burning Foot will set up in Hackley Park both days of the festival. Taking place June 16 and 17, it is a prelude to the ticket party Burning Foot will hold the following weekend.


“Taste of Muskegon has highlighted our local craft beers for several years and will again host a local craft competition. We are excited to bring in the Burning Foot Beer Festival to expand our craft offerings, show off another great Muskegon festival and add a unique element to our event,” said Ellen Berends, Director of Taste of Muskegon.


The Beer Garden presented by Burning Foot Beer Festival will bring a beach-theme to the annual community event. They will run rotating taps of craft beers from all over Michigan and have experts available to tell you about their pours. To make you feel like you are at their festival venue, Pere Marquette, they will have beach games and kiddie pools. There will also be two drawings to win tickets to this year’s August event.


Taste of Muskegon, a part of Downtown Muskegon Now, is kicking off their 11th year with a rebranding which includes a new logo and website. The event will feature the West Michigan Offshore Club Powerboat Street Party on Friday as part of Powerboat weekend. Saturday will begin with the United Way’s Ride United, breakfast with the Shoreline Lions, the Skee-Town Showdown Car Show and Sweetwater Local Foods Market. Awards for Taste of Muskegon’s best plates will take place Saturday afternoon and includes both judge and public votes.


Learn more about the restaurants, bands and events at Taste of Muskegon 2017, visit their new website at


For more information on Burning Foot Beer Festival, visit

Arts, culture ‘vital’ to Muskegon community, nonprofit leaders say

MUSKEGON, MI – The arts and culture community in Muskegon County is what makes it a unique place to work, play and live, according to advocates.

The Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce held Business for Breakfast: Business of Arts and Culture last week at the Holiday Inn Muskegon Harbor. Four panelists took the stage to tell attendees why arts and culture are important for Muskegon.

“When I think about Muskegon and I think about our assets, we have beautiful beaches, we have beautiful water, but so does everybody else from New Buffalo to Mackinaw,” said Judy Hayner, executive director of the Muskegon Museum of Art. “Here’s what everybody doesn’t have: everybody does not have a rich arts and cultural infrastructure like we do. Actually, nobody else along the lakeshore has it.”


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Aviation supplier opens ‘brilliant’ factory

An aviation supplier in the region introduced its new $14.5-million factory this morning. Cincinnati-based GE Aviation held a ribbon-cutting at its new 35,000-square-foot “brilliant factory” in Norton Shores, at 6120 Norton Center Dr.

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2017 April Market Report

2017 April Market Report

Midwest’s top stone countertop maker moves to Muskegon, plans hiring

MUSKEGON, MI – The Midwest’s leading fabricator of custom stone surfaces – mostly countertops – is now based in Muskegon.
Lakeside Surfaces is celebrating its 25th anniversary with a new 75,000-square-foot production facility and office space for its headquarters at 2265 Black Creek Road in Muskegon.

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Ice Box Brand storefront offering ice cream bars, coffee, bakery, more

DALTON TOWNSHIP, MI – What was going to be a 150-square-foot storefront with a couple freezers for Ice Box Brand ice cream bars has evolved into much more.

The Ice Box Brand Factory Store now incorporates the artisan ice cream bars, scooped Country Dairy ice cream, Jones Soda floats, homemade bakery items, torte ice cream cakes, shirts, fro-yo dog treats and a full coffee shop offering local Schooner Coffee Roaster products.

“People got really excited about it,” said Chris Morin, owner and founder of Ice Box Brand, an ice cream bar manufacturer. “It seemed like it would be a disappointment if we just had a couple freezers.”


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Other ways to get involved

Volunteer for the Lakeshore Art Festival

A unique blend of arts, crafts, music, food and fun along the shoreline in historic Downtown Muskegon. More than 300 artists and crafters will be showcased with fine art in the park, crafts, children’s activities and Michigan food market – all wrapped up in a huge downtown street party atmosphere!   Come out and join us on July 7th,  and July 8th, 2017.

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Join Watch Muskegon

Muskegon has more to offer than ever before. Join the conversation, movement and Watch Us Go!

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