Muskegon blue and proud of it

July 5, 2011
| By Pete Daly |
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The board of the Muskegon Area Chamber of Commerce has announced that the organization is officially changing its name to Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce, to promote the area’s greatest asset — its access to water and waterfront property.

“By replacing the word ‘area’ with ‘lakeshore,’ our name provides a visual image reflecting beaches, boating, sailing, fishing and all the other qualities associated with waterfront living and vacationing. In today’s business environment, quality of life is an important consideration when making personal and professional business decisions,” said Michael Hagen, board chair.

“This name change is long overdue,” said Cindy Larsen, president of the chamber. “People often take our numerous lakes, rivers and streams for granted. Our waterways are treasured by travelers from around the world, so it is time to claim the lakeshore as part of our identity.”

Muskegon County has 27 miles of Lake Michigan waterfront, 27 inland lakes and more than 400 miles of rivers.

The industries associated with water and water access extend far beyond tourism to include education, research, manufacturing, agriculture and transportation. Muskegon is a deep-water port and home to the Lake Express Ferry to Milwaukee today, but its early history revolved around the lumbering industry, which used the Muskegon River to bring white pine logs from many miles inland to the mills on Muskegon Lake — and from there, the finished lumber and furniture went by boat via Lake Michigan to destinations throughout the Great Lakes states and provinces. Later, the wood products gave way to heavy industrial products and machinery.

The use of this deep water port and depth of business activity related to access to Lake Michigan — and the world — is the hallmark of a “blue economy,” according to the chamber.

“By including the word ‘lakeshore’ in our name, we are highlighting the blue economy and moving one step closer to changing Muskegon County’s image in the minds of those who live, work and play here,” Larsen added. “The ultimate goal is that when area residents are asked where you live, the answer will be the Muskegon Lakeshore.”

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