Economic Development, Lakeshore, and Nonprofits

City wins 'strongest town' contest

May 14, 2018
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Potential investors will tour downtown Muskegon
Downtown Muskegon hosts events such as a stop on the Hot Rod Power Tour, which draws some 50,000 visitors. Photo via

A city in the region has been named the winner of a contest to find the country’s “strongest town.”

Muskegon won the third-annual Strongest Town Contest, a bracket-based competition organized by Strong Towns, a Brainerd, Minnesota-based nonprofit community development and media organization.

Towns were considered based on nominations by Strong Towns’ members, readers and listeners, which were submitted based on a list of questions and principles.

Initial contest submissions were judged by a panel of Strong Towns staff and board members, who reduced the list to 16 towns.

The judges acknowledged Muskegon for its “strong citizen spirit,” its “wildly successful” farmers market, commitment to re-building downtown and good use of the Lake Michigan waterfront.

Throughout the month of March, the organization’s members, readers and listeners were invited to vote on matchups between the towns based on a variety of assessment tools, including podcast interviews, photos and essays.

The contest page says that although “no town is perfect,” the contest is about showcasing towns “doing their best to be strong, that have the building blocks in place to be strong towns today and in the future.”

The Muskegon Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce led the efforts to recognize the city through the contest.

“Muskegon has come so far in recent years,” said Cindy Larsen, chamber president. “It is great for the residents to receive this recognition.

“Strong Towns isn’t about one project or one person. It’s about everyone chipping in to move a community forward.”

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