Rudy's View: Welcome to Muskegon!
This is the Savvy Traveler, I'm Rudy Maxa. Unless you're from the area, you're probably not familiar with Muskegon, Michigan. I visited the city recently to give a speech. In America's industrial heyday, places like Muskegon were the muscle that moved America. Today, only a paper mill continues to operate; a modest reminder of the powerhouse the town once was. Along the waterfront, empty warehouses and other large buildings wait for money and vision to turn them into condos or office buildings.
This time of year, downtown Muskegon is almost deserted. But the summer...well, the summer is another story thanks to wide, sandy beaches just outside of town that line Lake Michigan. It always comes as a surprise to folks who live near the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans to discover similar beaches on parts of the Great Lakes. I've visited Michigan's Lower Peninsula in the summer, and it's a family vacation paradise.
Towns like Muskegon puzzle over how to attract more visitors - and more affluent ones. Muskegon residents know they must beautify the town's waterfront and provide shopping and cultural events to attract cruise ships that are beginning to ply Lake Michigan. More than ever, tourism is replacing smokestack industries as a source of revenue. In fact, as you travel to America's smaller towns, you may notice - as I did in Muskegon - there's a big welcome mat out to greet you.
|American Public Media Home | Search | How to Listen|