Friday, October 30, 2009

A Note For Commisioner Scrudato

New research indicates corporate headquarters are best at insulating a town from an economic downturn.

See: Cities can't bank on small businesses for stable economic partnerships
Locally owned small businesses don't insulate communities from layoffs and closures in bad economic times. Rather, corporate headquarters do the most to protect cities from employment reductions

So when you oppose the Old Town Parking Deck because:"Scrudato has criticized the project as being built primarily to benefit one company, Hagerty Insurance Agency." you are actually voting against the greater economic interest of everyone in Traverse City.

Traverse City Makes Nat Geo Traveler's Authenticity And Stewardship List

A score of 63 of 133 (higher scores are better which is why Colorado got a 66)

Michigan: Traverse City and Lakeshore
This charming town and nearby National Lakeshore is "a Midwestern secret of beaches, dunes, lighthouses, cherry orchards."... Downtown Traverse City thrives with locally owned businesses.

But all is not rosy for the region:
"In moderate trouble. Trash on the beaches has degraded the environment and high-speed personal-watercraft wake can be destructive. As people move up from Detroit to retire, they may be a boon or bane to the environment depending on whether they embrace a land ethic."

More info: 133 Places Rated: About the Survey

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Making Bicycle Touring A Bigger Draw

The Traverse City area is a great biking area and hosts some well known events such as the Iceman Cometh Challenge; Twin Bays Cyclocross races; the Cherry-Roubaix Old Town Criterium; the Tour de Leelanau (which had to be canceled in 2009 due to the economy).

Races are one thing - what about the big city tourist looking for a weekend ride on quiet roads? Go to the nationally advertised tourist booking first stop,, and search for Traverse City bike tours and you just get a list of places to bike.

The same search at Traverse City's Visitor's and Convention web site gives similar results.

A google search leads you to the Cherry Capital Cycling Club - but it is for locals.

Has no one thought of establishing European style bicycle tours of the northern Michigan wineries? Has no one thought of turning the city owned ski hill Hickory Hills and the surrounding park area into a summer freeriding destination?

Like so many other recreational opportunities, Traverse City can look at a similar Colorado town for guidance. See: Efforts in motion to promote Steamboat as cycling destination
A study by the Western Canada Mountain Bike Tourism Association found that the economic impact of mountain biking in southern British Columbia is substantial. The study found that visitors to Whistler Mountain Bike Park spent nearly $16.5 million in summer 2006 and supported an estimated 384 jobs paying $12.8 million in wages and salaries.

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Colorado Town That Grew Around A Whitewater Park

This story is indicative of what Traverse City could do in the Midtown area along the Boardman River.

See GOOD: Urban Pastoral: Taking the city to the suburbs

And doesn't this sound like Traverse City:
Buena Vista gave the go-ahead, to the chagrin of some town old-timers who believed, as Katie used to, that all development was evil. They liked Buena Vista precisely because it never changed, so even smart growth was bad growth in their eyes

The idea of a downtown Traverse City whitewater park is not that crazy. See NorthernExpress: A Whitewater Park for Traverse City?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009