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Connecting the Dots: Michigan’s Outdoor Recreation & Mobility Industries

With the return of the annual CAR MBS in Traverse City, Traverse Connect seized the opportunity to convene stakeholders from across the state for a roundtable discussion on the intersection of Michigan’s outdoor recreation, electrification, and mobility industries.

Speaking to the importance of working together to push Michigan to the forefront of innovation in these industries, the roundtable kicked off with comments from Executive Director of MICHauto, Glenn Stevens; President of Crystal Mountain, Chris MacInnes; and President and CEO of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), Quentin Messer. Leading organizations from across the state in attendance included representatives from the Michigan Outdoor Recreation Industry Office, the Office of Future Mobility and Electrification, Polaris as well as many local players including TART Trails, Elk Rapids Marina, Hagerty, Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore and more.

The MEDC’s most recent strategic plan targets automotive manufacturing, e-mobility and electrification as strategic industries to develop. They also highlight outdoor recreation as a statewide strength, championing the business development case where e-mobility and outdoor recreation meet. As the lead organization of economic development in Region 2, Traverse Connect is working closely with the MEDC and the other economic development collaboratives to bring new enterprises to the state that are at the forefront of mobility and electrification technology, provide them with a test bed for their new technologies, facilitate key partnerships and introductions, navigate state infrastructure, and assist with site selection for company offices and headquarters.

Through the discussion, attendees emphasized the potential of Michigan’s existing trail systems and corridors, the importance of statewide e-mobility infrastructure and connectivity, opportunities for pilot projects, and more.

This week’s roundtable was a key first step in uniting public, private, and nonprofit efforts across the state to make Michigan a leader in outdoor and mobility innovation. Together, these strategic partnerships will provide a wholistic approach to the policy, positioning, projects, and people necessary to drive future-focused innovation in Michigan.