2009-02-12 / News

Northern Michigan News Roundup

The news in brief from communities around the U.P. and northern Michigan
Compiled using information published in various community newspapers.

Proposed Theme Park Turned Down Near Grayling

With no proof that a developer could finance the project, a proposal to sell state land near Grayling for a theme park has been rejected by Michigan officials.

The ruling was announced Thursday, February 5, in Lansing.

A Rochester-based firm had proposed building a 1,400-acre park called Main Street America, to include roller coasters, water parks, and other attractions, but the developer has failed to show it could fund the project.

Supporters said the park would give the struggling northern Michigan economy a boost, while critics had questioned whether it could succeed.

- Petsokey News-Review

Residents Question Fate of U.P. State Fair

Officials from the Michigan Department of Agriculture led a meeting Thursday night, February 5, in front of a packed crowd at Bay College in Escanaba to discuss the future of the U.P. State Fair now that it will likely no longer receive state funding.

The fair will continue as it is through 2009, officials said, but they suggested forming a strong local group to decide whether to continue the fair through local efforts. Governor Jennifer Granholm officially announced cutting funding for Michigan's two state fairs in her State of the State address Tuesday, February 3.

The state-owned fairgrounds could be conveyed to another state entity through legislative action, while any private, for-profit agency would have to purchase it at fair market price, according to state law.

With local support, the U.P. State Fair could continue to operate, probably even under the same name, but outside the auspices of state government, meeting participants learned.

A U.P. State Fair Board meeting is set for February 20 to discuss making up a transition committee for fair leadership, and what entities may want to take over organizing the fair.

- Daily Press, Escanaba

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