Business Highs and Lows
Muskegon has a very high unemployment rate….over 15%….although in the past it has always been above the national average. As the industrial base declined….no new industries or business sectors could replace that lost base. While Muskegon does have lovely Lake Michigan beaches….it is not Traverse City ( the desirable vacation area in Michigan). Here’s what I observed:
The largest employer is Alcoa Howmet. Howmet uses Titanium investment casting to manufacture turbine blades for use in aerospace and industrial gas turbine blades. The origins of Howmet date back to 1951. Since jet engine technology is always advancing….this company will be in the area for many years. Alcoa was recognized by Fortune magazine as the world’s most admired metals company….very nice for the community.
- Some restaurants were packed. It’s the summer season. Golden Corral has a business model to bring in the customers. Would I return, No!
- One of our favorite restaurants was less than full….the quality has deterioted. There is absolutely no reason for not putting out a good product.
- Wal-Mart and Meijer (the Midwest Wal*Mart competitor) Supercenters were doing well.
- There was new building taking place, though many buildings old and new were vacant.
- The housing market is at a very low level….too much inventory….not enough buyers.
- Regardless of the economy….people seem to be persevering….it must be the solid Midwest values.
While we won’t return as often as we have in the past….I still read The Chronicle everyday….check the Big Lake out….and always hope times will be better in Muskegon.