Friday, August 14, 2009

Lake St. Clair Initiative plans lake marketing efforts

By Chad Halcom

A nonprofit organization in Macomb County expects to launch a Web site within weeks to help foster tourism businesses and economic development for Lake St. Clair, one of its organizers and directors said.

Harrison Township-based Lake St. Clair Initiative Inc., a 501(c)(6) business organization also known as The Lake St. Clair Tourism Initiative, hopes to have the Web site active by mid-to-late August, said Stephen Remias, a founder and board member of the initiative and president of MacRay Harbor Inc.

Remias and Eric Foster, owner of rival marina company Belle Maer Harbor in Harrison Township, are both directors on the initiative board.

Other directors in the initiative include representatives of the Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development and the Michigan Boating Industries Association.

The Lake St. Clair Initiative, incorporated last October, hopes to use the Web site along with promotional events and other programs to foster business development on or near the lake. No URL address is selected as yet for the new site, Remias said.

“But even if you Google local boat companies, or places to rent a Jet Ski- style watercraft, you can’t always find them,” Remias said. “Some of that is just a limited number of those services, and we want to help with that too, but there’s also a visibility issue.”

Remias said the initiative will try to foster both tourist attraction and related businesses on the lake such as personal watercraft and parasailing operations, and recreational boating. Later, some general business development will follow in communities along the lake.

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