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Regional Downtown Summit Set for August 16

US-131 community leaders, businesses, non-profits, residents, and other stakeholders are invited to the Regional Downtown Summit on August 16 in Kalkaska, to learn about redevelopment approaches, community programs, and action steps in forming downtown revitalization efforts. The summit is being hosted by the Explore 131 North Committee and will include a facilitated working session at which community team members will develop a short-term action plan for their downtown. The keynote presentation will be made by Rob Bacigalupi, AICP, Principal of Mission North, LLC. The summit will be held Thursday, August 16 from 1:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the All Seasons Hotel & Resort, 760 S. Cedar St, Kalkaska.

Explore 131 North is a grassroots project spearheaded by local government and community leaders along the US-131 corridor, including Cadillac, Manton, Fife Lake, Kalkaska, Mancelona, Boyne Valley, Walloon Lake, and Petoskey. This initiative arose out of the US-131 Economic Development Strategy, a collaborative economic development approach that builds upon local and regional strengths to address important economic needs. Networks Northwest, a ten-county community development organization, is helping to facilitate this process.

Bring your community team! We encourage teams of five (or more) from each community. Teams will have time at the summit to apply and share various tools, strategies and actions for their downtowns.

The event is free, but please RSVP by August 10 to John Sych, Networks Northwest, at 231-929-5083 or


Our Township greatly benefits from Network Northwest's experience, depth of knowledge and understanding. Because they work with so many diverse communities in our ten-county region they understand the local land-use issues and are already working on solutions by the time we realize we need some help.

Susan Odom, Chair, Suttons Bay Township Planning Commission