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Marie Havenga • Jul 21, 2015 at 12:56 PM

More than 90 managers and their families are expected to attend the Michigan Local Government Management Association's summer workshop.

Besides educational lectures and programs at the Holiday Inn, Village Manager Chris Burns said attendees will hit the beach, take paddleboard lessons, compete in a volleyball tournament, ride local bike paths and pump up local businesses. Managers will tour the water pumping station at the Grand Haven State Park, the lighthouse and a local candy factory, and take in a Musical Fountain performance.

Burns estimates an influx of more than 200 people.

“We hope that means a lot of extra dollars in their (local businesses) till,” she said. “While we're in session doing the educational aspects, the families are out shopping, exploring and spending money in the community.”

According to a Michigan State University study, a family of four staying for two nights will spend an average of $640 on lodging, dining, gas and souvenirs, said local Chamber of Commerce President Joy Gaasch.

“It's always an absolutely wonderful thing when we can showcase our community to other city managers and other people in a conference setting,” Gaasch said. “Once they come here and experience our community, they'll be back.”

The conference runs through Friday. Burns said many attendees have chosen to stay in local hotels and campgrounds through the weekend.

Burns hopes it becomes habit forming.

“Hopefully they will think it's a really cool place and want to come back,” she said. “Hopefully it becomes a stopover on their summer vacation schedule. We're trying to make sure everyone knows where Spring Lake is and what we have to offer.”

To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

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