We love to single out our quiet Lakeshore community, bragging about our beaches, our schools and the quality of life it affords.
Grouping us in with Grand Rapids is almost like stealing our identity.
But dig a little deeper, and we learn that this move is one that could lead to tremendous benefits to West Michigan.
One of the biggest boosts is that, with the two areas merged together, the population jumps to well over 1 million people — and, according to economists, that’s a key number. Big businesses looking to relocate will often bypass any region that doesn’t top 1 million people.
This immediately makes Grand Rapids and its surrounding communities a much more viable option for new business, which would boost our local economy.
When those new companies come to town, the employees they bring with them need a place to live — and Grand Haven, Spring Lake and other Lakeshore communities have plenty of wonderful things to offer those families. Like some of the state’s top schools, safe neighborhoods in which to raise their children and beautiful surroundings.
While being grouped with Grand Rapids might mean we miss out on being named to the next "best beaches" list by some obscure travel publication, we feel it’s a fair trade-off if the merging of our statistical areas brings more business to town.
Besides, we don’t need statistics to know that our community is one of the most special places to live in our great state.
Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung, Alex Doty and Fred VandenBrand. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to email@example.com or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.