Local Economy

Support for Local Economy

Supporting Local Economy

We at Great Lakes Endurance believe in supporting local economies. We specifically aim to build local economy based upon silent sport tourism. We believe that this type of economy is far more sustainable, both environmentally and economically, than extractive industries and motorized recreation. Both of the latter create air and water pollution. Motorized recreation also creates noise pollution and undesirable social effects. These negative side effects are rarely included in economic benefits analysis.

Silent sport enthusiasts visit local communities and enjoy local trails and coastal wilderness with minimal to no impact. There is no noise pollution, exhaust, or litter. Wildlife habitat is not destroyed. Yet, there is a positive economic impact on local hotels, restaurants, and merchants.

How Do We Support Local Economies?

We support the local economies of communities in which we hold our events in three ways:

1)  Attracting runners from a wide geographical range outside the community who spend money on lodging, food, and services.

2)  Purchasing goods & service for our event locally.

3)  Making donations to local groups which promote land conservancy, environmental education or silent sport trail advocacy.

Attracting Runners from a Diverse Geographic Range

Our events draw on a wide geographic range of participants. In 2008 we attracted 1533 runners from 31 different states.  Details by event are summarized in the table below.

Geographical Representation for Great Lakes Endurance Events in 2008







La Demi



# Runners









# States









This not only makes for a great diversity of runners it also boosts local economies because these individuals stay for multiple nights in local hotels, eat several meals at area restaurants, take local cruise trips, and purchase outdoor gear, artwork, souveniers, and gasoline. Our events contributed approximately $1.5 million to the local communities in which they were held including Munising, Copper Harbor, and Paradise in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and Baraboo and the Navarino area in Wisconsin.

Purchasing Local Goods & Services

In addition we purchase food, services, supplies, and awards and many of our supplies locally.  The table below summarizes what we purchase in the five communities in which we hold events.

Summary of locally purchased goods & services by GLE in event communities.


Items Purchased Locally

Keweenaw Area

Pottery for awards from Seven Cranes Pottery in Pelkie, wild fruit preserves from the Jampot in Eagle Harbor, local organic honey from Cloverland Apiary in Calumet, organic and local food from the Keweenaw Co-op in Hancock, food service from the Keweenaw Mountain Lodge in Copper Harbor, bus service from Kermit’s Kids in Eagle River, Use Permit from Ft. Wilkins State Park.

Navarino Area

Elk & buffalo meat from Navarino Elk & Buffalo Ranch, whole grain - flax buns from Mast Bakery in Bonduel, 120 lbs of cheese from Oak Grove Dairy in Clintonville, honey from Westphal Apiary in Clintonville.

Baraboo Area

Organic vegetables & fruit from Four Elements Farm in Baraboo, food preparation and catering from Java Cafe in Baraboo, Apple Cider from Ski-Hi Orchards in Baraboo, 125 lbs of cheese from Cedar Grove Cheese in Plain, medical safety coverage from Baraboo Area Ambulance, Use Permit from Devil’s Lake State Park.

Munising Area

Ferry boat services from Grand Island Ferry, bus transportation from Altran in Munising, porta-johns from Northern Septic in Gwinn, tent rental from Mason’s Tent Rental in Munising, pottery for awards from Open Wings Studio in Munising, organic food for Grand Island Trail Marathon from the Marquette Food Co-op, catering services from Coco’s Restaurant in Marquette, Use Permit from the U.S. Forest Service - Munising Ranger Station..

Paradise Area

Wild blueberry pastries from local chef in Paradise, bus service from Whitefish Township Schools, Porta-johns from Ron’s Johns in Newberry.

Charitable Giving

In addition to purchasing goods and services GLE makes donations to local groups which work toward land conservation, environmental education, and sustainable trail construction & maintenance.

Summary of Charitable Donations made by GLE to groups in event communities.


Recipients of Donations

Keweenaw Area

CHIA (Local trail advocacy, construction, & maintenance), Michigan Nature Association (Keweenaw Chapter), The Nature Conservancy.

Navarino Area

Navarino Nature Center

Baraboo Area

River Crossing Environmental Middle School

Munising Area

Munising Central Elementary School (science & environmental education), Native Plant Restoration on Grand Island.

Paradise Area

Whitefish Township School (environmental education).