U.P. economy steams ahead to the holidays

The holiday season is officially underway, but that doesn't mean the pace of businesses in the U.P. is slowing -- quite the opposite.


Accelerate Michigan has good showing from Michigan Tech


Two Michigan Tech professors won big at this year's Accelerate Michigan competition, securing half a million dollars for their startups.


Top prize for the whole competition, which is for startup development and innovation, was won by Brad King, a mechanical engineering professor. His Orbion Space Technology business took home $500,000 in cash and $39,000 in services, which will allow the aerospace-industry startup to develop more quickly.


Another MTU professor, Yoke Khin Yap, won Accelerate Michigan's "Up and Comer Award," which consists of over $30,000 in cash and services. Yap, in the physics department at Michigan Tech in Houghton, developed StabiLux Biosciences, which creates products for the bioscience field.


In the student division of Accelerate Michigan, Makerhub was a finalist, as an app that connects 3-D printers and those who need parts created. In total, three Michigan Tech startups went to the semi-finals, and three student Tech teams were semi-finalists in the student division.


Sault canal trail launches Public Spaces crowdfunding campaign


A campaign from Sault Ste. Marie has launched on crowdfunding platform Patronicity to build a new trail to improve walkability and waterfront access.


The Power Canal Trail is projected to be a one-mile, multi-use trail that connects parts of the historic community along Michigan's only hydroelectric canal. The goal of the campaign is to raise the $50,000 needed to secure a matching grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. If funded, the trail would create a path along the south border of the canal for non-motorized travel and an alternative to city streets. It would connect dense residential areas to resources like grocery stores, the library, parks, downtown and other venues.


The trail proposal is part of the Public Spaces Community Places initiative from the MEDC, and has a deadline for its goal, of January 7. For more information on the trail and how to donate, visit the campaign here.


Chicago-style pizza comes to the Sault


According to the Sault EDC blog, a new pizza place, North of Chicago Pizza is open in Sault Ste. Marie.


Owner Justin Fisher emphasizes locally-sourced goods and products, and there's no compromising on taste, either. Fisher aims to offer up genuine Chicago-style, deep-dish pizza in the U.P.


The EDC says as North of Chicago opens, it adds about 10 jobs to the area, and also serves hand-tossed pizzas, Italian beef sandwiches and cudighi, pasta, and salads. Online ordering, curb-side pickup and delivery services all are offered.


Resort near ski hill opens for winter in Marquette


While Marquette saw a lot of construction this fall, one new addition is looking ahead to the winter season in particular.


Rippling River Resort is located next door to Marquette Mountain, and plans to be open year-round. It offers an array of lodging, from rustic tent campsites to RV sites, to luxury cabins. The cabins are named after famous Upper Peninsula-related people, and boast wi-fi, cable, and master bedrooms.


During the winter, the resort plans to add 14 more cabins to the existing ones, to welcome spring and summer tourists to Marquette.


Nestled between the ski hill for winter visitors and the South Marquette trailhead for summer visitors, Rippling River Resort should see good success with each season.

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