Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Muskegon camp helps local economy

More than 200 hockey players competed at L.C. Walker Arena in last week’s Muskegon Lumberjacks tryout camp, but the Muskegon community was the big winner.

Approximately $300,000 was infused into the local economy as players, families, scouts, officials and fans converged upon downtown Muskegon from June 11-17. The estimated total was determined using a formula approved by the Muskegon County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

“Not only is tryout camp a significant step in building next season’s team, it’s also a great way to stimulate business in the community that supports us,” said Lumberjacks owner/general manager Josh Mervis. “Not every team in the USHL conducts its camp in its home market, but we feel it’s important to keep the money it generates here in Muskegon.”

Lumberjacks veterans, draft picks and free agents competed over the course of seven days for the right to make the United States Hockey League franchise’s 2012-13 roster. The players who made the team will return in late August for training camp, which will also be conducted at L.C. Walker Arena.

This year’s tryout camp featured players from all over North America, plus a handful from overseas as well.

Scouts from several NCAA Division I schools (including Michigan and Michigan State) and NHL teams also made the trip to West Michigan to scope out the talent.

“I’d like to thank everyone who made tryout camp a success, from L.C. Walker Arena and Lumberjacks staff to the volunteers who donated their time,” said Mervis.

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