Recent city & county growth.
First of all, I know you’re thinking about all of the changes happening nearby/ in town. As someone who grew up in cities, living in the U.P. is unlike anywhere else. As a kid, my family moved around and relocated every few years. It was always to a large city, namely a suburb. The town I hail from is much larger than Marquette. This was back in the 80s too, so it’s grown quite a bit since then. Through all of my travels, I notice the details in every spot. Large and small details alike. It’s interesting to compare the differences between different regions. Yet again, it’s also interesting to see a place you’re familiar with go through change. In some of the places I lived, we didn’t stay long enough to notice change from a time progression standpoint. But in Marquette, I have definitely noticed the dynamic progression of change over the past decade.
With that said, all of the change currently happening around us is exceptionally noticeable to many. It’s a big deal!
Visit a past post about changes in Marquette & the surrounding area.
Some of these changes include:
- a new hospital
- numerous new restaurants, breweries, cafes & shops, a Meijer & a re-branded Gander Outdoors
- enhanced Board of Light & Power (BLP) with new solar garden
- new hotels, renovations, updated facilities & additions (NMU, old orphanage, condominiums & apartment complexes)
- new Eagle Mine & the possibility of an Empire Mine re-opening
Furthermore, the amount of change in Marquette calls for a change in layout (already happening). Roads need expanding & altering, which in turn affects traffic patterns. More residential options (already happening, specifically apartments). Will we need more subdivisoion-like neighborhoods built?
Notably, one thing about Marquette County real estate that is unique is the architecture. The types & styles of homes are eclectic. The mix includes homes built en masse during certain periods like the turn-of-the-century and the 1970s. Ranches, A-frames, chalets as well as victorians are prevalent throughout the region. What’s more, another special aspect of development in our region is the repurposing of already existing buildings (the orphanage). It’s great to know that our community has a general appreciation for restoration. Amidst all the change, hopefully we can sustain the unique variety of architecture our area provides.
For more on architecture, check out the post covering “Aging Architecture of Marquette County.”
Out with the old, in with the new.
Some other, not so physical, changes are:
- a change in mentality
- America-wide culture change
What change in mentality, you ask? A quiet area in the middle of forests, the U.P. offers solitude & respite in, what is known to some as ‘God’s country.’ This paints a different picture than one of a bustling suburb. The U.P. has become more noticeable over the past decade. Naturally, with that comes curiosity among many. Ultimately, the change in mentality I’m referring to is a general desire for change in lifestyle of the average American. People want more outdoors, more peace, more purity. It seems like people want a more genuine experience throughout. There’s a yearning for a more organic, back-to-nature lifestyle; an escape from the hubbub of the busy American lifestyle. Will people find this in the Upper Peninsula?
Additionally, you may have noticed the number of nearly vacant malls. There’s two alone in Marquette! As far as an American-wide culture change goes, the mall eras have come and, aren’t gone yet, but perhaps will be soon. This change has been fostered by a shift in the way we buy products & where we buy them from. Today’s consumer wants products that are sustainably acquired or made. They want products that are unique, genuine, real. The ‘American mall’ environment does not fully cater to today’s consumer & how they want to purchase products.
For more information on store closures, visit Forbes.com.
To locals, the U.P. is a blissful gift-of-a-place to live. To others, it’s a treasure trove.
A few years back, Lonely Planet highlighted the U.P. as the #10 place for best in travel (2017). The Mining Journal discussed the ranking with Nicole Young, the executive director of the Marquette County Convention and Visitor’s Bureau. “We have been a great value destination for many years and have been working really hard with a lot of other groups to shine a light on the Upper Peninsula, and of course in our case, Marquette County’s natural assets,” says Young. Furthermore, from a tourism standpoint, Young explains, “We’re on track for a 5 percent increase this year.” To add, the article states that tourism between 2014 and 2015 increased by 10 percent.
Check out our blog post touching on this awesome mention, “Best Value Destination: Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.”
For more on change, check out this post, “Change in Marquette.”
A note on U.P. culture and its role in city growth.
Ultimately, the greatest thing that comes out of this type of change is opportunity. With more opportunity, there’s more room for growth and expansion on numerous levels. The heart & soul of the people isn’t changing, the landscape is. Nothing, not even new hospital builds and more ‘town shoppes’ can alter the Yooper way of life.
In general, residents of the Upper Peninsula are contious of the environment & acclimate with it, which helps form the backbone of Yooper culture & lifestyle. The culture we foster is one of lending a helping hand; one with an appreciation for our surroundings. There’s something else that sets Yoopers apart from the rest. That’s SISU.
SISU is a term, derived from Finnish culture. The Finnish culture is prevalent in the U.P. as 16% of Yoopers have a heritage that includes Finnish. (U.P. Supply Co. offers up an excellent description of SISU.) Not defined by one thing, the concept of SISU encompasses grit, determination & endurance to push through. Where success is against the odds, SISU overcomes adversity. Sticking to your guns even if it hasn’t worked in the past is a representation of this grim, gritty, courageous, resilient, hardy SISU. SISU is the Yooper way of life.
The culture & lifestyle make up the heart of the U.P.
One most obvious difference between the U.P. & a large city is the lifestyle. Secondly, the culture is unlike that of the fast-paced, always-on-the-go city culture. Thirdly, today more people are seeking a type of lifestyle similar to that which is prevalent in the U.P.
In conclusion, the city growth we’re experiencing will bring change, but not change that runs Yooper deep. If anything, the Yooper culture will enhance the growth we’re experiencing and will be embraced and adopted by many. SISU will prevail. So many aspects of society are affected by changes such as these. Let’s watch & see what happens. Let’s welcome those who want to embrace the Yooper way of life. How far can it go?
Some SISU information courtesy of Wikipedia.