GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (WOOD) — Businesses in Grand Haven prepared for a busy weekend ahead of Memorial Day.
As boats cruised near Lake Michigan on a sunny Friday, business picked up for shops in downtown Grand Haven.
“For us, it’s a big weekend. I mean, this is kind of the kickoff to summer,” said Caleb Berko, manager of MACkite, a store in Grand Haven that sells toys, games, clothing and kites. “The Christmas season was good for us here, but in a tourist place, you start to slow down January, February. It gets cold (and) all the tourists leave. You’ve got the locals who will come and see you, but we’re really anticipating getting back to being busy.”
Berko said the process of getting ready for Memorial Day weekend — and the weeks that follow — began months ago.
“We’ve got a couple of trade shows that we’re hitting up as we get closer to summer,” Berko said. “So yeah, our store is full, we’ve got tons of product in.”
Across the street at Kilwins Grand Haven, employees were preparing to serve up a lot of sweet treats as people honor the holiday.
“We ordered about 115 tubs of ice cream coming into this weekend. So our freezer is stocked full,” said Paige Wilson, a shift lead at Kilwins Grand Haven.
Wilson said events like nearby Rib Fest also help business. As of Friday afternoon, they had already seen more visitors.
“Plenty of families out here. I think we’ve got some kids out on a field trip, it looks like,” Wilson said. “So we’ve seen a lot of people up and down the strip today.”
Whether people are in Grand Haven to shop, dine or visit the beach this weekend, businesses said they all benefit from each other.
“I think people really enjoy walking in this area and the businesses being so close to the restaurants. People sit down to eat and they can see our store and come in after they eat,” said Eva Taylor, manager of Grand Haven Big Fish stores. “And I think that’s amazing.”
All three businesses expected the momentum to continue through the summer months.