Congressmen Dan Benishek and Bill Huizenga spent Friday and Saturday on area snowmobile trails to promote Michigan's outdoor economy and meet with constituents.
Rep. Huizenga (R) of Michigan's 2nd District said that they developed the idea for the ride a few years ago when access to snowmobile trails was threatened.
"It really came from some people down in Ann Arbor who didn't understand the impact that winter sports has to the local economies up here, so we wanted to highlight that and got a great response, so we've been trying to keep it up every year," said Rep. Huizenga.
Rep. Benishek (R) of Michigan's 1st District spoke with UpNorthLive about the economic impact that outdoor activities have on Michigan.
"The outdoor economy in Michigan brings $19 billion in economic activity to this state and over 100,000 jobs, so anything we can do to promote that is great," said Rep. Benishek.
In addition to promoting Michigan's outdoor economy, the tour also provided a chance for constituents to voice their concerns to the congressmen in person.
"Holding townhall meetings, and meet-and-greets, and those kinds of things is really giving people an opportunity to access their government," said Rep. Huizenga. "Last night, I had a lady hand me a list, literally, she goes, 'I know we don't have much time to talk now, but here's what I'm concerned about,' you know, and it's those kinds of things that we're able to do that normally you can't, so when you're spending some time doing these townhall meetings in some smaller, out of the way places, I think people really appreciate it."
Rep. Huizenga began the tour in White Cloud and was joined by Rep. Benishek in Chase. The representatives wrapped up the snowmobile ride late Saturday afternoon in Beulah.