Stamas completes 2016 Heritage Route 23 Legislative Tour

Sen. Jim Stamas and several state and local officials recently completed a two-day legislative tour of Heritage Route 23.

“My goal in leading this successful tour was to bring attention to Michigan’s sunrise side and to better engage state leaders with the community on local issues critical to the region,” said Stamas, R-Midland. “This hands-on tour offered us a unique chance to bring together multiple state department directors, tourism officials and economic development leaders to see what northeastern Michigan has to offer, promote tourism in the region and help improve the area economy.”

Beginning at Wheeler’s Restaurant in Standish, the tour traveled 200 miles along the U.S. 23 Heritage Route from Standish to Mackinaw City — finishing with a stop at the Icebreaker Mackinaw Maritime Museum.

In addition to seeing the museum in Mackinaw City with Sen. Wayne Schmidt, R-Traverse City, and Travel Michigan Vice President Dave Lorenz, some of the tour highlights included:

  • Visiting a Standish grain elevator and Alpena dairy farm with MDARD Director Jamie Clover Adams;
  • Checking out the 40 Mile Point Lighthouse in Rogers City with DNR Director Bill Moritz;
  • Seeing the MidMichigan Medical Center in Alpena with Michigan DHHS Director Nick Lyon;
  • Attending the “Good Morning Alpena” breakfast at the Brown Trout Festival; and
  • Touring a veterans office in Rogers City with Margaret O’Brien, R-Portage, chair of the Senate Veterans, Military Affairs and Homeland Security Committee.

Also joining Stamas on the tour were Rep. Peter Pettalia, R-Presque Isle; Rep. Joel Johnson, R-Clare; Rep. Brad Jacobsen, R-Oxford; DEQ Director Keith Creagh; and numerous other officials from state and local government.

Heritage Route 23 along Lake Huron is one of Michigan’s hidden gems. Families can experience spectacular lake views, check out numerous historical and cultural sites and enjoy a wide variety of recreational opportunities — from relaxing on miles of beaches to staying at one of more than 50 area campgrounds to visiting one of many historic lighthouses.

To discover more information on Heritage Route 23, visit

Pure Michigan Winter Fun

Michigan winter tourism is an important part of our state economy and a way of life for millions of residents. Winter activities draw more than 110 million tourists to Michigan each year — generating more than $37 billion in business.

If you are looking for something to do in Michigan’s winter wonderland, there is no shortage of options. Michigan offers more than 6,500 miles of snowmobile trails, 3,000 miles of cross country skiing trails, and 51 downhill ski areas featuring 260 lifts and 1,000 runs.

A great place to start in planning a winter excursion is The Pure Michigan site offers helpful information and useful links on everything from skiing to ice fishing and from dog sledding to snowshoeing.

One link on the page directs visitors to the Michigan Snowsports Industries Association website, The site features information on money-saving programs, ski equipment and lodging. One especially useful link offers updated information for residents on ski and snow conditions at Michigan resorts, as well as details on amenities.

You can also download the latest Ski Michigan pamphlet, a full-color information guide to Michigan ski resorts.

To help plan your winter adventure, residents can also check out the Pure Michigan Winter Travel Guide. It is packed full of great ideas and information to make your family trip a memorable one.

Winter is a great chance to introduce young kids to new experiences and activities or help foster a new interest in the enjoyment of Michigan’s great outdoors.

Getting to Know… Sen. Wayne Schmidt

Why did Sen. Wayne Schmidt have to get rid of his first car, a 1971 Olds Vista Cruiser station wagon? What is his advice about cell phones at dinner?

Learn about these questions and more as Sen. Schmidt, R-Traverse City, opens up about the influences in his life and enjoying life growing up and living in Northern Michigan.

The light-hearted interview is the latest installment of the Michigan Senate Republican Blog’s “Getting to Know You” series.