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Economic development summit in DL Wednesday

Anywhere you look around Detroit Lakes, there’s construction, expansion, growth and development. And it’s just going to escalate over the next couple years.

The 2014 Growing at the Lakes Economic Development Summit is March 19 and will feature updates on the growth of the community, businesses in it, and upcoming projects.

From Detroit Mountain to downtown Washington Avenue reconstruction, the Heartland Trail to a housing study, Arvig to Ecumen, it will all be under the Holmes Ballroom roof on Wednesday.

“You’ll be getting all the information in one spot. They’re all eager to tell their story,” Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Carrie Johnston said of those presenting at the summit.

During past summits, there has been a main speaker or feature, but with all the growth going on in the next couple years, it seemed more fitting to just focus on all the local development.

“It’s just truly about the growth of Detroit Lakes,” Johnston said, adding that she couldn’t even include all the information pertaining to the roundabout project and the Highways 10 and 59 project. Those will have to come in next year’s economic summit.

“We can’t fit it all in in one morning,” she added with a laugh.

The City of Detroit Lakes representatives will discuss the results of a city housing study and touch on apartment buildings going up in the area. Developers Jim Buus and Brent Kuehne with Stonebrook Apartments LLP will be speaking about their new apartment building project as well.

The Washington Avenue project going on downtown this summer will also be discussed. The project includes “new road, new sidewalks, new streetscape,” Johnston said.

City Engineer Jon Pratt will talk about the project and how businesses and traffic are going to be affected.

Jeff Staley with the Detroit Mountain project will speak about the process at the mountain, which will be open later this year. Johnston said the ski lifts are ordered and being made, so Staley will have some interesting things to share about that.

“There is a lot of news coming out of that mountain,” she said. “It’s going to change Detroit Lakes and how we do business.”

Frazee Administrator Jon Smith will also be at the summit to talk about the developments around Frazee, including the Heartland Trail.

Representatives from M State will be on hand to talk about the changes on campus, and G.L. Tucker will talk about what kind of training the college can offer to businesses.

There will also be two businesses that will share their stories on their continued growth. Johnston said she’s always excited to hear business stories and how they got their start.

Ecumen and Arvig will be the two in the spotlight this year.

Representatives from Ecumen will share their “history and what Emmanuel means to the community and how healthcare has changed,” Johnston said.

Dave Pratt will talk about Arvig’s history and how much the local company has grown.

While all the growth is a good thing and will make the city better, Johnston said that the “underlying thing is the jobs this is bringing” to town.

The March 19 summit is from 8 to 11 a.m. in the Historic Holmes Ballroom. Tickets to the Economic Development Summit are $20 a person, which includes breakfast catered by La Barista. RSVPs need to be made to the chamber by Tuesday. Contact the chamber at 847-9202.

Follow Pippi Mayfield on Twitter @PippiMayfield.

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