In getting to know Ryan Leestma over the last couple of years, in the back of my mind was the idea that great things were to come. For too long and by far too many who've come to town, so many promises were made over so many years that I, like many others, kind of watched and wondered some. Projects of this size and scope get talked about a lot in Muskegon, but to see them come to fruition is a lesson in frustration that we've all had happen more than once over the years and the concern of so many was "here we go again". Ryan and his wife Emily have had to deal with an awful lot of those in question, but as winter's grip starts to loosen a little and the buildings...some finished, some going up are beginning to define the space, something special is happening in Muskegon, and it's becoming very apparent.
Heading down to meet up for the interview, I drove down Lakeshore Drive. I made sure to take notice of the visuals I saw along the way. From the furthest point the marina and docks are what comes in to view. While they are awaiting those who plan on utilizing the space for their boats to make the aesthetic perfect, it's pretty striking to see the future of a piece of lakefront that in all my time in Muskegon, I'd never even noticed. Peeking between the houses on my way up the street, more and more of the construction can be seen and to round the corner up to the office building, the massive amount of work can be seen by what's been taken out, cleaned up, built and currently under construction. Keep in mind, these are just the buildings.
In those buildings will house new business. Including The Muskegon Brewing Company which will return famed name back to our community in a partnership with Pigeon Hill. There will be a new events center, with a wedding already booked for this summer, believe it or not, and you'll find a delicious new restaurant coming along too to compliment the Bear Lake Tavern. While Ryan is busy building buildings, Dr. Leestma has found herself quite the restauranteur and the hospitality industry continues to grow and grow. Ibex Hospitality will be the name of the brands that handle the food and entertainment. Condo's are already sold in anticipation of the completion of the project, boat slips are being taken up and as things continue to thaw, being ahead of schedule is where things are. That's an incredible feat.
Behind the scenes, there's a summer full of events being planned too. From fishing tournaments to powerboat races and some secret things that can't be announced quite yet, as promised, the Leestma's are working to build a focal point of activity in Muskegon that will draw attention for everyone. From a ride on the bike path and a stop and look, to a bride hoping for one of the most picturesque settings imaginable, Adelaide Pointe is safely past the "what happens if" stage. Thoughts now should be "what happens when" and to see such a jewel coming along, allow for a sigh of relief. It's a major piece for all of us and an attraction that will welcome locals and visitors with open arms for decades to come. My thanks to Ryan and Emily for taking the time to share the happenings! Pretty good time to be alive in Muskegon.