TRAVERSE CITY — Of all of the partnerships Trevor Tkach has been most appreciative of in his 5 years as president and CEO of Traverse City Tourism, it’s his group’s four-season alliance with Mother Nature.
The day-to-day, month-to-month, season-to-season modifications she brings to her nice outside — to her meandering pathways and shorelines, to her ever-growing forests and falling leaves, to her inviting waters — delivers an entire new definition to the phrase. It is innovation although preserving the established order.
Yes, there are occasions when paving one in every of her pathways is perhaps thought of innovation. There are different occasions when constructing a bridge over one in every of her rivers is perhaps thought of the identical. And there are occasions when pruning one in every of her forests is an modern necessity to sustaining a wholesome development sample.
But, simply as importantly, there are occasions when leaving her alone so she will be able to do her personal factor is probably the most modern factor mankind can do, making it a partnership, a calling card to the Grand Traverse County and surrounding area.
“It is the natural splendor of the region that is paramount, above all others,” stated Tkach. “It starts with the Great Lakes, it starts in that fresh water and the accessibility to it and what’s grown up all around it. I think it’s been a little bit of a mix now as we have developed as a destination that’s thoughtful with an appreciation for our assets that fit with the natural resources that already exist.”
Tkach stated realizing when not to develop an space of land, versus laying down parking tons and erecting properties and companies, is vital to sustaining a wholesome and environmentally-inviting surrounding. And in defending Mother Nature’s household album, he stated — the waterways, dunes, trails, forests and a lot extra — in its personal method, is a matter of being modern.
“I like to know our area,” he stated. “I strive to get out in it, and perceive it, and clarify it. I like taking the children out on the paths.
“I have to tell you, one of the best gifts to my family was the pandemic, because I think we were hitting the trail every weekend. We don’t spend a lot of time as a family unit, but when the pandemic hit — and us being a family involved in sports — we spent a lot of time on those trails.
“My kids play travel sports right now and we’re on the road a lot,” stated Tkach. “I have to say I probably wouldn’t know a lot about the Mott Preserve down south of Frankfort if it wasn’t for the pandemic, so I guess I gotta’ say it wasn’t all bad during the pandemic, because I learned a little bit during that I might not otherwise (have learned).”
Tkach stated he and others at Traverse City Tourism, together with different companies, organizations and folks they accomplice with to promote the realm, stated sustaining steadiness between growing the realm, and preserving its pure magnificence, stay on the high of their collective lists.
“We’re very environmentally conscious,” he stated. “There’s a lot of things that we, as a destination — currently and I think moving forward — are thoughtful about: to make sure we have clean water, to make sure we are well-balanced and that we aren’t over-developed, or developed in a way that it would potentially ruin our natural resources. I think we’ve been real thoughtful about that, especially in our recent history as a region.
“Now, we’re not trying to exploit what we have, we are trying to preserve and conserve the space that we have and to build a place here that really draws attention to the natural resources, not only to visitors, but to locals as well,” stated Tkach. “You just want it (all) to fit. I think we’ve been really good about not over-exploiting our space here.
“I think there are a lot of dimensions to it. One is you’re trying to encourage year-round, or, as I like to say, we try to spread demand over 365 days. A lot of visitors really want to be here in July, or August, but really this area is beautiful year-round and so much different each season. So, one of the things we try to do at Traverse City Tourism is to consider other times to visit, so it’s more enjoyable as a visitor, but it’s also sustainable as a destination.”