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‘Outdoorspreneurs’ needed for new business opportunities at Michigan state parks

LANSING, MICH. — Boat rentals, bike rentals, camp stores and food trucks are among the Michigan state park business opportunities currently available to ‘outdoorpreneurs’ through the Department of Natural Resources.

The Michigan DNR this week announced nearly two dozen concessionaire opportunities at state parks spanning from Detroit to the western Upper Peninsula. These concessionaire businesses offer goods and services not provided by state park staff, and are instead contracted to outside partners.

Lori Green, concession and lease manager for the DNR, said that operating a state park concessions service includes perks like not paying property taxes and, in many cases, built-in infrastructure.

Green also said that the DNR is always open to new ideas for concessions at state parks. A new map tool on the DNR’s concessions bidding information website now allows potential partners to see the locations of concessions already operating in a particular state park, to find out

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Justin Scott, director of information technology at Hornady Manufacturing, attended the event.

“As I came aboard (Career Pathways Institute) and started serving on the IT technical advisory board, the relationships with GISH’s Scott Fox started to grow (through student job shadowing),” Scott said. Fox is a business teacher at Career Pathways Institute.

“Hornady has graciously allowed us to foster and develop a program where we will work with Mr. Fox, who provides a great array of students with whom we will interview, select and hire (as real world employees) and allow them to be a part of the operations of a hometown company that is doing business around the world,” he said.

Scott said having local students and a local business involved is “a real value-fit that allows kids to explore a career path while being guided and surrounded by business professionals.”

Neil Wardyn, virtual chief technology officer and business

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