Editorial: Merchandising at Stearns Park is a welcome addition

June 30, 2023

Editorial: Merchandising at Stearns Park is a welcome addition

Editorial by Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief

Allowing the concessionaires who have the contract at Stearns Park to sell merchandise at the concessions would seem like it should be a non issue. After all, it’s a concession stand and it’s meant to make money. The taxpayers of the City of Ludington are getting a great deal, allowing the concessionaires to sell and rent various items from the south and north stands, along with a kiosk in the center of the park, in exchange for cleaning the park’s bathrooms. This is normally an expense that costs the city (the taxpayers) between $15,000 to $20,000 a year. In exchange, the concessionaires have had to start a business from the ground up. The buildings came with zero equipment and inventory. 

Lara and Zack Webster have freshened the concession stands up and made them look livelier — like a beach! Our community needs more young entrepreneurial adults to invest here and stay here.

Now, the other part of this editorial:

An article posted earlier today included an interview with Jamie Loney, the man who has raised his opposition to the concessionaires, Lara and Zack Webster, from placing a shed near the south concession stand in order to sell merchandise. Loney, a resident and businessman in the city, doesn’t like the look of the shed or the idea of the concessionaires selling merchandise. He is certainly entitled to his opinion. 

It seems that many others have opinions as well, as expressed on our Facebook page. Of those opinions, some thought our article leaned more in favor of Mr. Loney’s side of the story because we did not interview the Websters. Truth be told, this author did not interview the Websters because their side of the story was well presented in the minutes and reports from previous city council and committee meetings. Personally, I feel the addition of the shed is not an eyesore and the selling of merchandise is a great idea. We live in a free market society. Bring on competition. 

The article pointed out Mr. Loney’s concerns and then pointed out the plans that Websters’ have presented to committee and council. It also included comments from the city manager and city councilors — all fairly favorable towards the Websters’ endeavor. It also included one other person’s opinion against the merchandise shed and the observations of the executive director the Sable Points Lighthouse Keepers Association, as presented in a meeting. Additionally, the article included several comments made by Lara and Zack Webster at various city meetings. 

It’s easy to think a story is one-sided when you don’t take the time to read the entire story.




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