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ADAWALK is proud to share with you our story in the Traverse City Record-Eagle for our upcoming job being installed this week at Bryant Park in Traverse City, MI. This is an exciting summer for us with our new release of the newly fabricated ADAWALK walkway systems and we would like to share all of the excitement with you!

Michigan Lake Products seeks national market, niche

By Carol Thompson / [email protected]

ELK RAPIDS - A push toward increasing public beach accessibility for people who use crutches, walkers or wheelchairs may help Michigan Lake Products break out of its seasonal business cycle.

"We're really banking on this helping out the company in a significant way," said Greg Welch, Michigan Lake Products general manager. "We think our potential for growth is really wide open at this point because of the potential market we're looking at with the walkway systems. We see it as a new venture that's on an upward growth curve. We're just looking to capture as much as possible."

Michigan Lake Products has offices in Indian River and Elk Rapids. It opened in 1990 after presidents Phil Welch and Jack McAvoy saw a need for fabricating, selling and installing dock systems, boat lifts and marine products in northern Michigan. Last year the company worked with the Disability Network of Northern Michigan to overhaul its vinyl walkway, which provides a rigid path for people to access public space on sand, snow and playgrounds. The company made the walkways easier to use and install.

"Not only have they created this product that allows people with disabilities access to the water, but they also have actually talked to our volunteers who use wheelchairs and have disabilities to figure out the best way to engineer their products, which is really nice that they're getting feedback from their customers to make sure the product's safe and it works well," said Disability Network Director of Development, Annie Campbell.

Campbell said an ADAWALK path will be installed in Traverse City's Bryant Park in June. It will be similar to the paths at Clinch Park and Traverse City State Park.

"ADAWALK is a harder surface so it's a little easier for people to use in wheelchairs if they're using their hands to move," Campbell said. "It also is able to have landing areas so people can hang out on the beach a little easier."

Welch said the market for such walkways is nationwide, so Michigan Lake Products could build them for markets in places with year-round warm weather beach recreation such as Florida and California. It could lead to more jobs and money for northern Michigan.

"Because there appears to be such a huge potential market for it, not just statewide but nationally, it's potentially going to be the product that takes Michigan Lake Products to the second-stage growth phase," he said.

Michigan Lake Products was recognized as one of the Michigan Top 50 Companies to Watch by Michigan Celebrates Small Business. Other local companies in the top 50 include Great Lakes Potato Chip Co., Hospitalists of Northern Michigan and MyNorth Media.