Editor’s Note: This article originally appeared on the Rural Innovation Exchange in April.

David Ollila is an innovator and entrepreneur driven by a passion for the outdoors with at least 16 patents. He was an outdoor recreation space entrepreneur for “a little over half of my life.”

His current passion project is the creation of an Innovation District that will build the outdoor recreation sector and connect it to Michigan’s mobility engine.

Shophouse Park’s mixed-use development concept and innovative approach targets Marquette’s Opportunity Zone and unique location in the Upper Peninsula, a proving ground for the outdoor recreation economy.

When fully realized, the Shophouse Park will include elements such as incubator facilities, long-term spaces for local makers, short-term rental spaces for established makers, and live-work facilities to support workers in the zone.

The Shophouse Park Innovation Center is expected to break ground in the next six to eight months. Orilla said many rural opportunities are being connected, including remote work, outdoor recreation, mobility, and smart, electrified trails connected to green buildings.

“My passion for the outdoors has always driven me to be an innovator and an entrepreneur,” says Orilla.
After spending some time in California, 52-year-old Orilla brought her innovative spirit and love of the outdoors to Michigan.

“It is a painful truth that when I come back to Marquette, there will be no better job for me in the UP than I could have had in California or Bentonville, Arkansas. What kind of citizen would I be if I didn’t try to improve the quality of life for my children and my community?”

Bentonville, Arkansas, perhaps the birthplace of Walmart and now known as the home of Walmart, has been reborn as a mecca for mountain biking. Orilla is passionate and respectful of how Bentonville has incorporated a world-class trail system into the bike’s construction. community. With over 40 miles of trails one block from downtown, you’ll have instant access to the 150-mile regional trail network that connects Bentonville and the rural community. He was there last week on a family vacation for spring break.

“People will move away from cars,” he says. “I rarely see people riding bicycles without smiling.” David Orilla recently went mountain biking in Arkansas.

Orilla’s passion for the possibilities open to rural communities remains strong today, and we are committed to investing in innovation in outdoor recreation spaces. His Shophouse The development of his park is well underway, and he describes the “universal support” he has received at the state level. Also a long-term strategic vision is the local opportunity to create innovation districts for setting up companies in local communities.

“The message is that outdoor recreation is a major industry, not a game,” he says.

Statewide, we are interested in expanding the economic impact of the outdoor recreation industry.

The recent Michigan Outdoor Summit, the first of its kind, was held with the goal of expanding the outdoor industry and expanding the user base of the state’s abundant outdoor recreational resources.

Previewed at the Michigan Outdoor Summit to strengthen the recreation industry, the March event brought together a diverse group of hunters, fat-tired bikes, kayakers, entrepreneurs, advocacy groups, state government departments and more.

Brad Garmon, director of the Michigan Department of Outdoor Recreation Industry, which operates within the state’s Department of Natural Resources, said it was important to provide local community entrepreneurs with a place to sit at the table ahead of the event in Traverse City. I was.

“We found a lot of ideas coming out of Market, Houghton and others, especially in rural communities,” he pointed out. “The products are launched there and we can see what they’re doing and what’s incubating with them.”

In the wake of remote work: If you could live anywhere and “commute” to your office via Zoom or Microsoft Teams, who wouldn’t want to live in one of the state’s abundant recreational areas? Your commute will be by bike as far as the air permits, and will take you four miles (4 miles) along Lake Superior. He believes there will come a time when access and remote work will be the norm, rural economies will be five days a week, and people will go to cities for entertainment.

“People find the quality of life in the Michigan market to be very high, especially if they work remotely and have above average incomes. You can go back there.”

About electrification: “Michigan has a great strength in the auto or mobility sector,” Orilla said. “It’s not just the way we move…we’ve seen bikes go electrified. Snowmobiles, ATVs, UTVs and the types of products we use outdoors are going to be electrified. This is a great opportunity for Michigan. It connects the rural UP with tens of thousands of miles of trails, but only a few miles of interstates.… The UP is better connected to snowmobile trails than highways.

“Applying the trail network’s recreational assets to the mobility sector presents a better opportunity than any other state for the symbiosis of the automotive and recreational sectors.

“Everything old was reimagined, and the biggest limitation to the adoption of outdoor recreational vehicles was on the motorized side. If you don’t, it opens up a new market and a new set of users.

For recreational and automotive pairing: “In Michigan, the auto industry is so strong that it drives our civil engineering,” Orilla says. “We now realize that mobility itself is a massive opportunity for reinvention. In terms of quality of life, recreation turns the way we live upside down.”

Our commitment to investing in innovation in the outdoor recreation industry lies in the power that connects Michigan’s two peninsulas. The Lower Peninsula has a strong automobile manufacturing infrastructure, while the Upper Peninsula has abundant recreational grounds with an established trail network.

How? “Simply put, we need to do a lot of low-fidelity experiments at low cost to get people interested in innovation,” says Orilla.

He cites southeastern Michigan as where this connection sparks. mobility industry.

“The biggest growth in electric vehicles will be in the outdoor recreation sector,” says Ollila. “For a large portion of the population, their first experience won’t be in a car that sells for $75,000 or $100,000. It will be a motorcycle or an ATV. And they will become fans, and their next car will be electric.” .”

Why it’s the right time: “Covid has taken us 100 years back and 20 years ahead. It accelerated many things. It raised the philosophical question of what is important in life. Fresh air, exercise and the earth that sustains us are very important. ”

Source link

By admin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *