By Ron Rop
The primary purpose of the Muskegon Lumberjacks training camp was to build a roster for the next hockey season.
However, according to a formula approved by the Muskegon County Convention and Visitors Bureau, the camp infused an estimated $300,000 in the local economy.
More than 200 hockey players competed at L.C. Walker Arena in the six-day camp. Add in their families, scouts, NCAA Division 1 scouts and National Hockey League scouts, and the dollars spent in the area was significant.
“Not only is tryout camp a significant step in building next season’s team, it’s also a great way to stimulate business in the community that supports us,” said Lumberjacks owner/general manager Josh Mervis said. “Not every team in the USHL conducts its camp in its home market, but we feel it’s important to keep the money it generates here in Muskegon.”
Returning players, free agents and draft picks competed throughout the week for a shot at making the Jacks’ roster for the 2012-13 season. Those chosen for the team will return to Muskegon in late August for both off- and on-ice training. The regular season begins in late September.
The camp included players from throughout North America as well as several from overseas.
“I’d like to thank everyone who made tryout camp a success, from L.C. Walker Arena and Lumberjacks staff to the volunteers who donated their time,” said Mervis.