UP State Fair Authority receives $1M donation from Besse Foundation

ESCANABA, Mich. (WLUC) - The Delta County Chamber of Commerce announced Thursday morning that the U.P. State Fair Authority has received a $1,000,000 donation from the John and Melissa Besse Foundation.

These funds will be used to construct a new Commerce Center building and parking area on the U.P. State Fairgrounds, at the corner of Lincoln Road and 9th Avenue North. The new Commerce Center building will be the location for the Delta County Commerce Center and U.P. State Fair office, and include a Visitor’s Information center, space for an Upper Peninsula Veterans Museum, and the Webster Marble “Creating the Outdoors” Museum. The Delta County Commerce Center includes the Delta County Chamber of Commerce, Bays de Noc Convention and Visitor’s Bureau, Delta County Economic Development Alliance, and Builders Exchange.

“After many years of discussion, analysis and planning, moving the Delta County Commerce Center to a more visible and accessible location on US 2 & 41 and M-35 will improve promotion of economic development, commercial interests, tourism and enhance the history and heritage of Delta County,” stated Dave Rivard, Chairman of the Delta County Board of Commissioners and member of the U.P. State Fair Authority.

The building, which will honor Upper Peninsula Veterans, is planned to use very high efficiency construction techniques to minimize costs to operate the building. Construction is scheduled to begin after the 2018 U.P. State Fair in August.

“Since 2005, the John and Melissa Besse Foundation has made meaningful contributions that make a difference in peoples’ lives. Because of the philanthropic giving of the foundation, some of the community’s most pressing health care, education, and community development needs have been fulfilled. We are grateful to the foundation and the Besse family for considering the project worthy of this generous gift and support,” said Vickie Micheau, Executive Director of the Delta County Commerce Center.

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