Everyone’s always looking for a way to diversify the UP’s economy, to branch out from the tourism and mining that defines us today.
Most people would think of ideas like high tech or logistical firms, but I’d like to propose an idea. It’s kind of out there, so bear with me, but I think it could be really big.
Yeah, I know, but hear me out. What’s the plot of every single Hallmark Channel movie?– A city girl or guy goes to a quirky small town and falls in love.
And what do we have an abundance of in the UP? Quirky small towns.
And in case either you or the executives at the Hallmark Channel aren’t yet convinced, here are a couple of movie plots that you could shoot in the UP.
Like “Trenary Toast,” where the fate of an historic school rests on an outhouse race between a local teacher and someone who races them professionally.
Or how about “Love Letters,” in which a researcher looking for linguistic quirks visits the UP and realizes that the missing “r” in Ishpeming actually stands for “romance.”
Of course, you’d also have to have Hallmark Christmas movies. So how about “Santa on the Seney Stretch,” where a young woman from the city gets stuck in a snowstorm and is rescued by a guy from Shingleton who happens to have a beard and eight reindeer.
Or “This is Home…for the Holidays,” in which a young news anchor from Indiana heads to the UP to start up an award-winning TV newscast and ends up with the love of her life. (Although, you know, that one might not be realistic enough.)
Anyway, those are just the tip of the iceberg. Possible titles just boggle the mind: ”A Night in Paradise,” “Kisses from Kingsford,” “New Year, Newberry,” and the inevitable “Christmas in Christmas.”
So, the next time the topic of economic diversification comes up, high tech or manufacturing companies are all well and fine and would be welcome. But the one other concept that’s a natural fit? Hallmark movies.
Just think about it.
I’m Jim Koski, and that’s another slice of “Life in the 906.”