Gus Macker Tournament Helps Local Businesses

Teams from across the country hit the basketball courts in Ludington this weekend and businesses are seeing a big boost.

The 24th Gus Macker Tournament brought hundreds of teams to the beach alongside Lake Michigan.

Business vendors and non-profit organizations helped bring refreshments to players both young and old.

“We are full,” said Joseph lenius, owner of the Nader Motel. “We require a two-nights stay and we were full both nights.”

To many folks coming out to the Gus Macker, that’s a phrase heard everywhere.

With a weekend of basketball and thousands of people hoping to hit the courts, it’s no surprise: everything is packed.

“We start a week in advance for us, the motel, getting things ready,” Lenius said. “We have car passes we have to do. We confirm the reservations we have there coming in and things like that.”

Like most other hotels in Ludington, Lenius’s is full.

Unlike most other hotels, his family-run business is right down the street from the Macker.

“We’re in a good location for the Gus Macker tournament,” Lenius said. “It’s good. We’ve had some rough years but this has probably been our best year.”

With over 900 teams-worth of mouths to feed and heads to rest, you can tell Ludington is pretty hopping this time of year, but they are ready for it.

“We already have reservations for next year,” Lenius said. “They book a year in advance.”

For Barry Nea;, owner of The House of Flavors sees his restaurant become a house full of customers, a common sight alongside the Macker.

“That’s the best asset of Macker is that they are here to have a great time on our shoreline, playing basketball, having fun with their families,” Neal said. “Done right, they come back to our community.”

900 teams began in the tournament Saturday, bringing the weekend total number of players up to around 20,000.